See the sights of spring in the Lakes

The unseasonably warm winter has brought an explosion of spring flowers to National Trust gardens in the Lake District. 

From Wordsworth’s original daffodils alongside the lakeshore on Ullswater to the wildflower bank springing to life again at Sizergh, near Kendal, here the National Trust share a few things you can look forward to seeing over the spring months.



Snowdrops – known as being one of the first signs of spring, it’s no surprise that the scientific name for these dainty little buds is the ‘milk flower’ as they carpet gardens across the country in a sea of delicate white blooms. Head to Acorn Bank, Aira Force and Sizergh this March to see them flourishing.



Daffodils – the adopted flower of the Lake District, William Wordsworth’s original poem was inspired by those he saw “fluttering and dancing in the breeze” alongside the Ullswater lakeshore. Just along the road is Aira Force where we’re introducing our very own ‘Wordsworth Daffodils Trail’ this spring. You can also catch some of the best displays at Brigsteer Woods on the Sizergh Estate, and at Acorn Bank, the former home of the ‘lady of a million daffodils’, discover more about ‘Wordsworth’s Daffodil Legacy’ at a National Gardens Scheme Open Day on Sunday 20th March. New for 2016 is the Ullswater Daff Fest, which runs from 28th March to 17th April. This is a series of events around the Ullswater Valley including walks, canoe trails, and daffodil planting and painting.


Wildlife & birdlife – for some, now’s the time to wake after a long winter’s sleep or head back to the area as it starts to warm up. The new wetland area and bird hide at Park End Moss on the Sizergh Estate is a top place to spot some migrating birds or even Sizergh’s elusive hawfinch at this time of year. At Acorn Bank, the swallows will soon start to return to the old watermill and the great crested newts will be back to breed in the sunken garden pond. At Aira Force, keep still and quiet for the chance to see some dippers impressively darting about for food as they nest in the water behind the 65-foot waterfall.


Newborn lambs – nothing shouts out ‘spring’ more than a newborn lamb and we’ve already had the first of our 2016 babies make an appearance on the Sizergh Estate and in the fields around Allan Bank in Grasmere. Brrrr….lets hope it warms up a little until they get a bit more meat on their bones!


Red squirrels – our native reds are constantly under threat from the incoming greys. But we’re working hard to make sure that our gardens and grounds make ideal homes for them. There’s very little natural food around for red squirrels at this time of year so we need to make sure they don’t go hungry by keeping our squirrel feeders at Allan Bank and around Aira Force fully stocked. Did you know squirrels can get through more than 100kg of nuts each year?


Easter Egg Hunts – It’s not just the flowers that are early this year, Easter celebrations kick off at the end of March and we’ve teamed up with Cadbury again to run our Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts. Explore the gardens at Sizergh and Allan Bank for clues over the Easter weekend but keep one eye open for grumpy Mr McGregor at Allan Bank – he’s not a fan of people (or rabbits) having fun in his garden!


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