Look here for current items of information, reports on events and messages to visitors

Click HERE for newsletters


December 2018



December 10th

Horticap Christmas.


Real Trees for sale, also many other lovely things for Christmas presents

Click HERE for poster



December 6th

Open Country WFGA


A Harrogate charity has scooped a top award for its commitment to wildlife conservation. Open Country, which helps people with a disability to access and enjoy the countryside, has received the Gold Award in the Wildlife Friendly Garden Awards for its efforts to increase the wildlife value of its plot at the Jubilee Allotments near Knaresborough.

Harrogate District Biodiversity Action Group’s award scheme recognises the good work of individuals, groups and schools to help local wildlife by creating havens for bird and insect populations to flourish. Open Country’s allotment is maintained throughout the year by the charity’s disabled members, supported by its staff and volunteers. This work is just one of many ways in which Open Country helps people with a disability to enjoy countryside and get closer to nature.

See PHOTO of the award ceremony


December 5th

HDBAG noticeboard


Our information board was finally installed in Valley Gardens at the corner of the path from Ebor Rise and the main path up to the War Memorial this morning. See Photo1 Photo2


Friends at Jacob Smith Park

News of the pond dipping platform - click HERE


2018 NEWS

Horticap Spring Newsletter

Click HERE



Draft Carbon Reduction Strategy DEADLINE FOR CONSULTATION

15 February 2018

Click HERE for full details


Friends of Aspin Pond


Click HERE for Newsletter



High Batts latest

January 2018

Click HERE for Newsletter


Click HERE for Chairman's letter



2017 News


HDBAG Newsletter


No 27 Click HERE


December News

Update on Pinewoods and Irongate Field

Click HERE





November News


Grow Wild

Autumn newsletter



Jacob Smith Park

Important notice


Wild About Gardens


Click HERE for the latest news


Moth Morning Sawley

June 13th 2017

Successful morning for this event

Click HERE for list of species seen.

Visit the gallery for a few photos.


Skipton Road, Harrogate Landscape Design Workshop

Two items for your attention - the REPORT back from the workshop and an INVITATION to a follow-up meeting on Thursday 25th May 2017.


Pinewoods Conservation Group

Rotary Wood Planning Decision

The planning decision regarding the expansion of Harrogate Spring Water Limited onto Rotary Wood is planned for 2pm Tuesday 9th May. This is an open meeting at Crescent Gardens should members be interested in attending.


Despite concerns being raised by many areas of Harrogate Council (as well as many other groups) the planners recommendation is to APPROVE. A full copy of their report can be found here.


The PCG has written to members of the planning committee to suggest that they visit the site before making any decision. A representative from Harrogate Rotary will also argue against this development as part of the meeting.


PCG will update members on the decision

following the meeting.



Spring News

From one of our members:

"We have about 30 frogs in our pond -

very active with spawn being noted also 8th March. We heard a chiffchaff 2 weeks ago. I saw a brimstone butterfly in a neighbour's garden 3 days ago. Two pairs of sparrows are actively nest building in our sparrow boxes. A pair of blue tits have been examining one nesting box, likewise a wren. The robins have stopped being territorial but as yet no sign of nest building. Our bees are loving this warm weather."




Click HERE for the latest from the YNU


Wild About Gardens RHS

Click HERE for January 2017 Newsletter

Click HERE for March Newsletter


HIGH BATTS reserve

Click HERE for January 2017 Newsletter



Message from Sam Walker

- volunteers please


- please reply direct to him if you can help. Contact below:

Subject: Hedge planting prepartion work - Friday 17th February


HI all,

I am hoping for a bit more help on Friday 17th February. The work is a continuation of the work carried out with some of your help a couple of weeks ago.

Little Studley Meadow in Ripon is a lovely site, with no public access that is a mixture of magnesium limestone grassland and wetland habitats. The site is in Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship scheme and has funding in place for some hedgerow restoration. On Friday 17th I will be going up to prepare the area for the hedge planting (which will take place in the next two months and will be another volunteer day). The task will be clearing brambles and cutting back the old hedge to create space and light for the new hedge plants to thrive. I am planning on been onsite all morning from about 9:00 till 13:00 but help is welcome at any point.

As always I will provide all tools but suitable outdoor clothing and sensible footwear is recommended. I can also possibly pick people up if required. It may be worth bringing some food and drink as well to help keep energy levels up!

I’ve attached a map of the location of the site. The meeting point is marked on the map as Petrol Harrogate Road. This doesn’t actually exist (Google maps!) but that is where the site entrance is. It’s on the right hand side about 100 metres before the clock tower as you come into Ripon on North Road.


If you available to help please let me know so I can ensure I bring enough tools.

Thanks Sam

Countryside Ranger

Parks and Environmental Services

P.O. Box 787




mob: 07525 988288



2016 News


Wild About Gardens RHS

Click HERE for December 2016 Newsletter




The Harrogate Council's Draft Local Plan ConsultationPeriod runs from 11 November until

23rd December 2016. The Plan will affect development of our area for many years.

Click HERE for some details.

You will find Draft policy NE 3 commencing

on page 167. Referring to sections of the

policy will strengthen comments made.

Page 179 shows proposed green space sites.

Or click HERE for a pdf of this part. You can find the reasons why an application failed. There are quite a few for Harrogate including pine woods, Killingall moor etc. This would be the time to revise the applications to meet the criteria before 23 December


Exhibitions of the plan have been programmed (see dates below). These dates are opportunities to view the plan.


• Saturday 26 November, 10am - 3pm: Wesley Centre, Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1PP

• Tuesday 29 November, 2 - 7pm: Green Hammerton Village Hall, Harrogate Road, Green Hammerton,

YO26 8AE

• Wednesday 30 November, 2 - 7pm: Harrogate Baptist Church, Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 5RD



Thursday 3rd November

Waxwings flying around Harlow Carr this afternoon

Msg from Andrew Willocks


25th October 2016

Fungus and Mosses Foray

Pateley Bridge

Harrogate Naturalists organised this outing and the report and species list is courtesy of them.

Click HERE for the report

Click HERE for a gallery of photos.


Wild About Gardens RHS

Click HERE for November 2016 Newsletter

Click HERE for October 2016 newsletter

Click HERE for theSept 2016 newsletter


ReWilding of Britain

Click HERE for the October 2016


Click HERE for the September 2016





Just published - foreword by David Attenborough. This is a summary of dreadful results of the largest survey of wildlife populations in our country.

Click HERE for a link to the report.


Friday 5th August 2016

Moth morning at Sawley

Another successful event. Many thanks to Jill Warwick and Charlie Fletcher for making the event possible and to Sandra Mason for the use of her garden and field – plus the coffee and biscuits!

Click HERE for list of species

Click HERE for some photos.


Re-Wilding Britain - August Newsletter

There are some very interesting articles in the current newsletter from the re-wilding group. Comments for example on the possible effects of our Brexit vote!

Click HERE for the pdf version.


STOP PRESS: Read our May Newsletter. Click HERE


B-Lines update 9


Here is the latest B-Lines Update, which provides a brief summary of their work over the past few months. This update summarises work across the country as the B-Lines work continues and expands. In addition it highlights the importance of conservation partners in building up the B-Lines network through their own project delivery.

Click HERE for the latest update.

Click HERE for website for more information


2015 NEWS



Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Some local children have been learning and working on the

above topic. As part of their research they are looking

at ways of making garden furniture from otherwise waste materials. They found a website which is well worth a visit.

Click HERE to go to this website.

The site has many interesting ideas for reducing your footprint but is very practical in having detailed plans

and instructions as well.



Nothing to do when it's raining and nasty outside? Why not follow the example of students at Ripon Grammar

and make a Bee Hotel.

As part of their Young Enterprise project they have made and

are selling Bee Hotels. Click HERE for full details and contacts.

Anything to encourage pollinators and biodiversity

is worthwhile at any time of the year!


Harrogate District Hospital

Latest news

Carolyn has been busy with the garden at HDH.

The latest addition is a wooden carving by Jonathan Sherwood. See below for the photo


Nigel Heptinstall - Outdoors Again

Nigel Heptinstall used to write a very popular column in local papers. Recently these were cancelled by the editors. Nigel however is now active again via a website and will welcome contributions.. We received an email from Nigel giving contact details and links to his twitter, website and blog at How Stean Gorge. Click HERE for the emails and the links.



2015 at the Harrogate Volunteer Oscars.


Carolyn Rothwell and her team of volunteers have been working hard in the courtyard gardens at Harrogate District Hospital, turning them into delightful places for patients to look at as well as providing food and shelter for wildlife. On Friday night Carolyn was awarded Wildlife Volunteer 2015.

Carolyn recently gave a presentation about this work at the Harrogate in Bloom awards.

So it is with great pleasure we say congratulations Carolyn on a job well done - your 'Wildlife Volunteer 2015' awarded to you at the Harrogate District Volunteer Oscars

on Friday 30th October was well deserved.

Congratulations too to Simon Warwick, Environment Volunteer 2015. Well deserved award in recognition of the vision and determination to establish and run

the Nosterfield Nature Reserve.

Audrey Sommersgill was awarded a Lifetime Volunteer award in recognition of just that - a lifetime of encouraging

others in a love of nature and the countryside.

Congratulations Audrey.



Allotment Show in the Valley Gardens

August 16th 2015

As usual it was fun to be part of the annual Allotment Show in Valley Gardens on Sunday 16th August. There were some amazing veggies on display in the competition area

as well as some wonderful work by children in the 'Imagination' competition.

Popular as ever was the combined allotments stall selling bags of home grown produce - quality and taste fantastic.

Click HERE for the gallery to see some photos


Harrogate District Hospital

August 7th

Update photo of Caroline's patch:


Saturday 25th July


As part of Niddfest - Studfold held its Family Day. HDBAG joined in this busy event by helping children ( and adults!) to build simple Bug Houses. Visitors also encountered trails, quizzes, puzzles and baby hedgehogs! Many thanks to Anne Challis and her team for hosting the event. The rain threatened but kindly kept away until we were leaving.

There are some photos on the gallery

- click HERE to see them.

Look for 2015Studfold


July 4th 2015

Moth Morning at Sawley

A very succesful event, after early drizzle we had good weather to see a colourful collection of moths. Many thanks to Jill Warwick and Charlie Fletcher for making the event possible and to Sandra Mason for the use of her garden and field – plus the coffee and biscuits! There were 80 species identified. Click HERE for the official list.

Photos are now on the Gallery - click HERE for the Gallery

Look for 2015 MothMorning


A big thank you to everyone who entered our Wild Card Art Competition. Some are on display in Harrogate Library during July in the coffee area on the ground floor.


Balsam Bash on June 7th 2015

...see photos on the top right


District Hospital update

Recent photo of the Wildlife Garden at HDH




The patch of ground at HDH by the SROMC has had red campion, limnanthes plants and a Grow Wild seed mix and a Meadow in My Garden Boheme annual seed mix sown. The lanscapers for the SROMC had planted vinca, ivy and pachysandra, so it should be wildlife friendly soon!









HDBAG AGM March 7th 2015


At our AGM in March 2015 the main speaker was Dan McAndrew, ecologist with Harrogate Borough Council.

He provided advice on how we can make informed comments on the biodiversity aspects of planning applications. Everyone can be involved in encouraging greener design and enable development to enhance natural networks.

It is impossible to sum up in a few words this important set of information so we have made the complete presentation available at this link. Click HERE


Tree planting at Ure Bank

Friday 27th March

A successful event! . There were 500 trees to plant in a field next to the river. Fortunately, there was a good turnout of people from the neighbourhood and other voluntary organisations.




Big Garden Bird Watch

Saturday 24th January 2015-01-24

Starbeck Library and Belmont Park


HDBAG was pleased to celebrate the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch with Starbeck in Bloom at the Starbeck Library. Families braved the cold to count birds and make peanut butter and seed feeders outside and strung popcorn and bought seed in the warmth of the library.

The warm refreshments inside the library were most welcome.

What would we do without Starbeck Public Library?


Click HERE for our list of birds seen. Not very many this time but there is probably plenty of food - for example in gardens nearby. Send us a copy of your own list and we will add it to ours - email

Don't forget to send in the official form first.

Click here for RSPB site


District Hospital update

January 12th


Work in Harrogate Hospital wildlife friendly garden is already successful. This blackbird was caught checking out the holly berries.








December Newsletter

This newsletter is now ready - click HERE to read it


BUG LIFE - an update

December 2014


Click HERE to read an update on the B lines project which is joining up environmentally rich sites across the land.


High Batts Nature Reserve Open Day

2nd November 2014


The reserve is on the west bank of the River Ure, close to North Stainley village. There were so many interesting things to see and do for young, old and those in between that it was impossible to do them all. The fungi trail lead by expert, Adrian Bennett, was fascinating and informative.

Despite the ‘you should have been here last week’ there was so much to see we were out for a couple of hours.

Click HERE for photos of just a few of the many found. Look for High Batts on the Gallery

Many sightings of birds and mammals were recorded.

Access to the reserve is limited to subscribing members except on these special ‘Open Days’ or by arrangement for a group visit.

For more information about membership and visits contact numbers are:-

Secretary: 01423 711887 Warden: 07871744604 Chairman: 07935352890


Harrogate District Hospital update Nov 1st 2014


Click HERE for the Gallery.

Click HEREfor a very comprehensive plant list.


Starbeck Library 18th October 2014

with Starbeck in Bloom


Wow What a fabulous morning! Autumn Day in Starbeck was a great success ,a lovely autumn day and so many people there at the library and on the field We planted loads of daffodils,several little oak trees,made lots of bug houses and counted lots of bugs! It was great to see so many children involved, Brownies,Guides,Cubs,Scouts and lots of families too.So many people helped to make this a success but a special mention to Harrogate Biodiversity group for the bug hunt and bug houses,to Childrens centre for craft activities and to Anne and Deborah at the library who didnt flinch when hoards of us tramped over the library carpets in our wellies! The Starbeck in Bloom team were there behind the scenes-a real team effort. Thanks to Andrew Jones for supporting the event and presenting a certificate for the library garden as a Wildlife Friendly Workplace. As ever community events do mean ALL the community in Starbeck and it was great to be part of this. I would be pleased if you would all pass on thanks to each and everyone of your groups

Click HERE for our Gallery and lots of pictures.


Christine Stewart - Starbeck in Bloom coordinator



Harrogate District Hospital Wildlife Friendly Garden


Work on this courtard continues. Visit our photo gallery to see the progress! Click HERE for the gallery.

Click HERE for a very comprehensive list of plants used.



The Allotment Show Sunday 17th August


The annual Allotment Show in Valley Gardens is always a good opportunity to bump into old friends and purchase some fantastic fruit, veg and flowers be they competition exhibits or produce from the allotments stand. Many people stopped to read our notice boards and talk about being wildlife friendly. It is great to find so many people are already converted to helping in their own way.Click HERE for the gallery photos.


Moth Morning 16th August 2014


Success at last! After a couple of poor years we finally had a great morning being shown the colourful collection of moths trapped over night. Many thanks to Jill Warwick for making the event possible and to Sandra Mason for the use of her garden and field – plus the coffee and biscuits. There were 28 species identified, 22 macro moths and 6 micro moths with large numbers of some species. A full list will eventually be available HERE. Click HERE for some gallery photos.


RHS Community Fund


Thanks to the efforts of Carolyn Rothwell we have been promised support from the Fund for the creation of a Wildlife Friendly courtyard in Harrogate Hospital. Click HERE to view the certificate.


Yorkshire Naturalists' Union

2012 Bird Report

This Bird Report, published this spring if ull of information, photographs, artwork and graphs and statistics.

The report has bespoke articles on breeding Firecrests around Sheffield and “patch work” at Buckton, the full systematic list of all species seen in 2012, some stunning photos in the Gallery and details of some fascinating ringing recoveries from around the county. Cost of the report is £12 plus £2 postage (from Jill Warwick or can be ordered via the YNU website, using PayPal).

Click HERE to see the cover.


Studfold receives Gold WFGA

June 1st 2014

Not only does Studfold provide a great day out for families it is also a haven for wildlife. Anne Challis receives a 'Gold' Wildlife Friendly Garden Award in appreciation of this amazing countryside experience set in the Dales above Lofthouse. For details go to or click HERE for our Gallery


Pinewoods Dawn Chorus

May 10th 2014

A small group met in the Pinewoods at 05:00am, in the rain!

Led by Paul Irving from HDNS we learnt about the differences in the song from local birds. Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Robin, Chaffinch and Wren all demonstrated for us. The local Song Thrushes were particularly active. Refreshments at the Tower House were very welcome to complete a very informative outing.

Pinewoods/Irongate Project

May 8th 2014

Quick update: A planting group put in 750 wild flower plugs at Irongate on Thursday night. Previously we’ve sown some annual flower seed, planted lots of Red Campion (fantastic plants and foc from Rhs Harlow Carr) and Iris and Willow from Horticap. More will be done, and the new path and seats are due soon.

April 16th 2014

Today lots of people got together in beautiful sunshine and started the planting of the Irongates field, next to the Pinewoods.

A 100mx1m strip had the turf removed using the very efficient Rhs Turf cutter. Horticap then rotavated the soil and sowed an annual flower mix called Boheme, from Nova-Flore at Meadow-in-My-Garden. Click HERE for details. Members of The Pinewoods Conservation Group, HDBAG, Horticap and Rhs Harlow Carr also planted hundreds of Red Campion (Silene dioica), grown in pots by the Rhs, and which are about to flower. A small amount of Bee friendly wildflower mix was also added.

Three marshy areas have been created in spots that are particularly damp. Horticap and Rhs staff removed the turf, and everyone planted a selection of Iris plants, and willow whips. More plants will be added and one of the areas will be rotavated and a seed mix suitable for wet areas will be sown. Click HERE for details


Five trees have been planted and during May a path will be laid, with picnic tables at one end. Notice boards will describe the scheme, which is open to all. The grass is cut by the council team. The project will continue to plant and improve the area over time.

Click HERE to see more photos of this project.


Big Garden Birdwatch

Jan 26th 2014

Unfortunately the appointed time for the bird count on Killinghall Moor was when the rain was lashing down. Five hardy (foolhardy?) folk showed up and counted the 11 species of mainly garden birds that were out and about at the time. Reed bunting are apparently seen regularly here but not at this time. We will arrange a bird count in the summer and hope for better weather.


Starbeck In Bloom

Winter birds Jan 18th 2014


A misty, moisty morning and not many real life birds to be seen: Blackbird, Thrush sp, Hedge and House Sparrows, Robin and Crows also braved the damp! However, the picture trail around Belmont Park was enjoyed by young and old and reminded us of what we might still see during the next couple of months. Our Mayor and MP helped on the trail as well - see the Starbeck album on our gallery.


Nest boxes in the Pine Woods

Jan 11th 2014


Home building for our resident birds. Nest boxes being

put up in the Pinewoods.

See the gallery




Click HERE for 2013 news items










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Before Starting
After balsam bash

Biodiversity is simply the web of life on Earth

It comprises a hugely diverse range of species, genes and ecosystems