Thorp Perrow Arboretum near Bedale is best known for its spectacular autumn colours but it also provides a rewarding visit on a winter day. Today’s visit in watery winter sunshine provided some much needed post-Christmas exercise and a chance to get up close with the falcons and animals in the Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre.
Our journey was also an excuse to blow the cobwebs off a classic Porsche which has spent too many weeks in the garage, so we took the scenic route from Darlington via the picturesque North Yorkshire market towns of Richmond, Leyburn and Middleham. And very scenic it proved to be – some temporary new lakes having been provided by all of the recent rain, though thankfully there was no sign of the serious flooding which has occurred further south in county.
A walk through Thorp Perrow Arboretum
After all of the rain over the last few days decent boots were essential to cope with the mud and wet grass but it was well worth the effort for the views of magnificent specimen trees such as this might oak.
Countless bulbs are already pushing their way up through the soil, promising a superb spring display of daffodils and crocuses in the not too distant future. May of the exotic varieties of shrubs found within the arboretum are also beginning to show signs of buds just waiting for the days to begin to warm up.
Bird of Prey & Mammal Centre
A highlight of a visit to Thorp Perrow at any time of the year are the falcons, raptors, wallabies and meerkats in the Bird of Prey & Mammal Centre. Today Colin the owl stole the show, winning over the crowd more with his waddling walk than his flying display. However it looks as though Colin faces stiff competition in the cuteness stakes from a hand-reared baby meerkat, making one of his first public appearances today.
Thorp Perrow Arboretum is open daily, except Christmas Day, and is a Royal Horticultural Society Partner Garden, provided free entry to RHS members over the winter months, making it an even better day out at this time of year if you are able to take advantage of this offer.