It may have had to postpone its reopening, but Harewood House is now encouraging visitors to get back to virtual nature to mark 50 years of conservation work. Sarah Freeman reports.
Sunday, 29th March 2020, 6:50 am
Mention Harewood House is home to a zoo and even regular visitors to the stately home will look a little blank. They’ve explored every corner of the grand 18th century pile, they’ve soaked up the Robert Adam-designed interiors and they can wax lyrical about how the Terrace Gallery has become one of the North’s leading showcases for contemporary art.
The zoo, however, is less well-known even though they’ve probably walked through it a dozen times or more.
“The Harewood Bird Garden is a licensed zoo and has been ever since it opened in 1970,” says Nick Dowling, the estate’s bird garden and farm experience manager. “It’s home to more than 40 different species of birds and we run some world-leading conservation programmes here. However, I think over recent years we have forgotten to shout about what we do.”
In the next 12 months all that is set to change. Before anyone had heard of social distancing and self-isolation, the team at Harewood had planned a year-long programme of events to celebrate the bird garden’s 50th anniversary.