The Secret Garden is a special haven for wildlife tucked away on the edge of a busy city. Planted in the 1980's by David Russell, the gardens are now maintained with just grass cutting and basic weeding, keeping disturbance to a minimum. Amongst the animals you may see are roe deer, muntjac, badgers, foxes, weasels and rabbits, and if you are very lucky you might be treated to a glimpse of a grass snake or common lizard, whilst the large population of great crested newts can be seen swimming in the pools and streams.
Wild birds enjoy the peace and tranquility of the garden too, and you will see a wide variety of them amongst the mixed planting schemes. Green woodpeckers regularly nest along with Bullfinches, Kingfishers, Warblers, Merlin, Hobby, Peregrine falcon, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzards, little Owls, House Martins, Wagtails, Linnets, Herons and a host of others. Ducklings and Goslings in spring make a charming sight as they waddle around. You might even catch sight of the wild Peacocks that roam the area.
The garden is open to all - young and old alike. The garden is also ideal for visiting groups, and is a favourite with Art & Drawing classes, U3A groups and Gardening Clubs. By nature of the garden, which is built around a dis-used quarry, access for the disabled is very limited, but there are areas that are accessible by wheelchair users. More information on disabled access available via the contact page. We do not make a charge for wheelchair users or their attendant. The standard admission fee is normally £3 which goes towards the upkeep of the gardens.
Dogs on leads are more than welcome to visit the garden.
Take a walk through the six acres of magnificent gardens.
Mr Russells Secret Garden, set in disused medieval sandstone quarry, must surely rate as amongst the most spectacular gardens in the country.
A series of ponds, streams and waterfalls combine to provide a stunning year-round display. Visitors in May are especially rewarded by the hundreds of azaleas and rhododendrons which blanket the garden with glorious colour.