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Science & Nature Events

With nearly half the Harrogate District designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) it won’t surprise you that wildlife is everywhere when you visit Harrogate, Ripon and Nidderdale.

A Natural Haven

What better to way to learn about and experience the natural world than to be guided by experts who can take you right to the best places to see remarkable species?  Wetland bird reserves and peat moorlands guarantee a range of waders and while curlew and oyster catchers are reliable regulars, the passing migrations means a number of other rarities are frequently spotted.

Natural Science

The events organised across our beautiful and rural area do not just cover nature, but also the scientific topics of the natural world, including talks on the science and evolution of the landscape and its moorlands.

Dark Sky Events

Through the winter months there are frequent events offering visitors a greater understanding of the sky at night, and what to look out for. 

The Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has fantastically dark skies that truly showcase the majesty of the night sky. 

A number of events take place through the year that includes talks and photography and knowledgeable experts who can introduce you to the sky.

Natural Wonder

With a number of ancient woods, many of which are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the flora and habitats to be seen are wonderful.  In May, carpets of bluebells turn the woodland floor into a carpet of vivid blue, and a number of walks and events are held to allow people to enjoy this spectacular sight without worrying about finding the right wood at the right time.

Guided through Nature

Guided nature walks reveal the range of birds around the woods or moors with local experts sparing you the pressure of hastily flicking through the bird book to identify that bunting or plover. 

Instead you can enjoy the spectacle as sky larks and northern lapwings dive and swoop above you.  Alternatively the crueller side of nature can be glimpsed as peregrine falcons, buzzards and kites search for carrion and prey.

While you may find deer tracks in many of the local woods only those up early, or particularly lucky will see them out in the woods.  Deer walk events allow you to glimpse these graceful creatures up close, learn about how the herds are cared for and in autumn, witness the savage clash as the antlered male’s battle for supremacy.

Events are added to the pages all the time so if you’re visiting in the future be sure to check back soon.

Number of items:

Number of items: 21

Ongoing Events

  1. Pond dipping

    Add Pond dipping to your Itinerary

    Pond dipping

    Type

    Science

    Ripon

    Newts, water lice, water boatmen, molluscs, pea mussels... There’s an extraordinary world just waiting to be discovered hiding under the surface of the still ponds in the water garden. We’ll provide the nets, identification charts and the pots so you can see what you might find. Pop along to the…

    Dates

    From:
    23 Aug 2019 To 23 Aug 2019
  2. Busy Bees

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    Busy Bees

    Type

    Gardens

    Ripon

    Keeping bees is quite a craft, the monks would have made ‘skeps’ to keep bees for their honey and highly-prized wax for making candles, honeyed wines, mead and for sweetening food as they didn’t have sugar. Swanley Grange turn into a hive of activity for this weekend with fun activities to get…

    Dates

    From:
    24 Aug 2019 To 25 Aug 2019
  3. Kids outdoor climbing day at Brimham Rocks.

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    Family Outdoor Day at Brimham Rocks

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Pateley Bridge

    Get the whole family exploring Brimham from a dramatic new angle in an exciting adventure with Harrogate Climbing Centre.

    Join Harrogate Climbing Centre for a full day weaseling, climbing and abseiling. Children must be accompanied by an adult (max 2 per adult). No previous experience required…

    Dates

    From:
    24 Aug 2019 To 24 Aug 2019
  4. A group of walkers on a sunny winters day

    Add Brimham Rocks through the ages to your Itinerary

    Brimham Rocks through the ages

    Type

    Active event

    Join this guided walk to discover Brimham's history, from the last ice age that helped form these weird and wonderful rock formations, to the stories of the people who lived here and called Brimham home

    Let our guide walk and talk you through the last 320 milion years in a 90 minute journey…

    Venue

    Brimham Rocks, Pateley Bridge

    Dates

    From:
    30 Aug 2019 To 30 Aug 2019
    From:
    16 Sep 2019 To 16 Sep 2019
    From:
    8 Oct 2019 To 8 Oct 2019
    From:
    16 Nov 2019 To 16 Nov 2019
    From:
    1 Dec 2019 To 1 Dec 2019
    From:
    11 Jan 2020 To 11 Jan 2020
  5. Walk in the footsteps of the monks from Brimham Rocks to Fountains Abbey

    Walk in the footsteps of the monks from Brimham Rocks to Fountains Abbey

    Type

    Wildlife/Nature

    Enjoy a day out in the countryside following the route of the monks as you walk from Brimham Rocks to Fountains Abbey with your guides. Step back in time and journey along the 7.5 mile historic route betweenBrimham Rocks and Fountains Abbey. Starting at Brimham Rocks car park you will follow your…

    Dates

    From:
    1 Sep 2019 To 1 Sep 2019
  6. Climbing taster sessions at Brimham Rocks

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    Climbing taster sessions at Brimham Rocks

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Pateley Bridge

    Scale the heights at Brimham Rocks through this introductory climbing session. Discover how to climb the weird and wonderful rock formations and maybe uncover a new hobby. Perfect for adults and children aged 7+. No previous experience needed and all equipment will be provided.

    £7 per person…

    Dates

    From:
    7 Sep 2019 To 7 Sep 2019
  7. Going digital photography workshop at Brimham Rocks

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    Going digital photography workshop at Brimham Rocks

    Type

    Wildlife/Nature

    The far-reaching views from Brimham can be awe-inspiring. Can you capture them on camera?

    Explore this inspirational place through the lens as you learn about composition and exposure while using polarising and graduated filters to create dramatic landscape photography.

    Call 07802…

    Venue

    Brimham Rocks, Pateley Bridge

    Dates

    From:
    8 Sep 2019 To 8 Sep 2019
  8. Apple juicing at Swanley

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    Apple juicing at Swanley

    Type

    Gardens

    Ripon

    We know the monks at Fountains Abbey produced ale and perhaps cider. Other monasteries in the country certainly did. Join in the apple juicing process and sample the delicious results from your hard work. We’re using apples from our orchard which are all northern varieties from the sixteenth…

    Dates

    From:
    21 Sep 2019 To 21 Sep 2019
    From:
    28 Sep 2019 To 28 Sep 2019
    From:
    19 Oct 2019 To 19 Oct 2019
    From:
    26 Oct 2019 To 26 Oct 2019
  9. Fountains by Floodlight

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    Fountains by Floodlight

    Type

    Wildlife/Nature

    Ripon

    Experience something truly special this autumn as you explore the illuminated ruins of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal water gardens. Listen to a live performance from the choir and join an evening guided tour, you might even catch a glimpse of our mysterious roving monk. 

    £10 adult, £5…

    Dates

    From:
    5 Oct 2019 To 5 Oct 2019
    From:
    12 Oct 2019 To 12 Oct 2019
    From:
    19 Oct 2019 To 19 Oct 2019
    From:
    25 Oct 2019 To 25 Oct 2019
    From:
    26 Oct 2019 To 26 Oct 2019
    From:
    1 Nov 2019 To 1 Nov 2019
    From:
    2 Nov 2019 To 2 Nov 2019
  10. Wildlife & Safari Travel Show

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    Wildlife & Safari Travel Show

    Type

    Wildlife/Nature

    Harrogate

    The biggest names in wildlife and safari travel are blazing a trail to The Wildlife & Safari Travel Show in Harrogate from 12-13 October.

    Drawing inspiration from hit TV shows Blue Planet, Dynasties and Our Planet, the show's line-up of celebrity speakers and exhibitors will inspire visitors the…

    Dates

    From:
    12 Oct 2019 To 13 Oct 2019
  11. An atmospheric photo showing the rock formations and plant life.

    Add Geology walk at Brimham Rocks to your Itinerary

    Geology walk at Brimham Rocks

    Type

    Science

    Pateley Bridge

    From giant ferns and salamander's footprints to enormous mountains higher than the Himalayas, find out how Brimham Rocks came to be. Join the geology guide as you take in these amazing rock formations through a 90 minute guided walk, discovering how they came to be through 320 million years of…

    Venue

    Brimham Rocks, Pateley Bridge

    Dates

    From:
    14 Oct 2019 To 14 Oct 2019
  12. Woodland for Life

    Add Woodland for Life to your Itinerary

    Woodland for Life

    Type

    Wildlife/Nature

    Harrogate

    The Northern Forest project, announced by the government in 2018, is set to increase our woodland cover by one third, with 50 million trees to be planted over the next 25 years, growing and linking existing community forests from Liverpool to Hull.

    ​It will bring many benefits to the Harrogate…

    Dates

    From:
    17 Oct 2019 To 17 Oct 2019
  13. An Evening with Chris Packham

    Add An Evening with Chris Packham to your Itinerary

    An Evening with Chris Packham

    Type

    Wildlife/Nature

    Harrogate

    Naturalist, TV presenter, writer, photographer, conservationist, campaigner and filmmaker, Chris Packham CBE, is heading to Harrogate.
    In a special bespoke evening at the Royal Hall, Packham will talk about his photography and work with wildlife and conservation. He'll also discuss his…

    Dates

    From:
    19 Oct 2019 To 19 Oct 2019
  14. Steve Backshall - Voyages to Undiscovered Places

    Add Steve Backshall - Voyages to Undiscovered Places to your Itinerary

    Steve Backshall - Voyages to Undiscovered Places

    Type

    Wildlife/Nature

    Harrogate

    Adventurer, presenter, explorer, wildlife enthusiast and all-round daredevil, Steve Backshall, heads to Harrogate for a special talk at the Royal Hall.
    Steve Backshall has been leading expeditions to unknown parts of the world for nearly twenty years. But for the last year, Steve has embarked on…

    Dates

    From:
    19 Oct 2019 To 19 Oct 2019
  15. Fountains Night Run

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    Fountains Night Run

    Type

    Walk

    Ripon

    Lace those trainers and light those head torches and come for a run around Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal at night.

    Come and join us for another night run here at Fountains Abbey. Get ready for an enjoyable 5k run, which will take you straight past the abbey and through the water gardens.

    Dates

    From:
    29 Oct 2019 To 29 Oct 2019
  16. Autumn Drive through

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    Autumn Drive through

    Type

    Gardens

    Ripon

    Drive into a magical scene of Fountains at night, see the glowing abbey and finish with a warming drink. It’s just for cars and minibuses so it’s great for people who might be less steady on their feet. As it’s a drive-through you’ll need to stay in your car. If you’d like to come and explore the…

    Dates

    From:
    3 Nov 2019 To 3 Nov 2019
  17. On the hoof

    Add On the hoof to your Itinerary

    On the hoof

    Type

    Traditional

    Ripon

    Trot along to St Mary's Church to watch the wild deer munching through their winter feed. Can you spot the difference between the Red, Sika and Fallow deer? Our deer ranger will give you some pointers and you'll learn about their job managing the wild herd. Meet outside St Mary’s Church in the deer…

    Dates

    From:
    7 Dec 2019 To 7 Dec 2019
    From:
    8 Dec 2019 To 8 Dec 2019
    From:
    14 Dec 2019 To 14 Dec 2019
    From:
    15 Dec 2019 To 15 Dec 2019
  18. Carols by Candlelight

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    Carols by Candlelight

    Type

    Traditional

    Ripon

    As Christmas fast approaches it’s time for our annual family carol service. Pick up a candle on your way in and see the flickering glow of nearly 1,000 candles light up the abbey cellarium. Grab a mulled wine or a hot chocolate and have a sing-a-long to all your favourite traditional carols. It's…

    Dates

    From:
    8 Dec 2019 To 8 Dec 2019
    From:
    15 Dec 2019 To 15 Dec 2019
  19. Boxing Day Pilgrimage

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    Boxing Day Pilgrimage

    Type

    Traditional

    Ripon

    The service begins in Ripon Cathedral at 9.30am and the pilgrimage makes its way to the abbey where the service continues from approx. 12 noon.

    On a cold day in 1132, thirteen monks walked from Ripon to a completely deserted valley by the River Skell. There they started their own community…

    Dates

    From:
    26 Dec 2019 To 26 Dec 2019
  20. Discovering the Fountains Abbey Settlers Society

    Add Discovering the Fountains Abbey Settlers Society to your Itinerary

    Discovering the Fountains Abbey Settlers Society

    Type

    Walk

    Ripon

    Pop into Fountains Hall and discover the Settler's Society. Help bring the stories of the settler boys to life.

    Dates

    From:
    9 Apr 2019 To 31 Dec 2019
  21. Beekeeping Demonstrations

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    Beekeeping Demonstrations

    Type

    Wildlife/Nature

    Harrogate

    Beekeeping Demonstration
    Visitors can join members of the Harrogate & Ripon Beekeepers Association at 2pm every Saturday in July & August for an afternoon demonstration of the traditional craft of beekeeping.

    Dates

    From:
    20 Jul 2019 To 31 Aug 2019

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