Attenborough Arboretum

    Wildlife Highlights

    The site is an old one on which the present planting scheme has been imposed; not all the trees in the arboretum are natives.  The collection is augmented by many mature alien species, in particular the Horse Chestnut, which is indigenous to south-eastern Europe, but which had been introduced to Britain by the early 17th century.

    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 229


    The Attenborough Arboretum site occupies about five acres and forms part of the land that used to belong to Home Farm.  (The old farm house still exists nearby and has been converted into maisonettes.)  The arboretum features possibly the only surviving example in the city of a mediaeval ridge-and-furrow field and also contains two large ponds.  The arboretum was opened on 23rd April 1997.  About 20 local schools helped in the planting phase in March 1996, and over 40 attended the grand opening ceremony, conducted by Sir David Attenborough, after whose family the arboretum is named.

    The planting scheme at the arboretum is designed to display our native trees more or less in the sequence in which they arrived in this country following the ending of the last ice-age, approximately 10,000 years ago.  Thus among the first trees you will meet on going for a walk around the arboretum will be Scots Pine, Juniper, Hazel and Birch; among the last is the Beech, which apparently crossed from France just before the English Channel formed about 7,500 years ago.  The timing of the various arrivals is based largely on fossil evidence, especially of pollen.

    Latest records

    Common Name Latin Name Date Recorded Recorded By
    SwiftApus apus12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Red-tailed BumblebeeBombus lapidarius12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Common Carder BumblebeeBombus pascuorum12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Yellow Dung FlyScathophaga stercoraria12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    CinnabarTyria jacobaeae12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Common RagwortSenecio jacobaea12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Speckled WoodPararge aegeria12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Green-veined WhitePieris napi12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Large WhitePieris brassicae12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Small WhitePieris rapae12/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Bishop's Mitre ShieldbugAelia acuminata09/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    7 Spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctata09/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Psyllopsis fraxini agg.09/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Common WaspVespula vulgaris09/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    GatekeeperPyronia tithonus09/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Further Information

    Opening times are 9.30 to 3.30 Monday to Thursday, 9.30 to 3.00 Friday.

    Closed Saturday and Sunday.

    Guided tours can be arranged through Leicester Botanic Garden, 0116 2712933,

    Getting There

    The Attenborough Arboretum entrance is on Carisbrooke Road in Knighton, where there is a car park. However, the gate is normally locked, and access is now via College Court on Knighton Road.

    The Arriva Midlands 44 and 44A buses run past the Arboretum.  Travelling from the city centre, get off at the last stop on Queen's Road and walk round the corner onto Knighton Road or at the first stop on Carisbrooke Road and walk back onto Knighton Road.

    All main paths are wheelchair accessible.

    Managed By
    Leicester University

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    Beetles7 Spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctata25/07/2017
    FungiAlder BracketInonotus radiatus24/01/2017
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersAshFraxinus excelsior13/06/2012
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesAzure DamselflyCoenagrion puella01/06/2017
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesBanded DemoiselleCalopteryx splendens01/06/2017
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersBarberryBerberis vulgaris14/12/2017
    FungiBirch WoodwartAnnulohypoxylon multiforme04/01/2018
    BugsBishop's Mitre ShieldbugAelia acuminata09/07/2018
    WildflowersBlack HorehoundBallota nigra04/07/2015
    FungiBlack Witches ButterExidia glandulosa24/02/2017
    BirdsBlackbirdTurdus merula24/01/2017
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersBlackthornPrunus spinosa24/02/2017
    FungiBleeding Broadleaf CrustStereum rugosum20/01/2017
    BirdsBlue TitCyanistes caeruleus24/01/2017
    FungiBlushing BracketDaedaleopsis confragosa05/12/2017
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersBramble agg.Rubus fruticosus agg.26/07/2017
    WormsBrandling WormEisenia fetida20/03/2017
    ButterfliesBrimstoneGonepteryx rhamni15/03/2017
    WildflowersBristly OxtongueHelminthotheca echioides13/06/2012
    WildflowersBroad-leaved DockRumex obtusifolius24/02/2017
    WildflowersBrooklimeVeronica beccabunga13/06/2012
    Slugs & SnailsBrown-lipped SnailCepaea nemoralis08/03/2017
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesBrown HawkerAeshna grandis07/07/2015
    Bees, Wasps, AntsBuff-tailed BumblebeeBombus terrestris06/01/2015
    BirdsBullfinchPyrrhula pyrrhula24/02/2017
    insect - hymenopteranBumblebeeBombus25/07/2017
    FungiCandlesnuff FungusXylaria hypoxylon19/01/2017
    BirdsCarrion CrowCorvus corone24/02/2017
    WildflowersCelery-leaved ButtercupRanunculus sceleratus13/06/2012
    BirdsChaffinchFringilla coelebs04/01/2018