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: 219


    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
    Herb-RobertGeranium robertianum24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Field Wood-rushLuzula campestris24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Green AlkanetPentaglottis sempervirens24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Hybrid BluebellHyacinthoides x massartiana24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Meadow FoxtailAlopecurus pratensis24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Smooth NewtLissotriton vulgaris24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Cow ParsleyAnthriscus sylvestris24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Common NettleUrtica dioica24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Dandelion agg.Taraxacum officinale agg.24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Garlic MustardAlliaria petiolata24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Slender SpeedwellVeronica filiformis24/04/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Wood PigeonColumba palumbus21/03/2018Saharima Roenisch
    BullfinchPyrrhula pyrrhula21/03/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Scarlet ElfcupSarcoscypha austriaca21/03/2018Saharima Roenisch
    RamsonsAllium ursinum15/03/2018Saharima 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 septempunctata20/03/2012
    BirdsCarrion CrowCorvus corone20/03/2012
    BirdsGreen WoodpeckerPicus viridis20/03/2012
    BirdsBlackbirdTurdus merula20/03/2012
    WildflowersSlender SpeedwellVeronica filiformis20/03/2012
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersAshFraxinus excelsior13/06/2012
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersElderSambucus nigra13/06/2012
    WildflowersGround-elderAegopodium podagraria13/06/2012
    WildflowersSpear ThistleCirsium vulgare13/06/2012
    WildflowersGreat WillowherbEpilobium hirsutum13/06/2012
    WildflowersCut-leaved Crane's-billGeranium dissectum13/06/2012
    WildflowersWood AvensGeum urbanum13/06/2012
    WildflowersBristly OxtongueHelminthotheca echioides13/06/2012
    WildflowersYellow IrisIris pseudacorus13/06/2012
    WildflowersNipplewortLapsana communis13/06/2012
    WildflowersWater-cressNasturtium officinale13/06/2012
    WildflowersLong-headed PoppyPapaver dubium13/06/2012
    WildflowersMeadow ButtercupRanunculus acris13/06/2012
    WildflowersCommon Water-crowfootRanunculus aquatilis13/06/2012
    WildflowersCelery-leaved ButtercupRanunculus sceleratus13/06/2012
    WildflowersCommon SorrelRumex acetosa13/06/2012
    WildflowersCommon RagwortSenecio jacobaea13/06/2012
    WildflowersCommon GroundselSenecio vulgaris13/06/2012
    WildflowersPrickly Sow-thistleSonchus asper13/06/2012
    WildflowersRed CloverTrifolium pratense13/06/2012
    WildflowersCommon NettleUrtica dioica13/06/2012
    WildflowersBrooklimeVeronica beccabunga13/06/2012
    WildflowersCommon VetchVicia sativa13/06/2012
    Bees, Wasps, AntsHill Cuckoo BeeBombus rupestris03/08/2012
    ButterfliesRed AdmiralVanessa atalanta27/02/2014