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: 239


    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
    Forest BugPentatoma rufipes17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Parent BugElasmucha grisea17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Alder TongueTaphrina alni17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Paidiscura pallens17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Oak Bush-cricketMeconema thalassinum17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Metellina segmentata17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Dock BugCoreus marginatus17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Dock BugCoreus marginatus17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Holly BlueCelastrina argiolus17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Harlequin LadybirdHarmonia axyridis17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Greenhouse SlugAmbigolimax valentianus17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Face FlyMusca autumnalis17/08/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Green ShieldbugPalomena prasina25/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Knopper Oak Gall WaspAndricus quercuscalicis25/07/2018Saharima Roenisch
    Liocoris tripustulatus25/07/2018Saharima 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
    Algae, Bacteria, VirusTrentepohlia sp.27/01/2017
    AmphibiansSmooth NewtLissotriton vulgaris08/03/2017
    AmphibiansCommon FrogRana temporaria15/03/2018
    Bees, Wasps, AntsKnopper Oak Gall WaspAndricus quercuscalicis26/07/2017
    Bees, Wasps, AntsHairy-footed Flower BeeAnthophora plumipes10/03/2014
    Bees, Wasps, AntsHoney BeeApis mellifera18/03/2017
    Bees, Wasps, AntsTree BumblebeeBombus hypnorum02/07/2018
    Bees, Wasps, AntsRed-tailed BumblebeeBombus lapidarius24/06/2015
    Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon Carder BumblebeeBombus pascuorum12/07/2018
    Bees, Wasps, AntsHill Cuckoo BeeBombus rupestris03/08/2012
    Bees, Wasps, AntsFour Coloured Cuckoo BeeBombus sylvestris28/07/2017
    Bees, Wasps, AntsBuff-tailed BumblebeeBombus terrestris09/01/2015
    Bees, Wasps, AntsOyster Gall WaspNeuroterus anthracinus28/07/2017
    Bees, Wasps, AntsSpangle Gall WaspNeuroterus quercusbaccarum28/07/2017
    Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon WaspVespula vulgaris09/07/2018
    BeetlesCream Spot LadybirdCalvia quattuordecimguttata20/04/2015
    Beetles7 Spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctata27/03/2015
    BeetlesLesser Stag BeetleDorcus parallelipipedus27/07/2017
    BeetlesPine LadybirdExochomus quadripustulatus10/03/2015
    BeetlesHarlequin LadybirdHarmonia axyridis14/04/2015
    BeetlesCommon Red Soldier BeetleRhagonycha fulva27/07/2017
    BeetlesRhinocyllus conicus16/06/2015
    BeetlesStenocorus meridianus09/07/2015
    BirdsLong-tailed TitAegithalos caudatus09/03/2015
    BirdsMallardAnas platyrhynchos01/06/2017
    BirdsSwiftApus apus12/07/2018
    BirdsGoldfinchCarduelis carduelis20/02/2017
    BirdsGreenfinchCarduelis chloris30/06/2015
    BirdsStock DoveColumba oenas25/01/2018
    BirdsWood PigeonColumba palumbus21/03/2018