YSP Wild

YSP Wild image

Wildlife Information, Learning and Discovery

YSP is well known for its interesting sculptures by famous artists. Living alongside the artworks are many animals, birds, insects and plants which have made the Park their home. 

We've also teamed up with Wakefield Grammar School Foundation to launch a new WILD Explorer Nature Trail around the Upper Lake. Join us on Saturday 15 April for fun family activities throughout the day.

Four different habitats are found at YSP: lakes, parkland, woodland and wood-pasture. Each creates a special place which attracts certain types of wildlife; some are easy to find, others are hidden away. 

The lakes at YSP were made by the owners of the Bretton Estate in the 18th century. Some birds and insects live in freshwater lakes their entire lives, while larger birds and mammals appear briefly on the lakeside to drink or to eat. On Lower Lake, Heron Island is the home of a colony of herons. You’ll recognise a heron by its long neck, large wings and long legs which point behind it when it flies.

Did You Know: In the spring great crested grebes dance to find a mate.

YSP’s parkland is not entirely natural. Many of the families who lived on the Estate since it was first listed in the Domesday Book designed the landscape for recreation. Now it’s home to lots of different species, including a flock of sheep from our neighbouring farm.

Did You Know: The green woodpecker’s loud and laughing call is called a yaffle.

Ancient trees can be found in woodland, some are hundreds of years old. Wildflowers, such as bluebells and wood anemones, grow here in the spring and lots of invertebrates, birds and mammals, as well as fungi, mosses and lichens, make woodland their home.

Did You Know: Almost half of the world’s bluebells are found in the UK.

Wood-pasture is ancient grazing land which over centuries has provided shelter, pasture and fodder for livestock. In wood-pasture you’ll find animals large and small, from tiny beetles to Highland cattle with long horns.

Did You Know: The English oak tree supports the largest variation of insect herbivores of any British plant.


Join in

Let us know what you've spotted at the Park by using #YSPwild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

You can also follow all the behind the scenes news from the Park on the YSP Blog

Download the YSP Wild family activity leaflet
YSP WILD Fungi Hunt Guide
YSP WILD Winter Walk Spotters' Guide
YSP WILD Bird Spotters' Guide