House, Gardens & Cafe Open Tuesday - Sunday 10.30 - 17.00

Nature Day (May 15)

Nature Day is back at Gilbert White’s House and Gardens, in Selborne with a range of family activities – and new this year is a Beatrix Potter treasure hunt trail, guided by characters from her books!

All children go free to Nature Day and entrance for adults is £8, this includes admission to the house and gardens. Tickets are sold on the day (May 15). The event aims to help people reconnect with the natural world, bringing them closer our native plants and wildlife through both art and science. There will also be an eco-fair where you can purchase sustainable products and crafts for your home.

Nature Day provides the perfect opportunity to explore the gardens’ secrets. Discover the newts and frogs that lie beneath the surface of our pond, with the opportunity to delicately handle the creatures in our pond dipping sessions. Join our guided meadow walks and be dazzled by the riot of colour from our native wildflowers and butterflies. Test your nerve with our bug hunting activity at our log piles.

In celebration of 120 years since Peter Rabbit was first commercially published, the Garrett Theatre Company will present an interactive treasure hunt trail through the house and gardens for six iconic Beatrix Potter characters, including Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. On finding a character you will hear their story, learn facts about the animal portrayed and be set on a quest to deliver a message to the next character in the trail.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 11am-3pm: Beatrix Potter Immersive Character Trail
  • 11.30am-12pm: Guided Meadow & Butterfly Walk
  • 12.00pm-12.30pm: Pond Dipping
  • 2pm-2.30pm: Bug Hunting
  • 2.30pm-3pm: Pond Dipping
  • 3.30-pm-4pm: Guided Meadow & Butterfly Walk
  • 4pm-4.30pm: Bug Hunting

Nature Day is about bringing people together, and as such Gilbert White’s House and Gardens is excited to bring to you a diversity of organisations helping to conserve nature, including Hampshire Bat Group, the RSPB and Hampshire Wildlife Trust. There will also be groups more focused on the wider environment, such as the Selborne Landscape Partnership, the National Trust and the Woodland Trust. At each stand there will be nature-based activities helping you to explore the natural world. After the completion of each stall activity, children can collect a stamp with a prize at the end.

Finally, there is something for everyone at the eco-fair. Neal’s Yard will be selling remedies and organics, Blooming Cow will be offering a dazzling array of flowers, Willow and Crafts will be exhibiting their sculptures and Sage and Ivory will be showcasing their sustainable eco-products, including aromatic soaps.

Tickets can be bought on the day. Doors open at 10.30am and close at 5pm. Food will be available from our café and lawn takeaway. Extra car parking will be provided, follow the signage on the day.

Stalls of the eco fair and nature conservation organisations include:

Blooming CowNeal’s Yard Remedies and Organics
River Wey Trust
Hello Shroot
Gilbert White Beekeepers
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Amphibian and Reptile group

Hampshire Bat Group

Hampshire Fungus Recording Group

Woodland Trust

Selborne Landscape PartnershipRSPB
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife
National Trust

    Gilbert Whites House

    Gilbert White was aged 7 or 8 when the White family moved from the Vicarage on Selborne’s Plestor, to this house, called ‘The Wakes’ (named after the Wake family who had lived here previously). At that time the property would have been no more than a ‘two up, two down’  but over the subsequent years lots of extensions and additions have been made, creating the long sizeable house you see today.

    The rooms have been restored following descriptions in White’s own correspondence and include a chair he used at Oriel College, Oxford (loaned from the College), items of contemporary furniture, family portraits and bed hangings embroidered for him by his aunts.

    On display is the original manuscript of his book, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, which was purchased with generous help from English Heritage and others.

    Learn more