HAREWOOD is gearing up for a whole host of bird themed events - including a giant egg on the lake - when it opens up for the new season.

The country house will welcome the public on March 21, following a three month winter closure, and will celebrate 50 years of the Bird Garden, once hailed ‘England’s most comprehensive collection of rare and exotic birds from all parts of the world.’

In a year of new launches and openings, Harewood is aiming to display its passion for nature, whilst reinforcing its commitment to conservation.

The bird theme will be celebrated in an eye-catching way with the arrival of Artist Stephen Turner. The ‘Eggman at Harewood’ will live and work over three months in his giant wooden egg-shaped studio, floating on the lake.

Mr Turner, who has toured various locations since launching his sculpture and artist residence in 2014, will be at Harewood from August 1 to November 1.

During his part-time residency he will create new art works in a variety of different media responding to the estate’s ever-changing natural surroundings. These will be added to his exhibition in the Bothy next to the Walled Garden. There will also be workshops and activity sessions for visitors of all ages to take part in.

A link to birds will connect the house and gardens from spring to autumn, starting with a new exhibition by British sculptor Kate MccGwire, who works with ‘repurposed’ bird feathers.

Menagerie features eight of Kate’s celebrated pieces together for the first time, including one new Harewood commission, Cavort, which will cover the floor of the Yellow Drawing Room, echoing and reflecting through feathers and mirrors the architecture and design of the ceiling.

From March, a new walk-through aviary in the centre of the bird garden opens an interactive and immersive space, with natural perches and free-flying colourful birds for visitors to see up close.

From the end of May, a new bird hide at Harewood will be located close to the lake, a prime spot to view seasonal visitors migrating and stopping over at Harewood on their way, as well as an array of resident birds. Designed by Biotope, the only UK bird hide company run by ornithologists, the hide aims to attract families to wildlife watching as well as serious bird watchers and will provide a new perspective of the lake, a new viewpoint for the Chilean flamingos and an area to pause and see the Red Kites above, together with black headed gulls and oyster catchers and lapwings in the summer. Binoculars, a sightings book, information boards and activities will be on hand in the hide.

On Wednesday, May 20 artist Leilah Vyner will lead a workshop creating striking sustainable bird feeders for the garden. Morning and afternoon sessions are available and cost £45 per person.

On May 30 and 31 the bird garden will stage its golden anniversary weekend - a celebratory party full of special events and activities.

Across the Bank Holiday, there will be many free activities, including conservation talks, falconry displays, bird handling, trails and bird illustration workshops with local artist and author Matt Sewell. There will also be a Dawn Chorus Walk, with breakfast, run by wildlife expert Dr Morris Charlton.

Visit https://harewood.org/whats-on/event/harewood-bird-garden-birthday-party/ for details.