THERE may be a chill in the air – but spring has definitely sprung at Thorp Perrow Arboretum.

The 100-acre arboretum, near Bedale, is the biggest independent collection in the North, owned and run by the Ropner family who bought the hall and grounds in 1927 and have developed it over the past 90 years.

Alongside the 100 varieties of blossom trees, including a cherry tree avenue, there are acres of daffodils and with bluebells on the way.

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The site also has a bird of prey and mammal centre which is currently nurturing baby meerkats and joeys being nursed in the mother wallaby pouches and they’ve been joined by six new born rare breed Shetland sheep lambs.

A series of talks is being held from next week to show off the arboretum at its spring best. Tom Christian from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, will be at the arboretum on April 26 and other events are being organised with local experts.

More new additions are expected in the next few weeks at the on site falconry breeding programme which has successfully bred peregrines and owls in the past.

Sir Henry Ropner said: “Thorp Perrow is at its best during these spring months with a superb display of blossom and bluebells, not to mention all of the exciting new arrivals in the bird of prey and mammal centre."