Valentine’s surprise for Nottingham love birds

As Valentine’s Day draws nearer, Newstead Abbey are getting in the loving spirit – or their peacocks are, anyway.

The abbey, where romantic poet Lord Byron lived between 1808 and 1814, has created a new love nest for their rare breed of white peacocks.

Last year, gardener Arthur Parkinson successfully reared a bird, named Tracy, after buying an egg on eBay for £40.

Now Arthur, 22, has brought in a prospective partner for Tracy in the form of three-year-old Spencer – who arrived from a breeder in Worcester.

It is hoped that Tracy, thought to be the first of her kind in the abbey’s history, might lay some eggs by the summer.


Arthur, from Hucknall, is so excited by the loved up birds that he’s even bought them a Valentine’s Day bird cake to celebrate the occasion.

He said: “The historic Cloister Garden will be a perfectly safe nursery for Tracy and Spencer to raise a family, and in time it would be wonderful to develop a flock to roam freely around the estate like their blue-feathered friends.

Everyone at Newstead has been so supportive with this project and I hope that people who visit the house will enjoy seeing these magnificent animals.

Jo Hunt, commercial manager at Newstead Abbey, praised Arthur’s passion for wildlife and nature.

She added: “He has worked really hard to establish a small collection of peacocks on the site, which traditionally has been home to a number of wild birds down the years.

“We are hopeful that this love story will take a twist worthy of our Byron history with the arrival of some chicks in a few months’ time.”


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