Owl © Ruth Coleman

Owl © Ruth Coleman

There is a wealth of wildlife to be found in several distinct habitats at Stoke Park. These include woodland, grassland and aquatic.

The woods are a bird-spotter’s paradise. Many bird species, including chiff-chaff, blackcap, wood cock, fieldfare, redwing and both the great spotted and green woodpeckers can be found. In summer you may see swifts, swallows, peregrine falcons, skylarks, buzzards and owls. Remember binoculars because you might also get the chance to see the increasingly uncommon song thrush, house sparrow and bullfinch. At dusk you may catch sight of the Pipistrelle bat swooping through the woods to feed on insects.

Damselfly near Duchess Pond © Steve England

Dragonfly near Duchess Pond © Steve England

Down at the Duchess Pond, summer is also the time to look out for dragonflies, damselflies such as the banded demoiselle and emperor dragonfly. The Daubenton’s bat can be identified by its white belly skimming the lake’s surface at dusk. The great crested newt, a priority species, is thriving in the lake.

The areas of wildflower rich grassland host many species of butterfly such as small tortoiseshell, gatekeeper and common blue. The site is also important to other insects all with their part to play in the food chain, including moths, ants and the dung beetle. These areas also provide an ideal habitat for the shy slow worm.

Deer at Stoke Park © Steve England

Deer at Stoke Park © Steve England

Mammals found at Stoke Park include rabbits, foxes, badgers and deer. Note how well these deer blend into the grassland.

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