Things you might spot in winter

December is Mother Nature’s quietest month.  But there is still some activity and the lack of foliage on the bushes and trees makes it a good time to see birds and wild animals that are still on the move.

Then in January the first signs of spring start to appear.

  • A robin in the snow © Ross Hoddinott


    Robins, finches, tits and blackbirds can easily be seen feeding on the bushes.

  • A robin in the snow © National Trust


    Evergreens provide most of what colour there is in December and in January the snowdrops appear.<...

  • Catkins hanging from branch © NTPL/Alan Novelli


    The first catkins start to appear on the trees in December, and start flowering in January.

In residence

Of our feathered friends, the robins are what you'll see - and hear - most of. Our other residents - the dippers and the wagtails - seem to have taken shelter. Blue tits, great tits and finches can still be spotted.

Bats in the bastion

With the mating season over, and the fat stores built up, our daubenton bats retire for a couple of months' hibernation.  See if you can spot them in the nooks and crannies behind the waterwheel.

In the swim

Brown trout

Twenty years ago we installed a fish pass and established spawning grounds for sewin and brown trout for the first time. Most of them should have arrived by now but if you're lucky you might spot one waiting for a lift.