Our top ten nature spots for Hardcastle Crags

Whenever you visit Hardcastle Crags you're always sure to see, hear or smell evidence of nature in action.

    Northern Hairy Wood Ants

    This huge pile of pine needles is the nest of the Northern Hairy Wood Ant

    Look out for their huge nests made from pine needles.


    Bluebells carpet the woods in spring

    Visit in May to see and smell the bluebells at their best.

    Stunning Autumn colour

    Fallen autumn leaves on the ground

    The large stands of beech dotted through the valley are at their most spectacular in October and November.

    Dragonflies and damselflies

    The beautiful delicate azure dragonfly

    Spot these colourful insects as they dart over the mill ponds in the summer.


    This colourful fungus is growing on a tree trunk

    Hundreds of species of fungi can be found throughout the woods in autumn. Why not join our Fungi Foray to find out more?


    Close view of the head of a Leisler

    Hardcastle Crags is home to nine different species of bat. Visit at dusk to see these fascinating creatures emerge from their roosts.

    Roe deer

    Roe deer standing in an open area of grass

    Early morning or evening are the best times to see these shy mammals.


    The dipper hunts for insects in fast flowing streams

    These little birds can be seen bobbing up and down as they hunt for insects in the river.


    A waterfall in the steep sided valley of Hardcastle Crags

    Lots of streams tumble down the sides of the valleys. They are at their best after heavy rain.


    Green woodpecker

    The Great Spotted, Lesser Spotted and Green Woodpeckers can all be seen and heard at Hardcastle Crags.

Come and enjoy a walk in the woods and see what you can spot!