Large groups of these beautiful animals roam freely over the Estate. In October, during the 'rutting' season, we run guided walks early in the morning, which is the best time to see the males locking antlers in their bid to win possession of the females.
Dusk is the best time to see these shy creatures as they emerge from their setts to play and forage for food. The main points to remember when badger spotting is to be very quiet and to be downwind of the sett area as they have excellent senses of smell and hearing. Even though their eyesight is poor, they will see you if you move around.
Originally from China, these small deer were introduced into England by the Duke of Bedford in 1900. Due to a series of escapes and deliberate releases, together with their prodigious breeding, they are now found throughout the south east of England and are spreading ever further around the country.
Birds of prey
There are an increasing number of red kite to be seen in the skies over Ashridge as the Chilterns is one of the areas where these recently re-introduced birds have become widely established. These graceful bird are unmistakable with their reddish-brown body, angled wings and deeply forked tail. You may also see buzzards and sparrowhawks.
There are many butterflies to be found around the Estate, some of which are rare. Our main resident in this category is the Duke of Burgundy which flourishes on the Ivinghoe hills. Our conservation volunteer groups maintain this important chalkland habitat to ensure their survival.
Although bats are mammals, they are our only flying one so deserve their own slot. In the winter, they hibernate; informative walks take place in June and July each year, led by the National Trust's Matthew Oates.
As you would expect, there are plenty of foxes at Ashridge and they can sometimes to be seen in daylight. In fact, nowadays there are more foxes in large cities than in the countryside. This urban colonisation began in the 1940s.
Apart from blackbirds and robins, there are numerous other songbirds to be found here and amongst them is the wood warbler. The best time to see it is from April to August in sheltered woodland.
There's so much to see
Majesty among the trees
These noble animals are a wonderful sight, in October when they can be seen and heard rutting.
There are many different butterflies to be found here. Download our butterfly walk to get started...
The estate is home to a wide range of wildlife. Download our article and learn why they live here...