Spring is one of the best times for birdwatching on the estate. From the dawn chorus to nest-building and fledglings there is plenty of activity to keep you interested.
The summer months are the best time to spot the wide variety of butterflies which make the estate their home. Look particularly along the edges of fields and in woodland clearings as these are some of their favourite places.
Ashridge is famous for its herds of Fallow deer and the autumn rut. During October come along early in the morning to hear the bucks bellowing and clashing antlers to win the females.
Although some animals hibernate, winter is still a great time to track wildlife, as footprints show up well in mud and snow. Birds such as Fieldfare migrate from northern Europe to Britain's milder climate.
At Ashridge both Fallow and Muntjac deer roam freely across the Estate. Both species were introduced to the area from abroad. The Fallow were brought to Ashridge by the Normans to provide food for the monastery, and the Muntjac arrived in the 1900s as a result of escaping from private estates. The Fallow are much larger than the Muntjac and live in herds, and are most interesting to watch in the autumn when the 'rutting' season sees the males lock antlers to battle for the females' affections. During October we run Ranger led walks to help you get up close to the action.
Animals at Ashridge
Glis Glis, or edible dormice - the Romans thought them a delicacy - are extremely shy.
Badgers can be seen on the estate at dusk. You need to be patient and very quiet.
Our rotting tree stumps and other deadwood are home to a number of different types of bats.
Although usually considered nocturnal, foxes can sometimes be seen in the daylight at Ashridge.
Duke of Burgundy
A rare butterfly, the Duke lives on chalk grassland so is sometimes seen here in May and June.
An elusive insect, the Purple Emperor can be spotted in woodland canopies during June and July.
This large butterfly can often be seen throughout the summer months at Ashridge.
Another native of chalk downland this pretty butterfly can be spotted in July and August.
There is a good chance you'll spot one of these in the woods between April and September.
These large birds, with their distinctive forked tails, can often be seen soaring overhead at Ashridge.
Skylarks love open countryside so are sometimes seen on the commons at Ashridge.
We have Green and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers at Ashridge. Even if you can't see them you may hear them.
We occasionally have unusual visitors, including Ravens, on Ivinghoe Beacon.