Wildlife

Wild Avebury

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Swallow chicks in the farmyard

Animals

  • Rescued Pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipstrellus) © Kim Taylor

    Bats in the Barn Gallery

    The Barn Gallery of the Alexander Keiller Museum is home to five species of bat: Natterer's, Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Brown Long-eared, and Serotine.

    The bats live in the roof space of the barn, out of view, but you might catch a glimpse of them as they fly in and out at dusk in the summer.

  • Barn owl (Tyto alba) looking through a pane of glass © David Tipling

    Owls at Windmill Hill

    Windmill Hill has a variety of birds including the Grey partridge, Yellowhammer, Corn bunting, Skylark and Barn owl.

    There's nowhere lovelier than Windmill Hill on a sunny summer's day, listening to the skylarks high above. You might also see Barn owls flying here at dusk.

  • The rare great crested newt breed in the ponds at Runswick Bay © Rainer Theuer

    Newts in the old farmyard

    The Old Farmyard at Avebury has a pond opposite the Circle Café. Although small in size it plays a large part in the life of the protected Great crested newt.

    Although the newts breed in the pond they spend the summer feeding on earthworms, insects, spiders and slugs in woodland, hedgerows and tussocky grass.

Plants

  • Round headed rampion (Phyteuma tenerum) © Chris Gomersall

    Flowers in the henge

    Important plants grow on the banks of the henge, including a hybrid form of the very rare Tuberous thistle, and the Round-headed rampion.

    If you find one of the Round-headed rampions, look closely at the colourful flower. You'll be able to see that it isn't a single bloom but a cluster of individual smaller blooms.

  • Avebury stone covered by lichen © NTPL/Paul Wakefield

    Lichens on sarsen stones

    Over thousands of years the very hard sarsen stones that make up the circles at Avebury have weathered, providing an ideal home to a variety of lichen colonies.

    The patterns that the lichens make on the stones are a favourite subject for photographers.

  • Bright purple-blue of the Clustered Bellflower © Caroline Searle

    Plants at Windmill Hill

    At this early Neolithic site there is an abundance of chalk grassland plants such as Clustered bellflower and flowering dropwort.

    Wander amidst the Bronze Age barrows here to find the Clustered bellflower. In folklore this wildflower was said to grow from the remains of the dead, giving it its 'blood red' stem.

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