Top tips for spotting wildlife at Charlecote Park

Child with binoculars on bridge at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire
First, make sure your binoculars are the right way round… National Trust Images / John Millar

Here are our handy hints to increase your chances of spotting hidden nature and help you to get the most out of your wildlife watching adventures at Charlecote. There's so much to see here at any time of year and we'd like you to be able to make the most of this beautiful corner of the Warwickshire countryside.

Be prepared

  • Bring binoculars – you’ll see more if you keep your distance.
  • Bring a magnifying glass – bugs, flowers and lichen are just as interesting as the big things. Be careful on a sunny day though as magnifying the sun’s rays on to wildlife can kill it.
  • Bring a camera or notebook and pencil and do your homework with a little research on the web or at your local library.
  • Pick up a pocket guide – our shop at Charlecote and the National Trust online shop have plenty to choose from.

Keep a low profile

  • Don't be seen – bright clothing can alert deer or other animals to your presence; even your shadow can disturb bugs and insects.
  • Don't be heard – waterproof clothing can be quite noisy so you may need to keep still for a while before creatures are brave enough to show themselves.
  • Don't be scented – suntan lotion in particular can be strong, you may find an unscented type is better.
  • Get comfy – bring a rug so you don’t get a damp, numb bum.

Use your senses

  • Keep a good look out – many creatures large and small are excellent at camouflage. Droppings or flattened grass tracks can lead to hiding places.
  • Listen very carefully – aircraft from the nearby airfield can be distracting but birdsong at a different pitch can always be heard.
  • Think like wildlife – they look for shade under the ancient trees in the parkland on a sunny day and come to drink from the river when the weather is dry. Wet weather brings bugs and worms to the surface and birds make the most of this. Some birds fly low for insects while others perch high to see their prey and feed on berries in the autumn.
  • Take an expert - join one of our guided walks and talks or special events.

Care for the natural world

  • Keep your distance - try not to frighten wildlife by getting too close or being noisy. You'll see lots more if you keep still for a few minutes.
  • Conserve what you enjoy for others to enjoy, take your litter home and share what you’ve spotted with other visitors on our Facebook page.
  • Get involved and volunteer with us.

Memories are magical

  • Bring a notebook and jot down what you’ve seen and heard or try a quick sketch.
  • Keep your camera handy and remember to keep the sun behind you for a better picture. A flexible tripod can be very useful.

Reap the rewards

With a little patience and perhaps just a pair of binoculars, you'll be rewarded with a wealth of wildlife at any time of year at Charlecote.