Wildlife

Wonderful wildlife

The exotic plants in the garden are great for insects

The exotic plants in the garden are great for insects

From seal spotting to butterfly sighting, the gardens and countryside of Coleton are perfect for discovering wildlife. The micro-climate created by the coastal valley and shelter-belt of tall trees makes this area a bit of a haven for nature.

Paddock Wood

  • Two walkers in the woods at Coleton Fishacre © Tony Cobley

    What can you see?

    This woodland is at the top of the garden, on the path to Scout Point. Look out for...

  • Fallow deer grazing  © Richard Daniel

    Deer

    Deer graze in the woodland (normally early in the morning). Look out for them in a quiet moment

  • A grey squirrel in a tree © Richard Daniel

    Squirrels

    Grey squirrels live in the trees and can often be seen in the branches or darting across a path

  • Alert Rabbits  © Robert Canis

    Rabbits

    In the field behind Paddock Wood you can often spot a rabbit or two

On the estate

  •  © Bernie Brown

    Bats

    Bats roost in the roof spaces of the motor house (to the right of the drive as you arrive).

  •  © Jim Bebbington

    Grass snakes

    On sunny days you can spot grass snakes that live in the wall behind the lower terrace pond.

  • Coleton Fishacre pond © Tony Cobley

    Eels

    When the team clear the main ponds after Christmas they come across eels living there.

  • The gently flowing stream runs into a series of ponds in the garden © Steve Waterhouse

    Birds

    Heron, buzzards and peregrines can be spotted as well as swallows that nest in the Motor House.

Top tips for a wildlife-friendly garden

A walker in a wild section of Coleton Fishacre garden

A walker in a wild section of Coleton Fishacre garden

Our garden team have told us how they encourage such wonderful wildlife into the garden:

  • Leave areas wild where you can and encourage nettles and ivy to grow
  • Buddleias attract bees and insects, and Verbena bonariensis are fantastic because they self seed everywhere
  • Grow a good range of plants, trees and shrubs. It's not just flowers that are good for wildlife - birds nest in trees
  • Ponds are fantastic for all sorts of wildlife - newts, eels, frogs and fish of course, but also insects such as dragonflies
  • Create a compost bin - not only is it great for recycling, but creates a wildlife haven for worms, woodlice and much more

The West Bank

Butterflies, bees and birds are always wecome at the West Bank © Stourhead images

Butterflies, bees and birds are always wecome at the West Bank

This is a rare area of unimproved grassland where large anthills have been undisturbed for hundreds of years. Wild flowers and fine grasses growing here attract insects and butterflies.

The terraces

Relax on the Loggia or soak up the sun on the terrace © Stourhead images

Relax on the Loggia or soak up the sun on the terrace

The walls of the terraces are home to lizards, which love this sun trap near the house. The terraces also shelter tender, sun-loving plants such as the banana-scented michelia.

The ponds

Pond dipping is a great way to discover normally unseen wildlife © John Millar

Pond dipping is a great way to discover normally unseen wildlife

The ponds are home to all sorts of wildlife, from newts to goldfish. During the school holidays our gardeners and rangers run pondemonium sessions, where kids can discover the wildlife living in the deepest depths.

The Mewstone

The garden and adjoining coast path enjoy breathtaking views of the Mewstone. This is a great place to spot seals - as many as 10 or 11 can be seen sunbathing on a good day at low tide.

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