A red wood-ant nest at the Kymin © National Trust

A red wood-ant nest at the Kymin

The secret life of a red wood-ant

The Kymin plays host to all manner of curious critters. Perhaps the most ingenious and complex of these is the red wood-ant. It may look fairly humble but don't be fooled, they're mighty workers and we think their nests are pretty impressive too.

The Kymin's resident bats

Soprano Pipistrelle Bat

Both common and soprano pipistrelles have made the Kymin their home. Pipistrelles are the smallest and most common bats in the UK. Did you know they can eat up to 3,000 insects in one night?

Keep an eye out for

  • Badgers. These nocturnal animals are famously elusive and shy
  • Owls. Mainly nocturnal, it's worth staying up to watch out for these mysterious creatures
  • Buzzards. Now the most common bird of prey in the UK, the buzzard is enjoying something of a renaissance
  • Stoats. These faster-than-lightening creatures are often difficult to spot due to their speed
  • Woodpeckers. The green woodpecker is the largest of the woodpeckers in Britain. These important and rare birds are a real beauty

Wild woods

Here at the Kymin, we're flanked by a beautiful patch of woodland, owned by the Woodland Trust. Why not take a short walk through the woods and see what you can spot.

And this little piggy. . .

Wild boar foraging on the grounds of the Kymin

Wild boar foraging on the grounds of the Kymin

One of our more unusual visitors at the Kymin is the local wild boars. The nearby Forest of Dean is the perfect habitat for this ancient and much persecuted British species.

Once hunted to extinction, they were reintroduced in the 70s. Originally imported  to be farmed for meat, some boars escaped and others were set loose by animal rights activists and hunters looking for sport. They now thrive in parts of Kent, Sussex, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Scotland. The question remains, is the wild boar a misunderstood scapegoat or a dangerous menace?

Top wild boar facts

  • There are probably between 500 and 1,000 wild boar living in the UK today
  • Adult boars can reach up to 1m in height at the shoulder. Weighing up to 150kg, you wouldn't want one standing on your foot.
  • Both males and females have tusks
  • Sows give birth once a year. Their litters can reach up to seven piglets
  • In the UK, the wild boar's only predator is humans. Long ago, it would have included wolves and lynx
  • This is the second time in 300 years that wild boar have been re-introduced. They're resilient creatures but face the constant threat of culling and poaching for meat