Glimpse our rare wildlife at Stourhead estate

Stourhead's 2,650-acre countryside estate is home to a variety of wildlife. Get outdoors in our woodland, downland and farmland. See if you can spot any of our ranger team's top 10 animals and plants.

    Bee orchid

    Bee orchid

    This plant gets its name from its distinctive flower, which looks like a resting bee. The chalk downland of Whitesheet Hill is the best place to see them at Stourhead. The bee orchid usually flowers between April and July.

    Tree sparrow

    A tree sparrow at Stourhead, Wiltshire

    This bird's population has been in decline since the 1970s but a small number have been encouraged at Stourhead. With the support of tenant farmers, 37 pole boxes were put up in the sparrow's natural nesting areas, with great results.

    Roe deer

    A Roe Deer in the early morning

    This beautiful animal usually lives in woods. Take our King Alfred's Tower walk through Stourhead's woodland to see if you can spot one. They're often active during twilight and first light, and move very quickly - so can be difficult to spot.

    Marsh fritillary

    Marsh fritillary butterfly

    This rare butterfly lives in a limited habitat of chalk and limestone grassland. The chalklands of Whitesheet Hill are an ideal home and you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one in June.

    Adonis blue

    An Adonis Blue butterfly at Whitesheet Hill, Stourhead in Wiltshire

    This species of butterfly lives exclusively in chalk downland areas and can be found at Whitesheet. The male butterfly is the metallic blue colour, but the females are a less-conspicuous chocolate brown.

    Early purple orchid

    A close-up of an early purple orchid at Stourhead

    This is the first British orchid to flower each year. It usually blooms between April and June. At Stourhead you're most likely to see one around Zeals Knoll or on the Whitesheet downland.

    Grey partridge

    A grey partridge nesting on the Stourhead estate

    Strictly a ground bird, it can often be found in lowland arable areas. Once very widespread, it has undergone serious decline over the years. Take our farmland walk across Stourhead's estate to see if you can spot one.

    Golden plover

    Golden plover

    The golden plover is a migratory bird and usually found in Britain during the winter. You will see them in large flocks on Stourhead's open farmland, along with lapwings.

    Red kite

    Red Kite

    The red kite - from the eagle and hawk family - was saved from extinction in the 1980s and 1990s. This bird can occasionally be seen gliding over the Stourhead estate.

    Bats

    A Daubenton bat

    Eleven of the 18 UK species of bat have been found across Stourhead's estate, particularly around the main lake and in the woodlands. Key species in these areas include the Daubenton and Soprano pipistrelles.

Download one of our estate walks to help you discover Stourhead's fascinating wildlife.