Summer in the countryside at Ashridge

Wildflowers on Ivinghoe Beacon at Ashridge, Bucks

The hills are alive with the sound of birds, smell of wildflowers and sight of fluttering butterflies. Take a wander and experience our wildlife at its best.

Birds

Head into the hills along our Wildlife Walk, find a quiet spot and listen to the melody of intricate birdsong. The scrub in the Ivinghoe hills provides a home to many birds including Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Whitethroat. If you look up, you may be treated to the sight of a Swallow or House Martin soaring overhead on the lookout for insects.

Blackcap singing at Ashridge, Bucks

Wildflowers

Look among the long grass at the array of colourful wildflowers. From delicate orchids to the pretty purple-flowered wild thyme and honey-coloured lady’s bedstraw, there’s a vast array of sweet scents to fill the air. If you peer at them closely, you’ll be able to see their complex structure, as well as some of many minibeasts that rely on them for their habitat. 

Wild orchids flourish in the Ivinghoe Hills
Wild orchid at Ashridge, Herts
Wild orchids flourish in the Ivinghoe Hills


Butterflies

Nothing says summer like the flash of colour you see as butterflies gently flutter past. The hills make a perfect habitat for many rare species, including Duke of Burgundy and fritillaries. They thrive among the chalkland flowers, making the hills one of the most vibrant places on the estate throughout the summer months.

The rare Duke of Burgundy at Ashridge
Duke of Burgundy on Ivinghoe Hills Ashridge Herts
The rare Duke of Burgundy at Ashridge