Wildlife at Bodiam Castle
There is an abundance of wildlife around the castle come summer. From tiny ants in the great oaks, to ducks on the moat and carp below. Find out what makes our wildlife extra special. When you come to spot the castle's critters, you help us create more homes for wildlife here.
Go on a bug hunt and find our special ants
We have some highly unusual ants here at Bodiam, they live in one of the oak trees. Jet Black Ants (Lasius fuliginosus) are almost as big as Wood Ants and are a really shiny jet black as the name suggests.
What makes them unusual is that they start their nests in the nests of other ants rather like a cuckoo does. Eventually they take over completely although you can sometimes see workers of the hosts and the invaders working along side each other. As the colony grows the nest is built from bits of dead wood stuck together with saliva inside the tree which looks like a honeycomb.
The Jet Black ants even have a list of other insect species that only co-exist with them. Like many ant species they feed off dead insects and aphid honeydew. They also smell of citrus. If you find them, please leave them in peace.
Find out what the buzz is all about
We have wild bees on the site. They have lived for many years high up in the walls of the buttery within the castle kitchen area. We don’t know how big the nest is and as we can’t get at the honey, they live peacefully.
When you're in the kitchen area look up and you might see them, they're on the courtyard wall close to the three arches. They’re very docile even when we have the occasional swarm. We monitor this closely so that our visitors do not need to be concerned.