Wildlife at Calke Abbey

Deer laying in long grass on the Calke estate

Escape into the ancient and fragile habitats of Calke Park, a rich and varied landscape, from rolling grassland to ancient oaks. About a third of the park is a National Nature Reserve, recognised in 2004 due to the quality of its wood pasture, one of our rarest habitats. Some of the trees here are among the oldest in Europe.


From deer to dragonflies, birds to bats, Calke Park is an ideal place to spot wildlife.
Make sure you visit our bird hides located in the main car park and wetlands - they're the perfect places to seek out our woodland birds. Rare species, such as a turtle dove, have been spotted here and the hides are great for taking wildlife photos.
See a great spotted woodpecker visiting us at Calke Abbey in the video below:

Don't forget our:

  • Deer – walk around the edge of the enclosure where red and fallow deer live and get a closer look
  • Bees – our hives in the Large Kitchen Garden provide honey for us to sell at Apple Day
  • Fungi – our wonderfully ancient trees and permanent pastures are host to an array of eclectic fungi

Stunning in every season

Each season has something new to see and do and we're open for you to enjoy the park all year round.
Spring is full of new life and birdsong. Summer is great for long walks and butterflies. The autumn deer rut is a must see (and hear) and winter reveals knotted branches as the trees lose their leaves.

Explore more

Did you know Calke Abbey is in the heart of The National Forest?
Generating a new forest for the nation, it promotes the creation and preservation of wildlife habitats - something very dear to our hearts here at Calke.