Charlecote's autumn wildlife
Any time of year - and every type of weather - is perfect for spotting wildlife at Charlecote. Birds, bugs and animals all find their ideal habitats and conditions in this carefully maintained ancient landscape. You're bound to see something interesting when you visit.
Your visit - and every penny you spend at Charlecote - directly helps us to look after Charlecote's ecosystem, carefully balancing the needs of the flora and fauna that choose to live here.
Look carefully - would you have spotted this sleepy tawny owl?
Enjoy the changing foliage colours at the start of autumn, then delight in kicking through fallen leaves (no matter what your age!) and look for conkers.
Pop a conker in your pocket, or collect them and put them in our baskets for us to feed to the deer throughout the winter.
Charlecote's parkland is the perfect place for a birdwatching expedition and you'll often see more once the leaves have fallen. The deer can be easier to spot then too.
You'll find the parkland quieter away from half-term (it's 26 October-3 November) this autumn. Pop into the spinney behind the stables for a while and watch the birds on the feeders from the shelter of our wildlife hide.
Love them or hate them, they grey squirrels are always entertaining as they scamper about gathering nuts to put on enough fat to last them through the winter. There's plenty of food for them in the parkland but they do like the easy option of raiding our birdfeeders in the spinney...
Stroll along the mown paths and beside the river, or take a seat on one of the benches around the parkland and pause for a therapuetic moment or two. Watch for the undulating flight of a woodpecker, or a flash of blue from a jay.
Listen for the mewing call of a buzzard overhead and you may spot a kestrel perched on a branch too.
Our licensed ornithologists keep records of the birds around the parkland throughout the year, as well as checking and maintaining dozens of bird boxes of all sizes.
They provide us with an accurate record of nests and bird numbers so that we can see the positive effects of all our conservation work. Their records are submitted to the British Trust for Onithology, feeding in to national statistics.
You'll find demonstration birdboxes in the Spinney with more information there to help you put up your own. Birdboxes are available in the Plant Centre by the car park if you'd like to help wildlife yourself.
We're working with the local young volunteers of Stratford's charity Hedgehog Friendly Town. They have released some of their rescue hedgehogs into shelters in the Spinney. Since hedgehogs love to eat slugs and snails, our gardens will certainly benefit from these new residents.
Bats at twilight
If you're here just before dusk do look out for the bats swooping around for insects around the outbuildings before they go into hibernation for the winter. We have two UK BAP Priority bat species living here – lesser horseshoe bats and brown long-eared bats.
Check our What's On page in the spring for our popular evening Bat Walks with listening equipment.
We never know what's going to turn up - or how long anything will stay. But it's important to us that we provide the best possible environment for wild residents and visitors alike.
For instance, few visitors will know that one of our ancient trees has been home to a nest of wild bees for over five years (has anyone seen a small bear floating past with a balloon!).