Wildlife at Cheddar Gorge

Young goats play rutting at Cheddar, Somerset

A visit to Cheddar Gorge offers the opportunity to discover some of Somerset's rarest and most celebrated wildlife.


We use an unpaid workforce to keep the scrub at bay, a herd of free-roaming feral goats.

Soay sheep

Along with the goats, look out for Soay sheep roaming the hills. They're a hardy, ancient rare breed that's native to Britain. They're really nimble and cling to the cliff edges. See if you can spot them.

Horseshoe bats

Both Greater and Lesser horseshoe bats roost in Cheddar Gorge. Both species are considered to be endangered, with their numbers still declining. Look out for them at dusk as they shoot in and out of the caves.

Cheddar pink

The famous Cheddar pink and other rare plants, like rock stonecrop, grow on the cliff edges. Look out for the rock rose and herbs such as thyme, wild basil and marjoram on the lower slopes. In hot weather you're likely to smell them before you spot them.


Many species of bird can be found at Cheddar Gorge, including the Peregrine falcon, buzzard, kestrel and raven. Also listen out for jackdaws, one of the noisier residents. 
Peregrine falcons - the world's fastest bird in flight - and other birds of prey nest on the steep cliffs of the valley.

The dormouse

A thick cover of hazel and oak coppice takes over from the grassland as you descend the gorge from its upper slopes. It's in here that one of our most endearing British mammals has made its home.