Wildlife at Hadrian's Wall

The Large Heath Butterfly on a strand of grass Hadrians Wall

Hadrian's Wall has lush green fields, plenty of watering holes and lots of nooks and crannies - an ideal home to a range of wonderful wildlife, including some rare species such as the Large Heath Butterfly. Here are just a few visitors that you might see...

House martin

These home birds don’t want to fly the nest. Well, not literally. They migrate to Africa for the winter but return to the same home each year. And no other birds will take their nest whilst they're on holiday. Talk about home security!


The Wheatear prefers to hop and run along the ground rather than fly. And funnily, this bird didn't get its name from wheat nor an ear. It is a 16th-century linguistic corruption of 'white' and a less polite word for 'backside'.

Meadow Pipit

The brave little Meadow Pipits are masters of disguise, with enough confidence in their skills to build nests on the ground! Gold points to anyone who spots a nest as they are very well hidden!


We’re not the only ones who love Housesteads Cottage! The swallows return every year after their winter in Africa, using it as their British holiday home - and you could join them too by booking into Housesteads Cottage.

Large Heath butterfly

Who knew that this butterfly played a part in the rivalry between Northerners and Southerners! Originally found in Liverpool and Manchester, those with no spots went north but those with very distinctive spots went south.

Orange Tip butterfly

It's the males who get all the attention when it comes to the Orange Tip! They sport a set of orange tipped wings whilst the females are just plain white and often mistaken for another species.