Wildlife at Kinver Edge

A green hairstreak butterfly

The air of Kinver Edge hums with life: birds and butterflies fly by day, while bats and hundreds of moth species swoop through the night skies.

This fragile heathland habitat is home to many rare species, and more familiar plants and animals can be found in the surrounding woodland. Much of the landscape is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest for it's ecological importance; here are some of the plants and animals you might see on your visit :


Four types of reptiles live on the heath: common lizard, slow worm and grass snake can often be spotted basking in the sand, and if very lucky you may catch a fleeting glimpse of adder with their distinctive zig-zag pattern.


The Rock Houses aren't totally uninhabited.. the human residents may have moved out but rare lesser horseshoe bats have a winter roost here, their furthest north in the country. Listen for them on the bat detectors at the Rock Houses reception between October and April. Natterers and brown long-eared bats are amongst those that live in the woods.


Spring brings the sound of many breeding birds to the heathland and woodland, such as the evocative call of cuckoo, unusual rodding of woodcock, melodic song of willow warbler and striking song of skylark . Red kites can be seen in summer and ravens later in the year. We hope that our heathland restoration work will one day bring back the churring of nightjars to the heath, and we might encourage species such as woodlark to make Kinver Edge their home.


Visit on a warm day or a balmy evening and the buzz of insects brings home how full of life this heathland habitat is. Over 700 species of moths have been recorded on Kinver Edge, including angle striped sallow, at its only Staffordshire site, and archer’s dart, a sand dune specialist rarely found inland. Join us in the summer for moth-trapping events to see these nighttime fliers. The summer days bring a host of butterflies, such as white admiral in the woodland and brown argus on the heathland and grassland. Nearly a hundred species of solitary bees and wasps can be found nesting in the sandy ground, you might see their holes below your feet.


The varied plantlife brings colour and interest year-round. Bright yellow gorse fills the air with a tropical aroma in spring, then a wash of purple takes over when the heather blooms in September. You can find plentiful bilberry and heath bedstraw, and might spot the surprising grey hair-grass; a species usually found on sand dune systems on the Norfolk and Suffolk coast. Fungi brings colour to the forest floor in autumn, join us for a foray to learn more about them and their quirky names; we have greasy tough shank, scurfy twiglet and blueleg brownie to name a few!

The heather is bloomin' lovely!
Heather in bloom