Autumn wildlife in the North West

Autumn's a great time of year to spot wildlife, from deer and fungi to birds and red squirrels. With woodland, moorland and sweeping countryside to explore, take a closer look at the autumn nature all around you in the North West.

Two stags battling with their antlers in the park at Dunham Massey

Clashing antlers at Dunham Massey

Autumn means rutting season for the deer at Dunham Massey and Lyme. Keep a safe distance and listen for the sounds of clashing antlers as the stags go head to head to show off their strength. The loud bellows of the males can be heard across the parkland at dawn and dusk too, as they stake their claim on the territory. Discover more about Dunham's deer with walks around the park throughout September and October.

Chicken of the woods fungus

Something's happening in the woods at Lyme

Look out for dramatic displays of fungi this autumn. The woods at Lyme are a great place to see them - keep your eyes peeled for bracket fungus growing on tree trunks, colourful wax caps, which flourish amongst the grass, and species like the sulphur-yellow chicken of the woods, which live on living or fallen trees.

A close up picture of vivid yellow leaves in autumn

A riot of red and mellow yellows at Speke Hall

See Speke Hall bathed in a golden glow during autumn. The ancient oak and beech trees in the woodland are wreathed with red, russet and golden leaves, the grasses turn a yellow-brown as the colder weather sets in, the lime trees along the avenue turn vivid yellows and golds and even the skies get a yellow hue at dusk.

a group of harvested pumpkins

Spot an otter or peek at a pumpkin

Take in the orange glow from pumpkins growing in the Apprentice House gardens at Quarry Bank, walk through a woodland of changing colour and keep your eyes peels along the river for a rare sighting of otters.

Red Squirrel sitting upright eating a nut on the woodland floor at Formby

Red squirrel spotting at Formby

Keep your eyes and ears peeled in the woodland at Formby for red squirrels - a rare and an endangered British species. Their habitat is looked after at Formby and in autumn the squirrels are easier to spot as they come down from the trees looking for nuts.

A pipistrelle bat in flight at night

Autumnal birdlife at Hare Hill

With the nights drawing in, autumn is a good time to see bats at Hare Hill as they come out at dusk to feed. Hare Hill is home to lots of other winged wildlife too. Don't miss the bird hide, which is visited by a wide variety of woodland birds including great tits, nuthatches and blue tits. If you’re lucky you may even hear the sound of tawny owls or woodpeckers.

Male bullfinch

Colourful trees with colourful residents at Alderley Edge

Soak up the colours of autumn at Alderley Edge. On the dramatic red sandstone escarpment, the woods take on a golden glow when the light catches the various shades of gold, copper and green. They're home to lots of colourful birds too, from bright breasted redstarts, nuthatches and bullfinches to yellow tufted goldcrests and distinctive green woodpeckers.