Wildlife wanders in Hampshire

Summer is the very best time to see wildlife when out on a walk, and in Hampshire we care for such a diversity of landscapes that there’s a lot to look out for. Dragonflies race along the sparkling river Test that runs through Stockbridge Marsh and Mottisfont. Look out for the rare southern damselfly hovering over New Forest mires and pools. The chalk hills of Stockbridge Down attract thousands of butterflies, from the common and small blue to rarity the pearl bordered fritillary. Set out on one of our walks and you’ll be embarking on a native wildlife safari.

Framed by trees, a swan swims on the river at Stockbridge Marsh, Hampshire

Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk

A walk across the marsh offers access to the river's edge, in a valley which otherwise has little or no river frontage, and provides an ideal location for walking and picnicking.

Sunrise on the Mottisfont estate, Hampshire
Walking trail


The ancient estate that borders Mottisfont's gardens is carefully managed to protect and enhance its wildlife. Historic farmland hedges have been restored, and strips of natural vegetation left to provide habitats for insects like dragonflies and mammals like water voles. Discover summer wildlife on the estate walk through ancient oak woodland, wetland meadows and mixed plantations.

Common Blue Butterfly
Walking trail

Stockbridge Down 

This ancient section of chalk downland, set in a landscape of farmland, is rich in wildlife. Look out for a multitude of butterflies from the common blue to the rare Duke of Burgundy, as well as delicate, chalk-loving wildflowers.

Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly

Selborne Common and The Lythe butterfly walk

A good site for high summer butterflies, Selborne Common has a strong sense of antiquity and spirit of place, as you move from glade to glade.

Purple heather around a clump of trees at Ibsley Common in the New Forest, Hampshire

Walk to the Huff Duff

A walk from Ibsley to Rockford Commons, taking in military history with a visit the Huff Duff (an old directional station) and lots of opportunities to spot exciting New Forest wildlife, such as lizards, butterflies and predatory birds.