Winter wildlife walks

Enjoy some of the best wildlife walks at our places during the winter months. We care for 247,000 hectares of land, and all the furry, feathered and four-legged residents that live on it.

You can spot rare red squirrels, majestic deer and other creatures more easily when the trees have shed their leaves. There's also something extra-special about seeing the best of nature against a frosty winter backdrop.

A red squirrel peeps out on a tree in Borthwood Copse on the Isle of Wight
Walking trail

Borthwood Copse Walk, Isle of Wight 

This short atmospheric walk is just over one mile long. It starts in a secluded part of the island at Borthwood Copse. Follow the trail through woods that are home to an Isle of Wight special attraction, the red squirrel. Winter is a great time to spot them as they come down from the tree canopy to forage for food.

Close up of a kestrel perched on the ground

Box Hill Hike, Surrey 

This is a strenuous eight-mile circular hike at Box Hill. It takes you along rough ground in places and steep slopes, slippery paths and many steps. The route takes approximately four hours, but allow plenty of time for rest stops and lunch. You'll need suitable footwear, clothing and provisions. Don't forget to look out for wildlife including kestrels.

Young goats play rutting at Cheddar, Somerset
Walking trail

Cheddar Gorge walk, Somerset 

At almost 400ft deep and three miles long, Cheddar Gorge is England's largest gorge. There's a rich variety of wildlife and plant life to spot on this exhilarating four-mile circular walk. Look out for peregrine falcons, Soay sheep, jackdaws, buzzards and ravens.

A small red squirrel sits amongst branches at Formby
Walking trail

Formby red squirrel walk, Liverpool 

Explore the beautiful woodlands at Formby, home to the rare native red squirrel. This gentle walk is just under two miles long and takes about an hour. Dogs are welcome but please keep them on a lead at all times.

Grey wagtail feeding
Walking trail

llam Park to Dovedale Walk, Derbyshire 

This walk begins at the tranquil Victorian landscape and woodland of Ilam Park in the southern Peak District. An easy two and a half mile walk takes you into Dovedale, an iconic and spectacular gorge carved out by the river Dove. Watch out for lots of birds including grey wagtails and dippers.

A curlew, which are found on Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire
Walking trail

Marsden Moor heritage walk, West Yorkshire 

This circular eight-mile walk takes you across open moorland, where the weather can change very quickly. Bursting with wildlife, see if you can spot mountain hares, curlews, golden plovers, and stoats. Wear sturdy walking boots, warm clothing and waterproofs for this rugged walk.

East Bird hide at Newtown Nature Reserve, Isle of Wight
Walking trail

Newtown National Nature Reserve, Isle of Wight 

This is a largely flat, gentle four-mile walk that takes you through varied habitats. Newtown is the Isle of Wight's only National Nature Reserve and the walk includes the option to visit East Bird Hide. Spot Brent geese, little egrets and red squirrels.

Visitors walking dogs on the iron bridge over the River Teign
Walking trail

Teign Valley classic circuit, Newton Abbot 

This three and a half mile walk could be the most famous route on Dartmoor. It takes you past the imposing bulk of Castle Drogo - the last castle to be built in England. You'll also walk along the breathtaking Hunters Path high above the River Teign. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including buzzards, dippers, grey wagtails and deer.

Wicken Fen - Konik ponies and horses in frost
Walking trail

Wicken Fen wildlife walk, Cambridgeshire 

Visit Wicken Fen to enjoy a gentle stroll on the all-weather boardwalk around Sedge Fen. At just under three miles long this is an easy route, but there are still plenty of opportunities to see wildlife along the way. Keep a look out for hen and marsh harriers, short-eared owls and the resident herds of Highland cattle and Konik ponies.

Watlington Hill in Oxfordshire
Walking trail

Watlington Hill, Oxfordshire 

Watlington Hill is famous for both red kites and far-reaching views over the Oxfordshire countryside. The red kite was hunted to extinction in England, but was reintroduced in 1989. There are now more than 1000 breeding pairs in the area. Follow this two mile walk around the hill to see the birds silhouetted against the sky, riding the thermals and diving for food.