Nature & wildlife

From ancient trees to butterflies and otters, our places are full of life. We're working hard to safeguard nature for years to come

Great crested grebes
Brockhampton surrounded by damson trees in blossom

Reimagining orchards at Brockhampton 

Blossoming orchards are being brought back to life at Brockhampton in Herefordshire. Two new orchards will be created and the original Victorian orchard will be reimagined to tell the story of how apple trees were brought to England from Russia and Kazakhstan. This project is thanks to funding from Postcode Earth Trust, raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and funds from Arts Council England.

Natterer's bat (Myotis natteren) hanging on tree trunk.

The secret life of bats in spring 

As the spring sun drops below the horizon and the birds quiet their song, the night watch begins to stir. Throughout spring and summer at the places we care for, rangers count the resident bats as they emerge from their roosts at dusk and streak into the night sky. Discover how they track these shy creatures and uncover the secrets to their success

Three leverets (baby hares) in a flowerbed at Tyntesfield

Top spots to see hares 

Hares are usually shy and reclusive creatures, but during early spring you might sometimes spot them 'boxing' in open fields. We've rounded up some of our places where hares have made themselves at home, so if you visit at a quieter time of day you might be lucky enough to see this spring time spectacle.

Get closer to nature this spring

Video

Help save the nation's meadows

Sadly, 95 per cent of our meadows have disappeared. So we’re doing something about it. Amid the sounds of skylarks and long grass swishing, Rachel Bennett, the National Trust’s Peak District lead ranger tells us what can be done to save these vital and beautiful habitats. Help us protect species like the large blue butterfly, the turtledove and the great yellow bumblebee before it's too late.

Fluffy white grey seal pup lying on the sand

Record-breaking pupping season 

The winter of 2018/19 brought record numbers of grey seal pups to two of the UK's largest colonies. On the Farne Islands, rangers counted more than 2,600 pups, an increase of 50% compared to just five years ago. At Blakeney Point in Norfolk, the numbers topped 3000. Find out what's behind the baby boom and how our rangers keep count.

Affectionate puffins on the Farne Islands

Hardy puffins are bouncing back 

Throughout May of last year, rangers on the Farne Islands in Northumberland checked hundreds of puffin burrows across eight islands. The final total reveals that numbers are up by 9 per cent on the previous count in 2013. Despite initial concerns that booming seal populations were flattening burrows, rangers counted more than 43,000 pairs of puffins. Keeping a close eye on the numbers going forwards, the team will switch from five-yearly to annual counts.

Pencil study of Beatrix Potter's pet rabbit

Spring into our collections 

Artists and designers never cease to be amazed by the natural world, taking inspiration from plants, trees and wildlife. Celebrate the season by exploring these evocative depictions of spring in our collections.

Heather growing alongside a coastal path looking out towards the sea at sunset

Standing up for nature 

As the UK government writes new nature laws, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect and restore the countryside you love.

Find nature on your doorstep

Experience nature through the seasons and spot the UK's native species in their natural habitat