Wonderful wildlife at Slindon

Green woodpeckers love to eat ants

Slindon's wild residents are much loved by visitors to the estate. We're proud of the wildlife at the property – see if you can spot some of our beady-eyed or pattern-winged inhabitants when you come to Slindon.


As last year’s plants die back, Slindon’s exciting archaeology starts to pop out of the landscape. A walk from Bignor car park will reveal Neolithic, Bronze Age and Roman features.


Keep your camera on standby for those special hoar frost mornings or memorable snowfalls.  Whether you wander out on to the downs or crunch your way through Park Woods, Slindon is magic in the white stuff.


Enjoy the early spring sunshine, take a picnic up to the Folly and enjoy the views and Primroses blossoming on the grassy south facing banks.  hedgerow and wayside flowers can be seen such as lesser celandine, red campion, greater stitchwort, cow parsley and garlic mustard.

Slindon Primroses


In April the fields around the village become filled with springy lambs.  Visit Gatson Farm’s Open Lambing Event to get a closer look and a tractor driven guided tour.  Stag beetles.  Due to the amount of deadwood at Slindon there are good numbers of stag beetle. The larvae spends between three and seven years underground feeding on rotten wood before emerging as an adult in spring.


Take an evening stroll in the woods around Gumber to catch a glimpse of a trotting badger, out in search of a meal.  You may even be lucky enough to see one of this year’s cubs.  Great spotted woodpecker.  The drumming of this bird is heard throughout the woods in the springtime and early summer. They are tree specialists and seek out the insects among deadwood.


With a warm sun on your back enjoy the butterflies dancing along the sunny, warm rides of the dappled woods. Bright orange silver-washed fritillaries are sure to catch your eye.

Silver-washed fritillary
Silver-washed fritillary
Silver-washed fritillary


Scan the skies for screeching swifts as they tear around at speed over the village rooftops, and enjoy the sight of them swooping low over the village pond for insects and water.


Take a picnic up to the Folly or along the lane to Downes Meadow on a sunny, warm day and listen to the scores of insects enjoying the warmth and wild flowers that are in abundance there.


The swallows become restless at this time of year, as they gather together on telegraph wires and around the farm buildings ready for their long journey south for the winter. A stroll down the lane, past Courthill Farm is a great place to observe the beginnings of this epic journey.

Migrating swallows flying overhead
Migrating Barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) flying overhead
Migrating swallows flying overhead


Take a walk round the Medieval Park Pale for the spectacular Autumn colours, and back through the village so you don’t miss the Pumpkin display on Top Road.


Hazel coppicing begins in November, now that the dormice are hibernating. Slindon has a thriving population of these hibernating furry wonders. The team manage our woodlands to help keep them ever present. They spend their life in trees and hedgerows rarely coming down to the ground.Look out for our teams of volunteers working in the woods. Follow the smell of wood smoke and come and see what we’re up to.


Walk up through the centre of the estate from the village and enjoy the red, white and pink winter hedgerow berries before they disappear into the tummies of those hungry birds and small mammals.

Sloe berries are best picked in autumn after the first frost
Sloe berries on a bush in autumn
Sloe berries are best picked in autumn after the first frost

Tell us what you’ve seen 

If you've been out exploring Slindon and have seen some intriguing wildlife, let us know. You can email us to let one of our rangers know if you see them when they're out working on the estate.