From badgers to bats: discover wildlife at The Kymin

Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding young at nest hole

It may be a small place, but The Kymin, near Monmouth, is chock full of a variety of wildlife from badgers to bats.

Wonderful woodland

Roughly half The Kymin is an area of semi-natural, broad-leaved native woodland, dominated by beech and oak with a few sycamore and rowan trees.

Some of these trees were planted more than 200-years-ago around the time the Round House was built, to enhance the beauty of this hilltop site. In particular, several Scots pine trees were planted, which today provide a much needed home for one of the UK’s rarest ants, the red wood ant.

To the north is Beaulieu Wood or Grove, owned by the Woodland Trust. At one time, an arched doorway led from the path outside the Round House through to this woodland. With areas of ancient semi-natural woodland, it’s the perfect place to spot the best of woodland birds and mammals.

And this little piggy…

The Kymin borders one of the few areas in the UK now home to one of our most elusive large animals – the wild boar in the Forest of Dean.

Wild boar were once a common and native species to Britain, but were hunted to extinction by the 13th century. They were subsequently re-introduced but again became extinct by the 17th century. The piglets and sows that we see today are the first in around 300-years to roam Britain as freely as their native ancestors did.

Wild boars don’t seek human company and can be difficult to catch sight of. But they have been known to appear at The Kymin, so with luck and patience on your side, you may just get a glimpse of these elusive creatures. But please be careful, as they can become dangerous if they feel threatened.

Nocturnal nature

Pipistrelle and soprano bats have both made The Kymin their home. Pipistrelles are the UK’s smallest and most common bats, and can eat up to 3,000 insects in one night.

The Kymin’s woods provide the perfect habitat for owls, especially Tawny owls. Take a walk at dusk to hear their distinctive ‘twit-twoo’ and high pitched screeching.

Badgers are another night-time woodland-dwelling animal found at The Kymin. These elusive and shy mammals are wonderful to watch if you’re lucky enough to catch them playing on a quiet, summer’s evening.