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Nature and wildlife to spot in Wales

Grey seal pup on a pebble beach at Treginnis, Pembrokeshire
Grey seal pup in Pembrokeshire, Wales | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Wales is a haven for nature, with an incredible range of habitats for wildlife to thrive. From coastline to countryside and high mountains, you’ll discover rare bats and birds, otters, red squirrels, and you might even spot a seal pup if you’re lucky. Learn more about the wildlife you can see on a visit to Wales and where to go for the perfect nature adventure.

Wildlife spotting in Wales

There’s a broad range of wildlife to see throughout the seasons in Wales. The summer months are particularly good for getting out in search of the country’s flora and fauna while autumn is an intense season for watching wildlife with many species on the move before the winter chills. Here are some of our top places to spot wildlife.

Spot seals at Marloes Sands
In late summer, you can see Atlantic grey seals and their pups on the remote beaches of Marloes Sands in Pembrokeshire. Around 150 pups are born each year and you’ll get the best view of them from the Deer Park’s clifftop. The coast surrounding the peninsula is a designated Marine Conservation Zone and the high diversity of habitats means you’ll spot all kinds of creatures in the water and on the shoreline here.Explore Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire
Catch sight of a bat at Colby Woodland
At Colby Woodland Garden Lesser horseshoe bats live in the old buildings around the Bothy tea-room. Many bats also use the old mine shafts and holes in woodland trees, in fact a rare Bechstein's bat was once spotted here. The estate’s woodland, streams and meadows are also a haven for birds, otters, reptiles, and amphibians.Explore Colby Woodland, Pembrokeshire
Meet White Park Cattle at Dinefwr
A truly unique part of the rolling Capability Brown designed parkland at Dinefwr is the rare and ancient breed of White Park Cattle. The estate is also home to a medieval deer park which echoes with the bellowing sound of Fallow bucks during the rutting season in October.Explore Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire
Walk among wild ponies in Snowdonia
The sight of wild ponies is an enchanting bonus to any walk in the Carneddau hills. These mountain ponies of Snowdonia are believed to date back to around 500BC and there are now around 200 left, still roaming the rugged upland landscape. In autumn you might see them grazing in readiness for colder months ahead.Explore Carneddau, Snowdonia
Red squirrel on feeder box in woodland at Plas Newydd House and Garden on Anglesey, Wales
Red squirrel on feeder box at Plas Newydd | © National Trust Images/James Dobson
Spy a red squirrel at Plas Newydd
Six red squirrels were brought to Plas Newydd in 2008 and released into the deciduous woodland. They bred successfully, and now over one hundred can be found throughout the gardens and parkland of the estate. Although they’re shy creatures, you can spot them collecting nuts and eating at feeding stations if you’re quick.Explore Plas Newydd, Anglesey
Look out for insects and ospreys at Cwm Ivy
The salt marsh at Cwm Ivy is alive with butterflies and dragonflies in summer. Keep an eye out for silver washed fritillaries, ringlets and gatekeeper butterflies, along with darter and southern hawker dragonflies, which are especially curious and will hover around you. Cwm Ivy is also teeming with birds. Look out for juvenile ospreys stopping off on their migration back to Africa.Explore Cwm Ivy, Gower
Find a black honeybee at Penrhyn Castle
There are six hives full of native honeybees that pollinate around the Walled Garden and Water Garden at Penrhyn Castle. These are native black bees which are better at coping with the range of weather changes in North Wales. From snowdrops to the beautiful fuscia arch, the flowers here are a real treat. There’s also plenty of wildlife to discover from bats to badgers at Penrhyn.Explore Penrhyn, Gwynedd
Spot an otter at Stackpole
Stackpole is teeming with wildlife all year round from its infamous otters to the largest colony of greater horseshoe bats in Wales. The otters occupy a special place in staff, volunteers and visitors’ hearts alike and live in the spring fed Bosherston Lakes feeding on the eels, pike, perch and roach. Stackpole is wonderful for wildlife watching and you’ll find creatures great and small across the estate.Explore Stackpole, Pembrokeshire
An otter pokes its head out of the water among water lilies
An otter among water lilies | © National Trust Images / Jim Bebbington
Look for rare ants at the Kymin
The Kymin is home to one of Britain’s rarest and largest ants, the red wood ant. Their impressive nests can be found across the land here and are fascinating to watch. The Kymin might be known for Georgian gentility and picnicking, but it's also a haven for wildlife. With a mixture of open spaces and semi-ancient woodland, birds, bats, badgers, and even wild boar have made this small but special place home.Explore the Kymin, Monmouthshire
Go bird watching in Llŷn
The Llŷn peninsula is an ideal place for bird watching with dramatic coastal cliffs enjoyed by the fulmar, puffin and chough along with notable predators such as the raven, buzzard and peregrine falcon. Thousands of Manx shearwater breed on nearby Bardsey Island where you can find the only accredited bird observatory in Wales. If you’re lucky you may even spot bottlenose dolphins and porpoises on your wildlife adventures.Explore the Llŷn Peninsula, Gwynedd
Discover waxcap mushrooms at Llanerchaeron
The meadows, woodland and waters of Llanerchaeron working farm and estate are a haven for birds, bats, otters and other wildlife, as well as a dazzling display of fungus including waxcaps in the autumn. Traditional, low-level farming at this Site of Scientific Interest allows the rare fungus to thrive.Explore Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion
Walk among ancient trees in the Brecon Beacons
A precious and increasingly rare habitat, our semi-ancient woodlands provide an important home for all kinds of wildlife. Clinging on at the foot of the Brecon Beacons, veteran trees in the Tarell Valley have lived for hundreds of years and are home to rare fungi and invertebrates dependent on them for their survival. You can identify these older trees by their gnarled and twisted trunks.Explore the Brecon Beacons, Powys
View of Powis Castle, perched above its terraced gardens, Powys, Wales, in autumn.

Discover more in Wales

A Celtic land with an industrial past steeped in myth, legend, poetry and song. Croeso i Gymru.

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Walkers admire the view across Llyn Ogwen to the Cwm Idwal Valley on a sunny day, with a body of water visible in the valley and mountains in the distance

Countryside and woodland in Wales 

Explore dramatic and beautiful valleys, ancient woodlands and river walks or have an adventure through the wild Welsh mountains and visit some of the country’s most iconic peaks.

The Centenary Viewpoint, Dinas Oleu, Wales

Coasts and beaches in Wales 

Explore 157 miles of Welsh coastline protected by the National Trust, from long golden beaches to rugged clifftops.

Lilies in summer at Bodnant Garden, Colwyn Bay, Wales

Gardens and parks in Wales 

Visit an amazing collection of gardens and parks in Wales. From walled gardens to arboretums and countryside estates, there’s plenty to explore.

Children running in the garden at Penrhyn Castle, Wales, in summer

Family days out in Wales 

With fun-filled activities and exciting events, there are plenty of great family days out to be had in Wales. Explore vast Welsh castles, tick off some ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities, or let off steam in natural play areas.