Watchtree Wildlife


A flash of brown and I immediately froze. Three Roe Deer galloped in front of me, darting through the thicket and out of sight. When the forest was quiet again I carried on, carefully stepping over dead wood and minding the nettles, which had already made their presence well known to my ankles. There was a sudden chirruping above and I looked up to see a group of Long-Tailed Tits hopping from branch to branch, their oversized tails hanging down beneath them. I was so occupied watching the vibrant birds overhead that I nearly stood on a gold mine. Just in time, my eyes fell on the troop of huge Sheathed Woodtuft, an extraordinary, pumpkin-orange mushroom. Stood tall on the leaf litter, they formed a patch of vivid colour in a sea of green.


Welcome to Watchtree Nature Reserve. Here you can have unforgettable wildlife encounters, from Brown Hares to Roe Deer to swooping Skylark. For more information on mammals, birds, plants and other species you can spot at the reserve, take a look on the wildlife pages.


Discover the reserve on foot, or hire a bike and take a ride on the cycle paths. There are three wildlife hides to enjoy, where birds such as Little Grebe can be seen foraging in the lake. A particularly special spot is Pow Woods, where you can go foraging for some incredible fungi. After a long day’s walking, stop off at the café and enjoy a hot drink or a delicious cake.


Watchtree is the perfect place to spend time, so why not volunteer? Have a look at the “Things to Do” page to find out about the volunteering opportunities currently available at the reserve. Come along to events held at the site, from outdoor theatre performances to guided walks. Whatever the season, there’s always something to see and do during your visit.

Special thank you to our web volunteer contributor Rebecca Gibson from On the Wing you can find more of Rebecca’s work here: http://rebeccaonthewing.com