|The following web sites detail areas that
are especially good for wildlife:
You can find interesting wildlife just about everywhere, as long as
you know what to look for and when. From the centre of cities,
with their flocks of pied wagtails and starlings wielding
between the roof tops, to National Nature Reserves with rare plants and
habitats, wildlife finds a foothold.
Even the most unexpected places can actually be worth a special
visit. Graveyards can be excellent places for mammals, lichens and
even ancient flower rich grassland that has survived from when the site
was once farmed. Canals and footpaths, parks and gardens, road
verges and even sewage works all have surprises to yield.
For birders (i.e. bird watchers) a seemingly uninspiring local
reservoir is often seen as their "local patch" and frequent visits
provide them with occasional rewards such a rarities flying through and
Of course there are also areas which are specifically managed for
wildlife, usually by a Trust or Government body. These sites are
now national treasures. There are also fabulous areas for
wildlife, that, whilst still managed as part of an economically viable
farm or estate, have been recognised as of particular importance to
These may have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific
Interest (SSSI) (by English Nature) or Sites of Nature Conservation
Importance (SNCI) (by local Wildlife Trusts). SSSIs are given
special legal protection and SNCIs are also afforded some protection
within the planning system.
Most nature reserves have been setup as they provide particularly
important areas for a specific group of animals, such as wetland
wildfowl or support outstanding examples of one or more habitat.
Therefore it pays to do some research before you visit in order to find
out when best to visit and what you are likely to see when you go.
To find national and locally designated sites go the the web sites
below. You may find that by visiting your local wildlife trust web
site you can access better information than can be found below.
While you are at it why not join your
local Wildlife Trust and go on visits and walks with fellow
enthusiasts? Or you may wish to help manage a local site through
the Trust or the British Trust for
It is important to note that a wildlife designation does not
automatically mean that a site has public access, and hence you should
always keep to footpaths unless otherwise stated.
So get out there and explore wildlife for yourself!