We manage our National Parks as breathing spaces for wildlife, and spending some quiet time watching the rare, colourful and sometimes spectacular plants and creatures that live here can really make you feel closer to the landscape.
Click on the thumbnails to see some of the birdlife in National Parks
From the waders and wetland birds on the Broads, to merlin, grouse and curlew on upland moors, every National Park has a wealth of birdlife. We work with our farming communities to help them provide habitats and food for birds, and numbers of osprey, bitterns, lapwings and other rare birds are now rising.
Highlights include ospreys fishing in Loch Garten in the Cairngorms and Bassenthwaite in the Lake District National Park. Hear the Dartford warbler singing in Dartmoor, Exmoor and the New Forest National Parks. See skylarks, merlin, grouse and curlew on upland moors, hear bitterns booming in the Broads and watch huge colonies of cliff-nesting gannets and manx shearwater in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
The further information section has links to RSPB reserves and nature reserves in the National Parks that are particularly good places for birdwatching.
Click on the thumbnails to see some our diverse mammals
Special species in special places
The National Parks have many rare animals for quiet and patient wildlife watchers to see. Spot native red deer whilst walking in the forests or moors. Red squirrels, which face pressure from their grey squirrel relatives elsewhere, can been seen in woodlands, and otters and watervoles can sometimes be spotted from a quiet riverbank.
There are some species that you won't find anywhere else in Britain, or anywhere else in the world, like Britain's largest butterfly, the swallowtail, that only lives in the Broads. The delicate Snowdon lily only grows in rock crevices in Snowdonia, and the English sandwort is only found in the Yorkshire Dales.
Click on the thumbnails to see some of our special plants and insects
- Broads - discover plants and animals
- Broads - RSPB reserve at Buckenham
- Broads - RSPB reserve at Berney Breydon
- Broads - RSPB reserve at Rockland Marshes
- Broads - RSPB reserve at Surlingham
- Broads - RSPB reserve at Strumpshaw Fen
- Cairngorms - nature and wildlife
- Cairngorms - RSPB reserve at Loch Garten
- Cairngorms - RSPB reserve at Insh Marshes
- Dartmoor - wildlife sites
- Peak District - Peak birds project
- Pembrokeshire Coast - where to see wildlife
- Pembrokeshire Coast - RSPB reserve at Ramsey Island
- Lake District - birdspotting on Windermere
- Lake District - Osprey Watch
- Loch Lomond and the Trossachs - wildlife surveys
- Loch Lomond and the Trossachs - RSPB reserve at Inversnaid
- New Forest - wildlife
- Northumberland - nature reserves
- North York Moors - nature reserves
- Snowdonia - wildlife
- Yorkshire Dales - Nature in the Dales