Toads spend most of their time away from water, living mainly in damp places but returning to ponds and ditched to breed. They eat mainly invertebrates and are mostly active at night.
Although rarely seen, field voles are quite common and are the favourite food of barn owls and kestrel. They feed mainly on grasses and can be found all year in areas of grassland.
More of a chestnut colour than a field vole with a longer tail.
Largest of Britains bats. Often roosts in woodpecker holes.
Smallest and most common British bat.
Shrews have a venom gland to help them immobilise their prey and are able to use echolocation to hunt. Shrews do not hibernate but instead are able to enter periods of torpor where they shrink their bodies by up to
Shrews have an exceptionally hig metabolic rate and, as such, have to consume 125% of their body weight in insects everyday. They are active during the day and night.
Moles spend most of their time underground in a complex network of tunnels, some of which may be used by multiple generations.
Badgers are nocturnal and spend the day in an underground series of tunnels, known as a set. Like humans, badgers are omnivores and will eat almost anything.
A highly adaptable species that has been able to colonise most habitats, including towns and cities.
A highly adaptable species that has been able to colonise most habitats, including towns and cities.
This small deer was introduced in 1894 and since then has spread across most of southern england. During the day it hides in dense bramble patches and the males have very sharp tusks which can be used in defence and
Distinguishable from a weasel by its black tipped tail, stoats are fearsome predators for their size, regularly killing prey much bigger than themselves.
Weasels are slightly smaller than a stoat with no black tip on their tail. They feed mainly on small mammals such as mice and voles and their slender shape allows them to fit into their prey’s burrows.
Rabbits were introduced by the Normans in the 1200’s for food and their ability to breed very quickly has allowed them colonise most of Britain. They live in large communal burrows known as warrens.
Grey squirrels were introduced from North America in the 1800’s. Since then they have almost completely wiped out the native red squirrel through a combination of competition and disease.
Adults mimic wasps. Larvae feed on dead wood.
Most common ladybird, feeds on aphids, hibernates over winter.
This tiny wasp causes hairy galls to form on the stems of dog roses.
Particularly attracted to yellow.
Gives off a vile smelling fluid when threatened.
Are able to reproduce without mating, producing clones of themselves.
The small tortoiseshell butterfly can often be found along old railway lines where there are lots of nettles for it to lay its eggs. It hibernates over the winter and can usually be seen flying between March and October.
Orange tip butterflies are usually found along hedgerows and in scrubby areas in springtime. Only the males have orange tips on their wings; the females are mainly white.
Ringlet butterflies can be seen between June and August, mainly in grassy areas. They can often be seen feeding on the flowers of brambles and are one of the few butterflies that will fly when it’s cloudy.
The peacock butterfly is a common species that is found mainly in scrubland and along hedgerows between March and October.The striking red colour and eye spots makes the adults easily recognisable. The caterpillars are black and feed mainly on nettles.
Large white or cabbage white butterflies like to feed on members of the cabbage family. They can be seen between April and October and live in a variety of habitats.
Large skipper butterflies are active during the summer months and can be found mainly in grassy areas.
Brimstone butterflies are often the first butterflies to emerge in spring and can be found in a variety of habitats including grassland and scrub. They are also very long lived butterflies and remain active until October.
Red admiral butterflies are usually seen in summer and live in a variety of habitats where there are plenty of nectar sources, such as Buddleias and nettles.
Distinctive Y mark on wings.
Distinctive upturned snout.
Distinctive thick snout.
Sparrowhawks are one of our smallest birds of prey, the male being somewhere between a blackbird and a collared dove in size. The female is larger, up to the size of a pigeon. Sparrowhawks are excellent bird-hunters, catching small species
Sedge warblers are summer visitors to the UK where they live in reedbeds and scrub near to freshwater. They feed on insects and can be distinguished from reed warblers by their striped head and more ‘digital’ song.
Reed warblers are summer visitors to the UK where they live and breed in reed beds. They feed on insects and are often heard, rather than seen.
Long-tailed tits are tiny birds that live in small family groups, mainly in woodland and scrubby areas. They feed mainly on insects and can be seen all year round. In spring, they build domed nests out of lichen and cobwebs.
Goldfinches are a very colourful bird that can be seen all year round, often feeding on thistle seed heads in scrubby and grassland areas.
Cetti’s warblers can be seen all year round in areas of dense scrub. They feed mainly on insects and have a distinctive, explosive song. They have only recently started breeding in the UK.
Greenfinches are mainly found in areas of scrub and woodland and feed mainly on seeds. They can be seen all year round but their numbers have declined in recent years due to a disease.
Our largest and most common pigeon, the woodpigeon is a familiar bird of gardens, parks, woodlands and farmlands right across the country. Its husky ‘hoo-hroo’ call is a well-known sound of the country. Woodpigeons feed on seeds, leaves, grains, fruit,
The crow that we are most familiar with, the Carrion Crow is all black and makes a hoarse, cawing sound. Carrion Crows make big nests out of twigs, rags, bones, and anything else they can find, which they hide in
Rooks are large crows that make big nests out of twigs in the top of trees, and gather in large colonies known as ‘rookeries'; they often nest in villages and graveyards, but are also birds of farmland and grassland. The
Our smallest crow, the Jackdaw is a bird of woodland, parkland, coasts and urban areas. The Jackdaw nests in holes in trees, and on cliffs and buildings: sometimes it will even make a nest in a chimney! It eats invertebrates,
Cuckoos are migrant birds that usually arrive in April and leave in August. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, such as reed warblers, who raise the cuckoo chick as their own. The distinctive call of the
Blue tits are a common species often seen in gardens, woodland and scrub. They feed mainly on insects in the summer but will also eat nuts and seeds in the winter.
Reed bunting can be seen all year round, feeding on the seeds of grasses close to reed beds.
Robins are a very common species and can be seen all year round in a variety of habitats. They feed mainly on insects and are common visitors to gardens.
The chaffinch is a common bird that can be seen all year round, usually in woodland and scrubby areas. It feeds mainly on seeds and insects and has a long descending call.
This is a species which skulks in the undergrowth, creeping through bushes and low foliage, and which is very difficult to see except sometimes when singing from a prominent position. The song, which gives this species its name, is a
Red kites are scavengers that can be seen all year round, often feeding on road kill. They were hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century but have recently been successfully reintroduced to Northamptonshire and are now a common sight
Great tits are a common species often seen in gardens, woodland and scrub. They feed mainly on insects in the summer but will also eat nuts and seeds in the winter. They have a large variety of calls which often
A very familiar gamebird, pheasants are large, colourful and have a long tail. Common in farmland and woodland throughout Britain, the males’ loud, sharp, croaking call can be heard resonating through the countryside before the bird is actually seen. Pheasants
Chiffchaffs are a small warbler, known for their distinctive song. They are summer visitors to the UK, living mainly in woodland and scrubby areas and feeding on insects.
Willow Warblers are slim, delicate birds of woodland, scrub, parks and gardens. They can be heard singing a melodious, warbling song from amongst the tree canopy. Willow Warblers are migratory birds, breeding in Europe and migrating to southern Africa for
Magpies are one of our most familiar birds and the source of much myth and legend – ‘one for sorrow, two for a joy’ is a rhyme that many children learn. Magpies are, in fact, small crows, and are omnivorous,
Green woodpeckers are often seen feeding on ants in grassy areas near to trees. They have a distinct laughing call and can be seen all year round.
Dunnocks are a very common bird but their dull colours and secretive behaviour means that they often go unnoticed. They live in a variety of habitats including woodland and scrub and feed mainly on insects, berries and seeds.
The Bullfinch is a large, plump finch which feeds on buds and fruit in woodlands, hedgerows, parklands, gardens and orchards. Beautiful, easy to tame and skilful at mimicry, it was often taken as a cage-bird in times past. Shy and
Goldcrests are tiny birds of conifer woodland, scrub, parks and gardens. As well as our own resident birds, large numbers arrive on the east coast during autumn migration, and are often found in bushes on sand dunes. It is widespread
Tawny owls are nocturnal hunters, feeding mainly on small mammals and birds in woodland habitats. They can be seen all year round.
Starlings are very familiar birds of farmland, parks, gardens and towns. Sociable birds, they spend a lot of their time in large flocks, roosting and performing sweeping, aerial displays – they can often be seen moving fluidly through a winter’s
Blackcaps are a common warbler that like to live in scrubby areas where they feed mainly on insects and berries. They are mainly summer visitors but are occasionally seen in the winter. Only the male has a black cap.
The Garden Warbler is a medium-sized warbler of woodland and tall scrub, habitats it shares with the Blackcap. Garden Warblers are summer visitors, arriving in April and leaving in July, although Continental birds can be seen on migration around the
Whitethroats are a summer visitor that live mainly in scrub and bramble, feeding on insects and fruit.
Wrens are one of Britain’s smallest birds, although also one of the loudest, and stay here all year round. They live mainly in woodland and scrub and feed on insects.
Blackbirds are a very common species and can be seen all year round in a variety of habitats. They feed mainly on insects and berries and are common visitors to gardens.
The Song thrush is a cousin of the blackbird and can be found in woodlands and scrubby areas all year round. It feeds mainly on insects (particularly snails) and berries and is known for its repetetive song.
Barn owls are nocturnal hunters, feeding mainly on small mammals such as mice and voles in open, grassy habitats. Their numbers dropped in the last century due to pesticide use by farmers. However, they are now protected by law and
Buzzards are a large bird of prey that can be seen all year round in a variety of habitats wherever there are trees present. They hunt small mammals, such as rabbits, as well as birds, amphibians and insects. Their numbers
A small, dumpy chat, the stonechat is a little smaller than a robin. Stonechats have quite a big head and short tail. They can frequently be seen sitting on the top of gorse bushes, flicking their wings and making a
The goosander is a large duck of rivers and lakes in forested areas. It eats fish and nests in holes in trees.
Collared doves are small, common pigeons found in farmland, woodland, parks and gardens across the country. Since breeding in the UK was first recorded in the 1950s numbers have increased and the collared dove is now one of the top
‘Whirly-gig type seeds’.
Smells like garlic when crushed. Also known as ‘Jack-by-the-hedge’
In winter, old catkins remain and look like clusters of small pine cones.
Small, purplish leaves hug stem up to flower.
Red berries in autumn.
Climbing plants with pea-like flowers.
Climbing plants with pea-like flowers. Hairy.
Climbing plant with spiral tendrils. Red berries, leaves and stem in Autumn and Winter. Poisonous.
Climbing plant with large flowers.
Very distinctive with lots of bright pink flowers.
All parts of this plant are very poisonous.
Very striking in winter when red stems are visible. Clusters of black, spherical berries in autumn.
Traditionally coppiced to create ‘coppice stools’ whereby new stems grow from ground level.
Often referred to as may blossom. Red berries or hawes provide a valuable source of food for birds in winter. Spiky branches. Flowers lightly larger than common hawthorn and leaves less deeply lobed.
Often referred to as May blossom. Red berries or hawes provide a valuable source of food for birds in winter. Spiky branches.
Very poisonous and can cause heart attacks if eaten. Source of the drug digitalis which is often used to treat heart conditions.
Very spiky flower heads are the favourite food of goldfinches who use their slender bills to pick out the seeds. Flowers appear to bloom in a wave.
Has black buds that are obvious in winter. Seeds are keys.
Hairy plant with red tinged leaves and stem and long, pointed seed heads. Likes shady places.
A creeping plant with whorls of leaves and flowers at intervals along stem.
Thick hairy stems.
Flowers have square petals and are positioned on long stems.
Member of the pea family. Has black, hairy seed pods. Often grows amongst grasses.
A large daisy.
Apples much smaller than normal apples and less sweet. Favourite food of deer.
Rounded black fruits.
Has long spikes on branches. The flowers also known as May blossom and in Autumn it bears bitter, purple fuit (sloes).
Large thorns on stems. Flowers have heart shaped petals and lots of stamen. Has shiny red hips in Autumn.
Also know as pussy willow.
Flowers are used to flavour drinks, including sambuca, whilst berries are often made into wine, cordial and jam.
Also known as mountain ash. Has bright red/orange berries in Autumn which are a excellent food source for over-wintering birds.
Hairy square stem. Traditionally used as a wound dressing in herbal medicine.