Celebrate world animal day in our National Parks

  • Contributor information: CNP

4 October 2018

Campaign for National Parks wants the family of National Parks to include thriving wildlife which enhances the beauty of National Park landscapes. To celebrate world animal day here’s our top 5 animals to spot in our National Parks:

Red deer – Exmoor, New Forest, Lake District and more

At this time of year you might see the impressive males (stags) rut to protect their harem of females (hinds) and challenge other competitors for the right to breed. Did you know that the impressive antlers shed each year and grow back again?

Our CEO Fiona Howie explains why wildlife is central to our vision for National Parks

Peregrine Falcons – South Downs, Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia and many more!

The world’s fastest bird! These incredible birds of prey can dive at speeds exceeding an incredible 200mph, this ability along with exceptional eye sight, terrific talons and a sharp beak makes them brilliant hunters of other birds. These pretty and fearsome birds are truly a site to behold!

Ian Court from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority tells us about their determination to see birds of prey thrive in the National Parks.

Peregrine falcon in the Yorkshire Dales by David Dimmock

Peregrine Falcon in Malham, Yorkshire Dales. Photo credit: Dave Dimmock.

Shore crabs – North York Moors, Pembrokeshire Coast, Exmoor (any National Park with a coastline!)

Quite unlike the other species in our list. Shore crabs are often overlooked but come with bags of character. This species can be easily found in rock pools across coastlines, however be sure to stay clear of their fearsome pincers or you might end up being nipped!

Sue Burton tells us about the other marine wildlife you might see in the Pembrokeshire Coast.

Adders – New Forest, Peak District, Broads and more 

Adders are the UK’s only venomous snake, but chances of being bitten are small. Despite such a fearsome reputation this species is truly beautiful with a dark zig zag pattern running down its scaly back. However this snake is increasingly threatened by habitat loss and spotting this rare and elusive creature can be a tall order.

Amphibian and reptile experts at froglife provide a guide to the European adder.

Adder by Matt Wilson

A beautiful but rare adder. Photo credit: Matt Wilson.

Red squirrels – Northumberland, Lake District and Yorkshire Dales

This enigmatic little squirrel is a favourite with visitors and special walks can be taken to see this colourful little squirrel in its preferred habitats. It is thought that the resurgence of the predatory Pine marten (another incredible species) could benefit these fluffy fellows by preying on their competitors the grey squirrels! 

Bob Morris of the Westmorland Reds argues that National Parks need to lead a resurgence in the red squirrel.

Red squirrel by Terry Abraham

An adorable red squirrel. Photo credit: Terry Abraham

This is just a taste of the wildlife that can be found across all the National Parks. All our National Parks contain fantastic wildlife, so get outside and see what you can find! Remember to stay a safe distance and be respectful to the wildlife you see this world animal day!