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Wildlife Spotting

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Wildlife Spotting

Wales has an impressive range of wildlife, making it the perfect place for a wildlife adventure! 

 

It’s not surprising there is so much wildlife, considering the number of nature reserves, kilometres of National Park, miles of Wales Coast Path, lakes, ancient woodlands, and wild open spaces for nature and wildlife to flourish.

 

Depending on the season, Wales has a number of nature reserves where you can spot red kites, sea birds, puffins, dolphins, porpoises, seal pubs, leaping salmon and wildfowl to name but a few.

 

Here are some of the wildlife adventures nature lovers visiting Wales can look forward to experiencing….

 

North Wales 

 
  • Anglesey Sea Zoo, Anglesey


    01248 430411 / post@angleseyseazoo.co.uk


    There are so many species to discover from all around Wales’ coast at Anglesey Sea Zoo. From incredible invertebrates in the No Bone Zone, Lobster Hatchery and Seahorse Nursery to Shark Pool grids and a Kelp Forest full of huge fish – there are over 150 species to see. Daily talks and feeds are held by the Zoo’s biologists, as well as the opportunity to see live diving displays and even have a go at virtual scuba diving!
  • Bardsey Island, Gwynedd


    07971 769895


    Bardsey Island can be found just off the tip of the Llyn Peninsula, and is home to a fabulous diversity of seabirds, seals and dolphins and spectacular scenery. It has a fascinating maritime history, including wrecks, smugglers’ caves and pilgrims’ routes. Bardsey Boat Trips runs day trips by local people to the island from Aberdaron.
  • Black Grouse Walk, Coed Llandegla


    01978 751656 / info@coedllandegla.com


    A short 3.5km / 2 mile walk, which takes about an hour, will take you to the RSPB bird hide with its views towards Esclusham Mountain and Ruabon SSSI. The hide offers views of Black Grouse at certain times of the year.
  • North Wales Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves


    01248 351541 / nwwt@wildlifetrustswales.org


    There are a number of nature reserves dotted across north Wales, which will give visitors the opportunity to see all kinds of wildlife. They can be accessed by contacting the North Wales Wildlife Trust, or through tour operators such as Celticos.
  • Pili Palas Nature World, Anglesey


    01248 712474 / info@pilipalas.co.uk


    A magical day out for all the family whatever the weather. The environment at Pili Palas Nature World is full of lush vegetation and waterfalls. There are all kinds of bugs, butterflies, birds, snakes and lizards to be seen, as well as household pets and farm animals.
 
 
  • Puffin Island, Anglesey


    Puffin Island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and for that reason it’s not possible for visitors to land on the island without permission from the landowner. However to see the birds, the best way is to take a boat trip around the island. Boat tour operators, and the RSPB also organize wildlife cruises around Puffin Island.
    Puffin Island Cruises 07854 028 393 / enquiries@seacoastsafaris.co.uk
  • The Skerries, Holyhead, Anglesey


    The Skerries are a unique group of rocky islands with a very large Arctic Tern population (over 2,000 pairs), Common Terns, Roseate Terns, Puffins and Kittiwakes.
 The islands also hold significant numbers of breeding herring and lesser black-backed gulls. Habitats on the islands include maritime grassland, characterised by common scurvey-grass, lesser sea-spurrey, red fescue and common sorrel, inter-tidal rocks and pools and low maritime cliffs with associated ledges and crevices. Of particular interest are species-rich sediment-floored rockpools. Boat trips can be taken to the islands giving visitors fast and fun adventure guides to the remote drama of the Skerries and the open sea.
    Rib Ride 0333 1234 303 / info@ribride.co.uk
  • Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay


    +44 (0)1492 532 938 / info@welshmountainzoo.org


    A zoological garden set on the side of a mountain, with an array of animals, wildlife and nature. As well as mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, fish and amphibians, it’s also home to both hardy and tropical plants, some of which are rare and endangered. The zoo holds a number of seasonal events, and also has catering facilities, a jungle adventureland and zoo shop with a range of gifts and souvenirs.
 

 

West Wales 

 
  • Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, New Quay


    01545 560 224 / info@cbmwc.org


    Dolphin Survey Boat trips - 01545 560 032 / 07796 135 490 / info@dolphinsurveyboattrips.co.uk
    The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre has a visitor centre is full of interpretative and interactive displays showcasing the huge variety of marine wildlife found in Cardigan Bay. The exhibits provide information on different themes such as the dolphins, seals and sea birds which can be spotted locally, the geology of the area and important issues surrounding pollution and sustainable fishing. There is also a rock pool aquarium. Dolphin boat trips run with New Quay’s experts to see bottlenose dolphins, porpoises, seals and birds that visit this beautiful part of the Welsh coastline.
  • Cartlett Lady Wildlife Cruises, Neyland


    08432 894 781 / webmail@cartlett.co.uk


    The Cartlett Lady operates from Neyland Marina for wildlife spotting cruises around the Pembrokeshire coast. It’s ideal for family trips, and takes visitors on an adventure of dolphin and sea life spotting and offshore and inshore bird and wildlife watching. It is fully equipped for 12 passengers, and is available for private charter only.
  • Folly Farm, Kilgetty


    01834 812731 / info@folly-farm.co.uk


    Folly Farm is a family theme park with amazing adventures to be had by all. Visitors will find penguins, the cwtch corner where animals can be interacted with in a personal environment, zoo feeding experiences, a chicken incubation area and goat milking station. There is also a vintage funfair, racetrack, adventure playground and a pirate adventure area.
  • Ramsey Island Whale and Dolphin Watch boat trips, St Davids


    01437 721911 / info@ramseyisland.co.uk


    There are various trip options, but all with fantastic scenery and wildlife to see. For example, the boat sails to Grassholm Island – a spectacular sight, and home to the fourth largest gannet colony in the world, or incorporating the dramatic sea caves and sailing through the narrow rock gorges the boat circumnavigates Ramsey Island. It then heads offshore on a sweep of distant waters in search of cetaceans. These voyages have provided excellent sightings of dolphins, porpoise, rissos dolphin, minke and even fin whale and leatherback turtle. There are disabled access boat trips available, as well as sustainable fishing trips.
 
 
  • RSPB Ynys Hir Reserve, Ceredigion


    01654 700222 / ynys-hir@rspb.org.uk


    Ynys-hir mixes Welsh oak woodland with wet grassland and saltmarshes. 

In the spring, the ground is carpeted in flowers, and birdsong fills the air. Visitors might see flycatchers and redstarts emerging from the nestboxes. 

Summer brings wading birds, such as lapwings and redshanks, and some very special butterflies too. Then in the colder months, ducks and geese move in. 

There are seven hides from which to look out for birds of prey. There is also a visitors’ centre with information and snacks available.

     

    Skomer and Stockholm Islands, Pembrokeshire 


    01646 603123


    Skomer Island, lying less than a mile off the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, is a world renowned wildlife paradise. The exposed headlands, towering offshore rocks, and sheltered inlets of this fascinating island are home to a incredible variety of wildlife, both above and below the surface. Skomer is the largest of Pembrokeshire’s islands at around 730 acres. It’s most famous for its Puffins, with neighboring Skokholm Island forming the largest breeding Puffin colony in Southern Britain. The Island is also home to the largest and most important breeding colony of Manx Shearwater in the world, as well as Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls and the Greater Black-backed Gull. Larger seabirds such as Fulmers and Gannets can also been seen, as well as birds of pretty such as Peregrine Falcons, Buzzards and Short-eared Owls.
  • Stakepole, Pembrokeshire


    +44(0)1646 661359 / stackpole@nationaltrust.org.uk


    Stackpole is a beautiful stretch of coastline boasting award-winning snady beaches, tranquil wooded valleys and wildlife-rich lily ponds and woodland trails. It’s home to all kinds of creatures from the infamous otters to the largest colony of greater horseshoe bats in Wales. And from swathes of orchids to acres of oak, the woodland and coastal flowers are a must-see. Each season welcomes a new blanket of impressive colours. Stackpole has holiday cottages and group bunkhouse accommodation, as well as individual rooms, so there’s accommodation to suit all needs.
 

 

South Wales 

 
  • Parc Slip Wildlife Walks, Bridgend


    01656 724100


    Parc Slip Nature Reserve is an area of 300 acres containing a fantastic mix of habitats such as grassland, woodland and wetlands, restored from its previous status as an opencast coal mine. For wildlife enthusiasts there is a plethora of wildlife, fauna and flora. During the summer the area is ablaze with colour as numerous wildflowers come into bloom. The pond and wetlands provide habitat for many species of birds. In the woods visitors will come across woodpeckers, tawny owls, foxes and wood mice. And for relaxation visitors can head to the Visitor Centre and coffee shop, which overlook the dipping ponds and wildflower meadows.
 
 
  • Planet Wales, Brecon Beacons, Cardiff


    02920 666 879 / 07849 067 449 / toursplanetwales.co.uk


    Planet Wales offers bespoke tours of the Brecon Beacons National Park, led by a former nature reserve warden. Visitors will be taken into the magical Welsh mountains where they can discover secret valleys, waterfalls, ancient forests and stunning views. And for the wildlife lovers they maybe able to see brown hares, otters and water voles, marsh fritillary butterflies and great crested newts as well as birds and other wildlife.
 

 

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