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Where to see wildlife

Bradgate Park

The National Forest is taking root across 200 square miles of the Midlands.  It is transforming the landscape of parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire with the aim of linking the two ancient forests of Charnwood on its eastern fringe and Needwood on its west.  Within its boundary are miles of rolling farmland and a former coalfield that was in desperate need of regeneration as well as many towns and villages.  In what was once one of the country’s least wooded regions, the ambitious goal for The National Forest is to increase woodland cover to about a third of all the land within its boundary.

But it’s not just about woodland.  A whole range of wildlife habitats are being created across The National Forest.  Guided by The National Forest’s Biodiversity Action Plan (or BAP), which identifies some of the most important habitats and species in the Forest,  the National Forest Company and its partners are working to increase the value of the Forest for wildlife.

This means that The National Forest is the ideal place to see plants and animals in the wild.  From spring displays of wildflowers to the changing colours of woodlands in autumn, there is something to see throughout the year. 

These pages are a guide to just some of the places where you can get up close with the wildlife of The National Forest.


Note - Click on images to enlarge

Visitor's key

Woodland site icon 

Woodland Site

Insects & other Invertebrates icon 

Insects & other Invertebrates

Lakes and Open Water icon 

Lakes & Open Water

Mammals icon 


Wildflowers icon 


Deer Park icon 

Deer Park

Birds icon 


Reptiles and Amphibians icon 

Reptiles & Amphibians

Car Parking icon 

Car Parking

Toilets icon 


Disabled Areas icon 

Disabled Areas

Refreshments icon 


Information Centre icon 

Information Centre

Picnic Area icon 

Picnic Area