The woodland here at Uppark is home to a wealth of wildlife species. Mammals such as badgers, squirrels, mice, hedgehogs, foxes and deer spend much of their time in these woods, species like the dormouse spend all their time here. You may not see mammals around during the day, but if you know where to look, you can see evidence of wildlife activity.
When moving some logs recently, we found tiny shavings scattered amongst these logs below. Most chewing on surfaces like wood or soft metals is to enlarge openings for gathering nesting materials. You’ll find plenty of logs piled up in the woodland, try not to disturb the piles but a few minutes of observation can indicate plenty of activity.
We also have common frogs and toads living in an around the woodland…
Common Frog found near the woodland last year
Common Toad found on the edge of the woodland at Uppark
We have bats living in the tunnels underneath Uppark House, they hibernate during the winter months and move to their warmer, summer roosts in the woodland later in the year during. It’s very rare to see these woodland dwellers, they’re shy and elusive, especially this time of the year when they’re in hibernation. During a mild spell of weather, earlier in the month we saw one fluttering by at nightfall.
Children viewing the protected bat roosts in the tunnels last year
A number of different of deer species are found in the woodland at Uppark, you only get a fleeting glimpse. It’s likely, given the local populations of deer that we have fallow and roe deer. Keep your eye out when you visit, you may get lucky and see one of these beautiful creature.
The grey squirrel is a non-native species found in woods. It was introduced from America over a hundred years ago and has driven most of the native red squirrels to the north, well into Scotland. For this reason they’re also considered a pest. They tend to do a lot of damage to trees by stripping the bark. It is not known for certain why they do this, some say they eat the bark, others have suggested it is a form of vandalism as it is only done by male juveniles! Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 if a grey squirrel is trapped, it’s illegal to release it or to allow it to escape into the wild; instead, it should be humanely destroyed. We don’t carry out any pest control of squirrels at Uppark at present, if it became a problem we’d have to consult our wildlife and countryside adviser.
There’s a wealth of wildlife from flowers to fungi at Uppark, so next time you visit our woodlands, try to see if you can identify some of the other wildlife that resides here.