Calke Abbey is a quintessential British parkland with its ancient oak trees,
Fallow Deer and birds of prey.
Nature lovers will be impressed by
the variety of habitats and species on offer.
parkland at Calke in the Midlands|
is a super wildlife location with an impressive and eclectic mix of habitats and
After decades of neglect, Calke Abbey was saved from the brink
of disrepair in the mid 1980s.
Before then this Baroque mansion, built
between 1701-1704, was a private household.
Today it's in the hands of the
National Trust and is open to the public.
The house contains an impressive
natural history collection including a taxidermy display of stuffed creatures
Calke also boasts over 600 acres of ancient pasture land, some
of which include the rarest woodland habitats in the Britain.
visitors can take a walk through its ancient woodland and spring meadows.
the spring activities for nature lovers are deer watching, bat detecting and wild
Calke is great for its
springtime flora - its gentle undulating landscape contains some of the rarest
wood pastures in the country.
At the core of the estate are over 200 huge
ancient oaks including the 'Old Man of Calke', thought to be well over 1,200 years
This tree was a mere sapling when the first Vikings were invading our
In the middle of Calke's ancient woodland is one of the most impressive
deer parks in the county, home to over 200 animals.
Fallow Deer are the
quintessential English parkland animal, and with the backdrop of Calke's ancient
oaks behind them, they look superb.
Birds and bats
is also a stronghold for the Hobby - a number of these birds of prey nest on the
May is a good time to pin these birds down to one location - once
you've found their nest site, it's just a matter of watching and waiting.
fun activity is the estate's springtime safari when groups of nature lovers go
in search of Serotines, one of Britain's largest bats.
These animals were
first spotted at Calke just a couple of years ago, much to the amazement of visitors.
Also look out for insects such as the Chimney Sweep Moth.
Photograph of the Hobby courtesy
and copyright of PA Images.