You don't need to know the names to appreciate and enjoy the wonder and beauty of nature.

From the swallows and house sparrows that nest in the courtyard to the peregrine falcons that hunt from the heights, this is a bird watcher's paradise. You can watch the bird table from the visitor centre, spot the nest boxes in the wood or take your binoculars to the viewing platform. Listen for the call of the cuckoo over the cwm or glimpse the colourful flash of the kingfisher by the stream.

There are songbirds, water birds and birds of prey, common blackbirds and rare ring ouzels. It's a great place for beginner bird watchers and for expert twitchers.
And it's not just the birds.

Whether you are interested in trees or flowers, lichens or fungi, lizards or slowworms, spiders or sticklebacks, moths or butterflies, bats or bumblebees; they're all here.  Special treats for naturalists include a trio of butterflies: small pearl bordered fritillary, purple hairstreak and grayling and the lichen heath on the undisturbed coal spoil.

Look out for Wildlife

Things to look and listen out for in Dare Valley Country Park

  • Spring - dozen of different bird songs (including cuckoo), nesting peregrines, orange tip and small pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies, bluebells and cuckoo flower.
  • Summer - young moorhen, little grebe and coot on the lakes, dragonflies, grayling and purple hairstreak butterflies, heath spotted and southern marsh orchid.
  • Autumn - waxcaps in the meadows, lichen-heath on the twin tips, ring ouzels in rowan trees.
  • Winter - wintering ducks on the lakes, flocks of redwing and fieldfare, small birds on the Centres bird feeders, winter visiting hen harrier, goshawk and merlin.

We are always interested in what you see. There is so much to learn about the habitats in the Country Park and the surrounding area. You may see something no one has noticed before or your records may help to show how things change from year to year.

Send your records in by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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