The downloand across Kingsweston Hill is still home to skylarks like those that might have inspired Vaughan Williams to complete his famous ‘Lark Ascending’. There’s a wealth of plant life here too. In spring time the open hill top is home to drifts of golden cowslips. The common orchid can be found here. In summer the grassland and woodland edge is a brilliant place to spot butterflies, like the Marbled White, Comma and Peacock.
The plaintive cry of Buzzards is regularly heard as they fly overhead hunting for prey. The hill top is a great vantage point for watching them soar above. Sparrowhawks hunt along the woodland edge here, too.
A walk around the old carriage drive through the woods leads you through a leafy paradise, home to many species of birds. A movement on an oak or ash tree may reveal a nuthatch, or the mouse like tree creeper, climbing the trunk in search of insects.
If you’re making an early or late visit, you may be lucky and spot one of the roe deer who live in these woods. Walking quietly and keeping downwind may give you a chance for a better look at these secretive creatures. One animal you’re very likely to spot though, is the grey squirrel, dashing across the path, or chattering in a branch above your head.
On a summer day you can watch dragonflies hunt over the lilies on the pond near the stables. Herons come to fish here, standing like statues at the water’s edge. Once this was a formal duck pond but now shy wild mallard enjoy the water here.