Top Ten Wildlife Experiences
Whether you are a bird watcher, wildlife spotter or just love the freedom of the outdoors, Lincolnshire offers great wildlife encounters – and some might just surprise you.
1. Seal spotting…
Visit one of the UK’s most accessible spots to see new-born grey seal pups in their hundreds at Donna Nook Nature Reserve. From October to December, thousands of seals give birth to their pups near the sand dunes - and with over 1,300 pups born annually, it’s a wildlife spectacle that attracts visitors from across the UK.
2 … and seal sanctuaries
See more seals up close and personal at sanctuaries that help rescue orphaned and injured pups. At Natureland in Skegness you can see seals at various stages of their rehabilitation and hear about the rescue work at feeding times, while the Seal Sanctuary and Wildlife Centre at Mablethorpe – nestling in sand dunes just 50 metres from the sea - has rescued hundreds of seals since it opened in 1974.
3. Birds for all seasons
Just 10 minutes from the bustling resort of Skegness, Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve is an internationally recognised wildlife haven for seabirds. In summer watch little terns fishing in the shallows while autumn brings whirling flocks of waders. Visit in winter and spot shorelark and snow bunting plus flocks of redwing and fieldfare. A new Visitor Centre and café is due to open in 2015.
4. Wonders of the Wash
For another spectacular year-round wildlife haven, RSPB Frampton Marsh near Boston, is a vast expanse of mudflats used as a feeding ground by hundreds of thousands of birds each year. Star species here include Avocets, Redshanks and Merlins. Tree sparrows, yellowhammers and skylarks are common throughout the year while the saltmarsh is good for spotting hunting birds of prey.
5 Bird watching bonanza
We’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to bird watching. Nestling on the south bank of the Humber Estuary, Far Ings National Nature Reserve at Barton Upon Humber, was once industrial clay pits. Reclaimed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, the reedbeds are now home to a thriving reserve and one of the UK strongholds for bittern. The Visitor Centre enjoys panoramic views.
6. Parrot paradise
For a touch of the exotic, try the amazing Parrot Zoo, Friskney. It’s not only home to the UK’s largest collection of parrots, with more than a third of the world’s species, but is also probably the world’s largest parrot rescue charity and the only one of its type in the UK offering long term sanctuary to parrots and parakeets. You’ll also find other animals too, including the first Ring Tailed Lemurs ever bred in Lincolnshire.
7. Family wildlife adventures
A hands-on, family orientated day out, Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Centre, near Langworth, believes that inspiring children about wildlife from an early age stays with them for a lifetime. Home to over 50 different species of animals - from reptiles, monkeys, lemurs, wolves, tigers to a sloth – there’s a children’s adventure play area plus daily flying displays from eagles, hawks and falcons.
8. Meet the mint-loving micro pigs
Snowy Owl, Scott, will greet you as you walk down the car park at Rushmoor Country Park, a family friendly farm park that offers close contact with a whole host of animals, including their ever-popular micro pigs – Marigold, Matilda and Milo. Now heading for a well earned retirement living their days being completely spoilt, they would like visitors to know they are particularly fond of Polos!
9. Farm Fun
It’s no surprise that Lincolnshire has its fair share of farm parks, thanks to its agricultural and farming heritage, and Rand Farm Park is a year-round family favourite. This working farm offers indoor and outdoor adventure playgrounds as well as plenty of baby animals to hold, cuddle and feed. The majority of their animals live in warm straw pens... so you can meet them at any time of the year.
10. Fantastic falcons
Each summer the majestic towers of Lincoln Cathedral enjoy some very special visitors – peregrine falcons. Normally found diving to catch prey at up to 200 miles per hour from sheer cliffs, these birds of prey are just at home right here in the historic heart of the city. Check out the live webcam and special viewing spots during nesting season.