Wildlife and Nature

Wiltshire is a beautiful county. We’re lucky to have three areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) – the Cotswolds to the north, Cranborne Chase and the West Wiltshire Downs and the North Wessex Downs. AONBs are areas of countryside that has been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value.

There are plenty of nature reserves run by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, from bogs to meadows and ancient woodland, and we have reserves owned by the RSPB.

You can also get closer to wildlife in our city parks.

At certain times of year, the countryside delights with shows of snowdrops, bluebells or poppies, and of course the wildflowers in summer are gorgeous.

The main rivers flowing through Wiltshire are the Avon and Thames, but all our waterways support nature, including the man-made Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wiltshire is famous for the Great Bustard – a bird reintroduced to Salisbury Plain.

There are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, whether in a forest, nature reserve or town park but you can also visit Wiltshire’s animal parks.

Animal Parks:

Bush Farm Bison Centre, West Knoyle

Bison farm

Longleat Safari Park

Longleat Safari Park and country house has a large range of animals and the opportunity to have close encounters with some of the park inhabitants


The New Forest

Part of the New Forest extends into Wiltshire at Landford and Nomansland

Savernake Forest

Savernake Forest can be found near Marlborough. It covers approximately 4,500 acres. It’s a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) as well as a registered important historic park. One of the countries oldest trees, the Big Belly Oak, can be seen on the side of the A346 in the forest.

Long distance footpaths

The Mid-Wilts Way is a waymarked long distance path across Wiltshire’s countryside from Wootton Rivers to Mere.