Celebrating local wildlife for World Wildlife Day

Celebrating local wildlife for World Wildlife Day

© Darin Smith

Within the heart of the countryside in Hampshire and the Island all sorts of creatures and wildlife can be found hidden amongst the human world that we know. Here are some local mammalian species for you to keep a lookout for on your next woodland explore, walk in the park or even in your own garden!


These sleepy little creatures can be found hiding amongst hedgerows, woodlands, in meadows and grassland or even in your own garden. Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, so they can only be seen night, although you might stumble across one as the light fades at dusk. It has been recorded that they can walk as far as 2 miles each evening as they snuffle about, foraging for invertebrates ‐ a fair distance for their little legs. Each hedgehog carries an estimated 5000‐7000 spines that make up their spiky exterior.

Two hedgehogs rummaging around plant pots

© Jon Hawkins


Badgers, similarly to hedgehogs, are nocturnal and only surface from their homes at night. Badgers make their underground homes by digging and tunnelling until what resembles a little cave is built. These are called 'setts' and badgers gather and nestle amongst grass and leaves to make their bedding. Looking at a badgers diet, they are omnivores which means they eat both animal and plant‐based foods, with their favourite being earthworms.

Badger at night

© Neil Aldridge


Otters have a reputation for being shy yet mischievous creatures and can get up to all kinds of trouble, for instance some otters have a favourite pastime of rock juggling! As part of a tight knit family, otters have been known to hold onto each other's hands when sleeping, so that they don't float away from each other. They also communicate by making various sounds from whistling to twittering. Otters can be found around coastlines, rivers and wetlands and they live in holts.

Recently otters have made a welcome come back, having now been recorded in every county in Britain. They had declined due to poor water quality in rivers and streams, which led to a decrease in food and increased health problems. By protecting our rivers and wetlands we help otter populations in our two counties. Read more about how we are conserving rivers


© Stewart McDonald


Foxes are solitary creatures and can be found in both woodland and urban areas. Whilst prowling around, a fox's whiskers can help assist with navigation. Similar to the badger, foxes are omnivores, and their diets consist of vegetables, fruit, worms, rodents, and rabbits. When it comes to their homes, foxes dig their dens underground and these can be found mostly in woodland areas. 

Fox cub on a step

© John Day

Roe Deer

Roe deer are a very shy species, and if you are lucky, you may be able to catch a glimpse of them - although it might only be their buff behind disappearing into the surrounding habitat! To find these creatures, look amongst grass and heathland, hiding among the trees in a woodland or around meadows. Distinguishing features of roe deer are the buffish-white fur that covers their rump and chin, along with their black noses and small stature compared to other deer species. In spring they will lose the velvet covering from their antlers. Deer are an herbivore species, so they only consume vegetation of all sorts. This includes leaves, tree shoots, fungi, brambles, and herbs.

For world wildlife day, why don't you go outside and explore your local area and see what wildlife you can find! And don't forget to let us know what you find and share your photos!


Ellie Hunt, our guest blogger, is a conservationist currently studying for her diploma in biology with chemistry.

Roe deer at Fleet Pond

© Richard Allen