Find the nearest Animals & Wildlife
Our Animals and Wildlife category brings all Coast Radar’s listings related to looking for something to do or a place to visit together where they offer some form of animal or wildlife activity.
Finding the best things to see and do on a day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the animal and wildlife links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next UK and Ireland activity.
- Port Hellick Beach sits in a sheltered tidal inlet on St Mary’s south coast and the beach at low tide offers a wide expanse of sand and rocks. This is not really a location for sitting on the beach but offers a great natural landscape. A shingle bar provides a freshwater pool (Higher Moors and Porth Hellick Pool) behind the beach that is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for the ″wide diversity of habitats with several rare and notable plant species″and making this an important stop-off for migrating and wintering birds. Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Admiral of the Fleet was temporarily buried on the beach after he was washed up here when his ship struck the rocks on 22nd October 1707, with the loss of her entire crew of about 800 men. Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s body, along with the bodies of his two stepsons and that of Captain Edmund Loades, were washed up on Porth Hellick Cove the following day. The body was subsequently exhumed by order of Queen Anne and finally laid to rest in Westminster Abbey on 22nd December 1707. A small memorial marker marks the site where he was washed ashore. The beach has no facilities.
- A large, shallow, freshwater storage reservoir and is the largest freshwater body in Essex. The reservoir contains around 25,000 Megalitres. It is a pumped storage reservoir. This means water is pumped from the rivers Chelmer, Blackwater and Stour to fill it, rather than simply relying on rainfall in the limited catchment area. The reservoir was formed by damming a shallow river valley. There a plans to increase the capacity of Abberton reservoir to 40,000 megalitres by raising the bank height all the way round. On its margins are found well-established plant communities that provide important opportunities for feeding, nesting and shelter. Abberton Reservoir is important as an autumn arrival area for waterbirds that then spend the winter elsewhere. Designated a Special Protection Area as a result of its over-wintering populations of Golden Plover, Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal and for its breeding population of cormorants. In addition there are significant numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Coot, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Pintail, Wigeon and Great Crested Grebe. The Reservoir was used by the RAF’s 617 Squadron (“The Dam Busters”) for practice runs prior to the bombing of the German Dams in the Ruhr during World War II.
- The St Cyrus National Nature Reserve (NNR) sits amongst grassland, dunes and cliffs just above St Cyrus beach. The Reserve comprises of 92 hectares (230 acres) of coastal habitat in the northern part of Montrose Bay. The grasslands are protected from the weather by the inland cliffs and sand dunes and this provides a unique landscape and habitat for wildflowers, breeding birds and butterflies. Take a walk down to the sandy beach and you may get a glimpse of dolphins, whales and seals or spot some of the salmon nets. The visitor centre is located in the old lifeboat station, with information on the history of the area and what to look out for when exploring.
- Sea Life located on Bray’s Seafront, County Wicklow, National SEA LIFE Bray is one of the country’s largest all-weather Marine and Freshwater Zoos. It’s collection of over 90 species of underwater animals is displayed in a range of exciting exhibits which include “Rivers of the World”, “Lair of the Octopus”, “Nemo’s Kingdom”, and “Tropical Shark Lagoon”.
- The Sanctuary has nursery pools, convalescence, and resident pools, and a specially designed hospital. The hospital includes isolation pools, as well as treatment and preparation areas. In addition to the Grey and Common Seals you have Fur Seals, Patagonian Sea Lions and an Arctic Hooded Seal. The Sanctuary also provides a much-needed haven for a variety of other animals, such as Otters, Sheep, Ponies and Goats. Occasionally the Sanctuary’s facilities and expertise are called upon to aid in the rescue of other marine creatures such as Dolphins and Turtles.
- The North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory (NRBO) was established in 1987 to study and record the migrant birds that pass through Orkney’s most northerly island each year. The number and variety of birds that arrive here on migration in Spring and Autumn can be spectacular, and North Ronaldsay is well-known as one of the best birdwatching sites in the UK. The observatory also provides a variety of comfortable accommodation, including guest house, hostel and camping area, for visitors to the island.
- Abbotsbury Swannery is unique, the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. The Swannery was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040’s. The monks farmed the swans to produce food for their lavish banquets. St Peter’s monastery was destroyed in 1539 during the dissolution. Some of the ruins are still visible around St Nicholas’ Church in the village. Since that time the Swannery has been under the stewardship of the Ilchester Estates.
- RSPB South Stack Centre is on top of the cliffs overlooking the South Stack lighthouse and the cliff-side nesting colonies. You can see the birds through live TV images, telescopes and binoculars. You’ll be able to watch guillemots, razorbills and puffins all raising their young, while live television pictures give you an even closer view of the nests! As well as the RSPB centre you have many options to explore the cliffs and heathland around the centre. Facilities include a tea room. The seabird centre is only open Easter to September.