Wildlife

The Wild Flower MeadowIn addition to the beautiful landscape and varied plant life, Hestercombe is also a little patch of paradise for native wildlife.

As you walk the gardens it is not unusual to catch a glimpse of a flicking white tail as roe deer bound away at your approach... Hear the rustle of leaves as common lizards busily go about their daily business of bug hunting.

Hestercombe provides a fantastic place to live for a wide and varied assortment of our native animals. Many species have been recorded on site and we have listed just a few - so look out for these. If when you visit, you spot something interesting then please do let us know by contacting Oliver White on 01823 413923 or email and send in your photos.

Badgers at HestercombeMammals
Roe deer - Capreolus capreolus
Fox  - Vulpes vulpes
Badger - Meles meles
Rabbit - Oryctolagus cuniculus
Lesser horseshoe bat and other bats...

Birds
Buzzards (nesting) - Buteo buteo
Sparrowhawk
Nuthatch
and many more

Reptiles/Amphibians/Fish
Common lizard - Lacerta vivipara
Grass snake - Natrix natrix
Common frog - Rana temporaria
Common toad - Bufo bufo
Rudd (Box pond) - Scardinius erythrophthalmus
3 spined stickleback (Formal Garden) - Gasterosteus aculeatus

Invertebrates
There are literally thousands of species of invertebrates living in the Gardens. In a recent moth survey carried out by the British Butterfly Conservation Society they recorded 84 different species of moth in just 3 nights! The Scarlet tiger moth - Callimorpha dominula -  a fairly rare and unusual moth, the larvae feed mainly on comfrey; Meadow grasshopper- Chorthippus parallelus, a pretty green grasshopper often heard before seen!

Scarlet Tiger Moth
Appears during June - July in Southern Britain. It is a large moth, forewing shiny black with white and yellow blotches and hindwings mostly red. Found in marshes, damp meadows, coastal undercliff, riverbanks and roadsides. Often near comfrey or nettles.

Scarlet Tiger Moth

Latin name: Callimorpha dominula

group: Tigers, Ermines, Footmen and allies (Arctiids)

Countries: England WalesFamily

This tropical-looking moth is very distinctive. Rarely, individuals with yellow hindwings or yellow spots on the forewings occur, and in some forms the hindwings may be extensively black.

This species is predominantly confined to south and west England and Wales with two isolated populations in Kent. Several individuals have been found on Jersey in the last 20 years but it is not known whether it is resident.

Frequently flies in sunshine, particularly in late afternoon and early evening for the males. Can also be found during the day resting on leaves. Also flies at night.

Take a look at this incredible video of our own Lesser Horseshoe Bats recently shown on ITV West Country:

Opening Times
Hestercombe Gardens is open all year round, except Christmas Day.

The gardens are open from 10a.m. to 6p.m. with the last entry at 5p.m. (dusk in Winter)

The Courtyard, Stables Kitchen and Lutyens Gallery are open 10a.m. to 5.30p.m. (closing at 5p.m. in Winter)

The Gardens Shop & Plant Centre are open 11a.m. to 5.30p.m. (closing at 4.30p.m. in Winter)

Our Lesser Horseshoe Bats
Our Lesser Horseshoe Bats

Accreditations