Clatworthy is surrounded by steep bracken banks and ancient woodland, perfect habitat for the coch-y-bonddu, hawthorn, wood beetle and red ant which hatch through the season. The site is home to bats, more than 1,000 species of invertebrate and a wide range of bird species which use the ancient woodland and species-rich grassland habitats. To find out more download our visitor guide.
Wildlife at Clatworthy
Wildlife at Clatworthy
Discover the rich variety of wildlife living in the ancient woodland
The grassland around the reservoir is home to several butterfly species, which tend to come out more during the summer months. Come along and see if you can spot any of the following butterfly species which can be found throughout Clatworthy:
- small heath,
- small skipper,
- common blue,
- meadow brown,
- speckled wood,
- dark green fritillary,
- marbled white,
- orange tip,
- silver-washed fritillary.
The rare and nationally declining small pearl-bordered fritillary can sometimes be seen between May and July. The adult butterflies feed on nectar rich plants such as thistle and bramble and lay their eggs on or near violets. The violets then become the main food source for their larvae. Interestingly, the larvae overwinter in dead leaves and bracken before emerging in spring to start feeding again.
As dusk falls during spring and summer, bats begin to emerge on site. In total, ten species of bat use the reservoir, woods and surrounding land. At Clatworthy, we’ve found the following bats species patrolling the site during the night time:
- common pipistrelle
- soprano pipistrelle
- brown long-eared
- greater horseshoe
- lesser horseshoe
Daubenton’s bats feed on insects that they take close to the water’s surface using either their feet or tail membrane as a scoop. The waters of the reservoir are therefore an obvious attraction for these bats, which are also known as the ‘water bat’. They form colonies in holes of trees near water before moving to underground sites in October for winter hibernation. The edges of our woodland are a key feeding area for bats. The mix of woodland and scrub, bordered by wide grass strips, provides a home to the insects which the bats feed on.
There are countless rare species of invertebrate at Clatworthy. In fact, more than 1,000 invertebrate species have been identified at the reservoir. Along the water’s edge you may see common blue and azure damselflies in summer. You may even see large red-tailed and white-tailed bumblebee and common carder bee, mix with hundreds of flies, grasshoppers, beetle, ant and spider species.
As you walk along the paths through the grassland around the reservoir, keep an eye out for the violet oil beetle from March to May. They come out during these months and often amble across the path, so watch your feet and do your best to not squash them. The rarest species known on site is the cheese fly, which has only been recorded once before in England – do you think you would be able to spot it?
When the sun sets and the sky turn’s dark, several elusive visitors tend to make an appearance. Our cameras have captured footage of otters at the water’s edge and observed the hazel dormouse in one of the woods. These are both endangered species that we do our best to protect.
At least two types of deer live here and if you are walking quietly you may see roe deer prowling through the woods. The larger red deer is a lot shier, but you could see signs that they have passed, such as footprints in the mud.