10 places to watch wildlife with your children

The best places to spot wildlife with your children this summer

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Cheddar Gorge, Somerset This gorge is a Special Area of Conservation, as it contains a large number of European Protected Species. Here you can see bats, water voles, peregrine falcons, mountain goats, great crested newts and dormice. Tel: 01934 742343 

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Rockingham Forest, Northamptonshire Hazel dormice live here, along with foxes, badgers, polecats, fallow deer, muntjac deer, woodpeckers and tawny and long-eared owls. Go to the RSPB centre at Fineshade Woods to map out your visit. Tel: 01780 444920 

Thetford Forest, Norfolk This tall pine forest is home to a wide variety of birds including red crossbills, goldfinches and woodlarks. There’s also red deer, roe deer and muntjac deer. Tel: 01842 816010 

Donna Nook, Lincolnshire This is one of the best places to see grey seals in the UK. Visit in late autumn at the height of the pupping season when there will be lots of babies to see. Tel: 01507 526667 

Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire You can see puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes at this coastal beauty spot and RSPB sanctuary. On a calm day, you might also spot porpoises in the water. Tel: 01262 851179 

Muncaster Castle, Cumbria Set in the Lake District’s rolling hills, Muncaster is one of Britain’s best places for seeing wild tawny owls. You can also visit the wildflower woods and meadows and enjoy feeding time with the resident herons. Tel: 01229 717614 

Ellin’s Tower, Holyhead A convenient way to spot puffins is from Ellin’s Tower, an RSPB venue that offers fantastic views of native breeding seabird colonies, including puffins, chough and peregrine. Tel: 01407 764973 

Wood of Cree, Dumfries & Galloway The largest ancient woodland in southern Scotland, this area has woodpeckers, owls and buzzards as well as three varieties of deer. If you’re lucky, you might spot red squirrels, pine martens and otters. Tel: 01556 670464

Falls Of Clyde, South Lanarkshire This reserve is home to a pair of nesting peregrine falcons, as well as kingfishers, otters and badgers. Tel: 01555 665262 

Cairngorms, Inverness-shire This is a huge area of wilderness where you may see red grouse and red deer, but to guarantee a sighting of otters, red squirrels and red deer, visit the Highland Wildlife Park on the north-west edge. Tel: 01540 651 270 

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If you’re still stuck for ideas for family fun over the summer, what about farm visits, action days and much, much more…

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