Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

How to See Wildlife in Woodlands

The key to seeing wildlife anywhere isn’t magic, it’s understanding probabilities.

There are so many techniques for improving your chances, many of them listed in my book, Wild Signs & Star Paths.

But here’s a really fast, easy tip to get you started when you’re in coniferous plantations.

These plantations aren’t great for wildlife, especially in the single-species plantations, but there is always some life to be found.

The trick is walk and stop, and make sure you stop somewhere where you can look as far as possible down the avenues.

If you do this you achieve two important things:

  1. You minimise your disturbance zone – the size of the ring around you that repels wildlife.
  2. You maximise your visibility range. Instead of seeing the tree five feet in front you, you’re suddenly able to see a hundred yards or more.

Then all you have to do is wait.

(A roe deer passed across the avenue in this photo just before this picture was taken, but on that occasion I tried to enjoy the moment rather than reach for the camera straight away.)

For more techniques like this, please see the book, Wild Signs and Star Paths.