The Wilder Side of Compton Verney

The Wilder Side of Compton Verney

As you may know, the park and wider landscape at Compton Verney, as well as being a designed landscape, features many different ecological habitats that are very attractive to wild flowers and creatures. Whilst we naturally manage the venue for its landscape garden qualities, we are also therefore, very much aware of its ecological importance, and we always aim to manage the landscape accordingly. I would even go as far as saying that most of our landscape management regime is based around its wild flora or fauna requirements, as opposed to managing the landscape purely for ornamental reasons.

Rod Oates, volunteer, explaining the process of beekeeping at Compton Verney.

Understanding this, and that around half of the grounds volunteer team have roles devoted to wildlife or habitat recording or management, it wasn’t going to be long before we were ready to stage an event dedicated to The Wilder Side of Compton Verney! Indeed we watched with pride recently whilst our assembled team of naturalists and wildlife champions engaged visitors with the wonderful flora and fauna of Compton Verney and the local area.

Birds, bats and hedgehogs; we had them covered at The Wilder Side of Compton Verney event.


Throughout the day a range of displays and activities were assembled to share information on badgers, fungi, moths, trees and wild flowers, along with bees, hedgehogs, birds and other pollinators. The day was enthusiastically embraced, and we were thrilled to see people of all ages getting artfully active and involved.

A particular treat was the opportunity to present Hush-wing the owl experience; a 360 degree fly through the Compton Verney landscape, with commentary from an owl’s perspective! This element was very well received, and we certainly hope to see more of this activity in the near future.

Hush-wing the Owl experience presented by RiVR, images courtesy of Jade Beynon

As a mini-summary, I would say that the day was beautifully calm and people enjoyed:

  • playing in the activity areas
  • learning tree facts along the native tree trail
  • pond dipping at the platform
  • discovering the badger trail and activities
  • flying through the landscape as an owl
  • constructing giant butterfly wings
  • bug hunting at the Forest School
  • sitting quietly at the bird observation hide
  • looking closer at, and learning how to grow wild flowers

And of course, the flora and fauna enjoyed its moment in the spotlight too!

Chris Ivin, volunteer, focussing in on Lepidoptera at the Wilder Side event

Thank you to everyone who supported the event through volunteering and contributing, and to the many visitors who came and chatted with our team. I hope our passion for the Wilder Side of Compton Verney came through, and if you visited, I hope you were inspired in some way to do even more for the wild fauna and fauna near you.

If you visited the 2019 event and have some feedback, or would be keen to visit or contribute to an event in 2020 in some way – we’d love to hear from you. Please use the comment section at the bottom of this post.

Until next time… do visit soon to see our wild flower meadows in their prime, as they’re due to be cut late July or early August once the seed has set! #CVwildlife

We even made our own hedgehog with Hedgehog Friendly Town

This event at Compton Verney was supported by Arts Council England and the Heritage Fund.