To celebrate BBC Wildlife magazine's 60th birthday, we asked 60 people from our wonderful network of writers, presenters, photographers and conservationists to share their favourite places in the UK for wildlife. Six of those places are in the Midlands.


This beautiful corner of the UK is famous for its stunning countryside and reserves, all teeming with wildlife. Vote for the one you love the most from the list below.


(Voting closes at midnight 10 March 2023)

Our favourite wildlife destinations in the Midlands

Middleton Lakes, Staffordshire

Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta europaea) © Getty Images
Nestled between the urban stretches of Tamworth and Birmingham, Middy reveals wild wonders with every visit, ringing with the squawks of herons, the ‘oi-oi-oi’s of nuthatches and the tapping of woodpeckers. In spring, Middy is JOY! I’d travel there specifically for my first cuckoo of the year. A good day in May and 10 types of warbler will grace your ears with their song.
Lucy Lapwing, naturalist

RSPB Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire

© Colin Wilkinson /Getty Images
With more than 1,000 ancient oak trees and beautiful lowland heath, it traces a direct line back to the royal hunting ‘forest’ it once was. At its heart sits the Major Oak, a popular colossus said to have once housed Robin Hood. At any time of the year it offers tranquillity (once you’ve escaped the jousting!) and the chance to immerse yourself in a greener, wilder space. Sherwood is where I recharge my batteries and breathe more deeply – just for a moment.
Beccy Speight, CEO of RSPB

Rutland Water, Leicestershire

Osprey (Pandion Haliaetus) © Getty Images
The astonishing thing about Rutland Water is that it’s human-made – a reservoir that didn’t exist 50 years ago. Today, its tapestry of lagoons and wetlands are a paradise for anyone who loves being out in nature and is a ‘bad’ birdwatcher like me. In winter, Rutland Water is a hotspot for migratory species, hosting tens of thousands of ducks, geese, swans and even – I’m told – bitterns. It’s an impossible mixture of colourful, joyful, noisy birds.
Sandy Luk, CEO of Marine Conservation Society

Attenborough Reserve, Nottingham

© Getty Images
I’ve been visiting this Wildlife Trust reserve for 15 years and it still surprises me. As well as 30 species of fish, highlights include sand martens, kingfishers, otters and, in winter, bitterns and flocks of murmurating starlings.
Jack Perks, underwater photographer

Haugh Woods, Hereford

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene) © Getty Images
This isn’t my local patch, rather one I adopt when visiting family, but it is fast becoming a favourite place for happy times in the wild. It’s nationally important for butterflies and moths, home to more than 600 species, including the rare pearl-bordered fritillary.
Savita Willmott, CEO of The Natural History Consortium

Rodborough Common, Gloucestershire

© Getty Images
Patrick Barkham’s The Butterfly Isles inspired me to seek out all 59 native species, but on two wheels. Rides so far include to Dorset for silver-studded blues and Devon for clouded yellows, but nothing beats the mix at Rodborough. It is my perfect day out.
Matt Swaine, editor of BBC Wildlife (2013-2015)
Vote for your favourite places in the rest of the UK using the links below.

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