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Home » Enjoying » Places to visit » Carew Castle and Tidal Mill » Visiting » Wildlife

Wildlife at Carew Castle & Tidal Mill

Famous for its role in history, Carew Castle is less well known - but just as important - for its wildlife. The Castle, grassland, Millpond and Mill Lane were designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in recognition of this fact in 1995.

Long grass means happy bats!

Hungry bats love to hunt the moths, beetles and invertebrates that live among the long grasses and wildflowers here at Carew Castle – that’s one reason why we let the grass grow long. More than half of all the species of bats found in Britain - including the rare greater horseshoe bat - have been recorded here over the past few years.

The South West Tower is closed to the public to protect the bats that live there. More than half of all the species of bats found in Britain – including the rare greater horseshoe bat – have been recorded here.

Greater horseshoe bat
Greater horseshoe bat.

Plant life

Carew Castle is reputedly one of the best sites in Britain for the southern polypody fern and waxcap fungi. In the grassland around the Castle grow spotted medick, knotted hedge-parsley and fiddle dock.

Polypody
Southern polypody fern.

Birdlife

Blue-tits, wrens, blackbirds and jackdaws all make their home in Carew Castle. Owls nest in the Castle ruins as well. At twilight you can sometimes see a barn owl hunting around the Castle. Little owl, tawny owl and barn owl have also been recorded at the Castle.

The Millpond attracts redshank, curlew, common sandpiper and shelduck as well as Carew's resident swans. We are often lucky enough to spot kingfishers near the Mill in late summer. Swallows nest each year in the Mill and in late spring/early summer you can view ‘swallow-cam’ in the Mill Shop!

Kingfisher at Mill
Kingfisher on Carew Millpond.