Castle Acre is a wonderful place to walk or just while away the time on the meadows or by the river. I always aim to have my camera with me because I never know what I might see. The photos in these galleries are something of a record of what I’ve managed to photograph since 2007. They’re not always the best photos of a particular species but were often taken on the spur of the moment - wildlife doesn’t tend to hang around and pose - and often under less than favourable light conditions! There are some that I’ve seen that I’ve not been able to capture yet, the kingfisher is a good example and although I’m amazed by the number of species I've seen I’m well aware that I’ve only scratched the surface. I don’t claim to be an expert, just a nature lover with a camera, but I hope the pictures are correctly identified.
All photos were taken in the area shown on the map below, mainly on or near the river and roughly 2km either side of the village.
There are 48 species in the gallery below. Identification by rolling mouse over each picture.
The castle earthworks are chalk mounds, rich in chalk flora and great for butterflies which can also be found in the water meadows, starting with the skippers in late spring. The river and water meadows are good places to find dragonflies and damselflies. I’ve included a few of the many other insects and a spider (it is eating an insect!). The gallery is subdivided (gallery button left of menu bar).
I hope the identifications are correct - e.g. the common darter dragonfly has a yellow stripe on its legs, the ruddy darter does not, the damselflies are identified by a mark on the 2nd abdominal segment where visible. I recommend these sites for butterflies and dragonflies.
A few others including mammals, reptiles and fish - very incomplete, no amphibians although I’ve seen frogs and toads and with the mammals I’ve seen voles mice and rats and there have been otter sightings on the river. The hare is the only picture that doesn’t obey the criterion of being within my ‘square mile’. It was out of the village towards the Wicken farm - they prefer wide open spaces as their only defence is haring in the opposite direction to threats. My favourites are the water voles which have returned to the river after a mink cull.