Britain's best islands for wildlife spotting

You'll find some unusual creatures in some unusual places

Britain's exotic island wildlife -where to see it

The UK is home to a plethora of unspoilt islands to explore and discover, full of natural treasures and wildlife.

From seabird colonies on rugged cliffs to tranquil water vole havens on the banks of the Thames, there's wildlife on your doorstep wherever you are in the UK. And many of these islands are not only wild and untamed places, they're also dripping with fascinating industrial and cultural history.

The isolated, protected nature of The Wildlife Trust's coastal and river island nature reserves make them sanctuaries for people and for wildlife, often home to rare and iconic species.

south walney island cumbria cwt

Did you know, for example, that if you visit the tiny Isle of Eigg you can see Minke whales between July and September? Or that the Isles of Scilly are home to 200 bird species, including puffin, gannet, razorbill and guillemot?

Red squirrel on Brownsea Island

Some of the listed island nature reserves are only accessible by permission or take a bit of extra effort to get to, but any visit is guaranteed to be that bit more special as a result.

Others – including Pewit, Cox's and Nadder islands - don't have direct access, to prevent disturbance to breeding birds, but offer viewing areas from the mainland.

And you'd be surprised where you can find unusual species. Take Isleworth Ait, in the middle of the River Thames in west London, where if you're lucky you'll spot a rare two-lipped door snail or a German hairy snail.

Check out the wide range of wildlife the UK's islands have to offer in the gallery below.

Britain's exotic island wildlife

Britain's exotic island wildlife

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