Our nature reserves
Visit the Wildlife Garden
For an urban site, the Mill has an extraordinary wealth of wildlife. Around 100 species of plants flourish in its grounds, with more on its sedum roof. Having flowing water passing through means that fish and waterfowl are regularly seen. The leat teems with freshwater shrimps and when the water levels are low all kinds of birds take advantage of the food source. Small fish frequently attract kingfishers and a pair of grey wagtails regularly raises a brood here. Other regular visitors are egrets and dippers.
Perhaps the most spectacular visitors are sparrowhawks, which have been seen with kills on the roof and in the car park, otters which pass through regularly and are caught on infrared cameras (see our webcams page) and herons, one of which was observed wrestling with a large eel which didn’t want to be eaten – but eventually was! In the summer the garden is awash with colour when the wildflower meadow is in full flower attracting bees and butterflies.
Otter/ bird hide
In March 2012 a hide was installed for visitors to get a secluded view of local wildlife without being spotted. Made locally from willow, the hurdles have been erected on the bridge beyond the third wheel so that visitors can look downstream towards the Quay. This is a prime spot in the centre of the city for seeing otters if you are patient and lucky! It is well worth making the effort to walk down there if you pay us a visit to see what is around. On the day of installation we had a visit by a robin looking for worms we had dug up and a wren who used the new posts as a perch!
Otters regularly visit the Mill's leat and are often caught on an infrared camera both day and night. Watch the Cricklepit otter visiting the mill.
Help wildlife in the city
- Find out how to make your garden a wildlife haven on DWT's Wildlife Gardening webpages
- Volunteer to help maintain the Cricklepit Mill garden. For further information visit the Volunteer Opportunities page
- Find out about DWT's Exeter Wild City Project working to make Exeter a green city
Go back to the main Cricklepit webpage