This summer the National Cycle Network is the perfect place to see plants bursting with life and to hunt for insects and animals. Use our handy spotter guide to help you find wildlife you can’t see at any other time of year.
We've chosen these routes to explore this summer as inspiration, but you can also search our online mapping for other routes near you.
1. Brunel Trail, Pembroke
The trail follows the picturesque Cleddau estuary through Westfield Pill Nature Reserve and is one of Sustrans Greener Greenways. Over 150 bird species have been recorded here and the reserve attracts Osprey, Little Egrets and Little Grebe, Kingfishers, Shelduck, Mute Swan, Mallard and Heron.
2. Marriott’s Way, Norwich
The whole of Marriott’s Way has been designated as a County Wildlife Site recognising its importance as a valuable habitat. Marriott’s Way is an impressive haven for wildlife, creating a ‘green corridor’ linking natural habitats.
3. Camel Trail, Cornwall
The River Camel has been designated a Special Area of Conservation for the otter and the bullhead freshwater fish. The estuary is also home to large flocks of wading birds, peregrine falcons, mite swans and was the first place in England to be colonised by Little Egrets.
4. New Forest Ride, Brockenhurst
This great route takes you through the New Forest where you’re likely to spot wild ponies and grazing cattle.
5. Almouth to Druridge Bay, Northumberland
The Wildlife Trust are developing a series of interconnected wildlife-focussed areas in and around Druridge Bay and the surrounding farmed land of south east Northumberland to protect and enhance wildlife. The area is important for seabirds such as the roseate tern.
This great route takes you from urban Leicester to a beautiful green space. At Watermead Park you’re likely to see dragonflies, grasshoppers and wading birds. You can also spot otters and water voles.
This lovely route passes the Seal and Dolphin Centre at North Kessock - one of the best places in Europe to observe dolphins and seals in their natural habitat.
Along this route you'll travel past wetlands which are habitats for migratory wildfowl, wading birds, adders and rare heath butterflies. The Upper Solway’s flats and marshes are a Ramsar site and seals, dolphins and porpoises have been sighted offshore.
Wicken Fen is one of the last remaining fragments of undrained fenland and Britain’s oldest nature reserve. It’s also a Special Area of Conservation (a European designation) and a RAMSAR site (international wetland designation). It's home to thousands of migrating summer birds - there are 9 hides which let you spy the wildlife!
This path has become a refuge for wild plants and animals as intensive farming practices drive them out of the surrounding fields. You'll also see fruit and walnut trees and are likely to spot cowslips, knapweed, wild carrot and tansy.