Get spotting summer wildlife

cycling in the summer

Parts of the Network have been designated as 'green corridors'

spotting wildlife on the ncn

The National Cycle Network is bursting with wildlife

walking with pram through park

Get out in the sunshine to see what you can spot

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.

6. Leicester to Watermead Park

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.

7. Inverness to Dingwall

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.

8. Burgh-by-Sands to the Solway Coast

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.

9. Ely to Wicken Fen

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!

10. Stratford Greenway

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.

Find more great days out using the National Cycle Network

Discover the National Cycle Network

Whether you walk, cycle, run or ride a horse, there's plenty of opportunity for adventure and getting involved!

children cycling

Cycling is a great way to have fun as a family and these routes have lots of things to see and do along the way.

cyclist admiring route view

Love the National Cycle Network? Sponsor your favourite mile and help us keep it in top condition.

Check out our volunteer vacancies in your area.

kids out on a bike ride

Your donations will help maintain the National Cycle Network and provide safer routes for everyone to enjoy.