Arundel is a 65-acre haven for wildlife in a picture-book setting in West Sussex. At its back are steep woodlands, topped by the ancient and dramatic Arundel Castle; at its borders are the pretty River Arun and a historic mill stream; all around are the scenic South Downs.
The proximity of the Downs means that the centre benefits from a water supply that is filtered naturally to crystal clarity and purity by the layers of chalk which are part of the landscape.
This high quality source means that Arundel’s lakes, reed beds, channels and waterfalls can support a rich array of British wildlife favourites as well as a large and varied collection of international wildfowl, many of them under serious threat in their native countries.
Visiting and resident British species include bats, bee orchids, cuckoos, dragonflies, glow-worms, grass snakes, pochard, swans, very many small birds, such as reed and sedge warblers, and three species of woodpecker.
Kingfishers nest in the artificial bank on the Arundel Riverlife lagoon, remaining onsite year around fishing at most hides and along the channels of Wetland Discovery. Sand martins move through the site during autumn passage and spring migration with 10+ pairs staying to nest in the Sand Martin hide’s nesting banks.
The Offham hangar affords views of soaring buzzards and perching peregrines. Kestrels frequent the site and barn owls nest in the boxes on the islands of Wetlands Discovery.
Lapwing can be spotted from the Ramsar hide in small winter flocks and nesting pairs in spring. Pairs of oystercatchers, teal, gadwall and shovelers also live along the large lagoon between the Ramsar and Sand Martin hides.
Grey herons, little egrets and cormorants frequent the scrapes, lagoons and channels throughout the year.