A guide to spotting rare UK wildlife

The UK shores are home to a variety of rare wildlife. No matter where you are located in the country, there’s always an opportunity to spot a rare animal if you know where to look. (The Following Post has been provided by Haven Holidays).

Haven Holidays have created a useful PDF guide offering a helping hand. Whether you want to spot a Basking Shark in Devon or catch sight of a Scottish Wildcat in Aberdeenshire, this guide will give you a kick start to spotting some of the UK’s rarest wildlife.

Basking Shark

You can find at least 21 species of shark in the UK, the largest being the Basking Shark. This gentle giant can grow up to 12 metres in length and weighing an average of 2,200kg the Basking is the world’s second largest fish. The Basking Shark can be found on the UK coast in Cornwall and Devon in the spring, summer and autumn.

Scottish Wildcat

This wild feline is actually rarer than the Bengal Tiger, so if you spot this one out in the wild it would be one to remember. It wouldn’t be an easy task as there’s less than 100 left in the wild. You might be lucky enough to spot the Scottish Wildcat during any season in Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highlands. Although they may look cuddly, the Scottish Wildcat are extremely feisty, so be cautious.

A scottish wildcat and kitten (Peter Trimming)

Swallowtail Butterfly

Britain’s largest and rarest butterfly is the Swallow tail. These beautiful butterflies have an impressive 9cm wingspan and unmissable colours. After losing most of their habitat, the Swallowtail can only be found around the Norfolk Broads on a rare occasion, so you have to be fast to catch a glimpse of it. The butterfly can be seen fluttering around in the spring and summer, feasting on milk parsley in the wetlands.

The swallowtail butterfly – Charlesjsharp

Red Squirrel

Red squirrels are an extremely threatened species with more than 75% living in Scotland. This woodland creature can be seen all year round and can be spotted in Loch Ard, Keilder and Whinlatter Forests and Formby.  Although the red squirrel has been overrun by the bigger grey squirrel, you can find protected red squirrel reserves across the UK.

Red Squirrels can also be seen on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset


With as few as 100 Beavers left in the wild, it wasn’t long ago that this woodland creature were hunted to near extinction. Luckily, there is now a healthy population of beaver thriving in Devon and Scotland (Argyll) and can be spotted any time of the year. To see where you can spot more rare animals including the cuckoo, pine marten and the capercaillie, see Haven’s full PDF guide here.

There’s only around 100 beavers left in the wild – makedocreative

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