Usually Open Country would be out and about in the countryside right now, ensuring people with disabilities get the opportunity to see some really fantastic wildlife spectacles. Whilst we have had to postpone our nature watching outings for now, there is nothing stopping you getting up close and personal with wildlife from your computer, tablet or phone! We have collated a list of all the best nature, landscape and animal webcams from around UK for your viewing pleasure. We hope you get hooked like we are. Don’t forget to let us know your favourite one to watch!
WARNING: Most of these webcams show live footage of wild animals in nature. Please understand that at times this may include disturbing images, such as a peregrine bringing its chicks fresh prey.
Peregrine falcons are one of the coolest birds in the UK. For starters they are the fastest animal on the planet (they have been recorded at speeds of up to 250mph during their hunting swoop). They like to nest high up on ledges in rural crags, quarries and in more recent times, tall city centre buildings, where they have a good view of small to medium sized birds, which they hunt in flight. In the UK they nest and raise their young between late March and early August, so now is a good time to tune in.
· Wakefield Cathedral has had a pair of nesting peregrines nesting since 2015. During the past five years, the peregrines have hatched and raised seventeen young, as well as caring for one adopted youngster. Please note, the camera is not always reliable.
· The Leicester Peregrines are back in 2020 and this pair are so famous, they have two cameras pointed at them (camera one is a better view usually)
· Chichester Cathedral Peregrines are world famous! They were one of the first pairs to be ‘watched’ by the British public online back in 2001.
· Leamington Spa Town Hall have superb views of peregrines, run by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
· Peregrine falcons have been nesting on the roof of Merton Civic Centre in Morden (London) each year since 2015.
· Nottingham Trent University has had its own resident pair of nesting peregrines for a few years now with a great front-on camera angle.
Ospreys are also in the bird of prey family but they love to hunt fish. They are specially adapted to fishing in lakes, seas and sometimes rivers. They became extinct as a breeding bird in England in 1840, primarily due to heavy persecution by Victorian egg collectors. Although things are slowly improving for ospreys they are still considered rare. They are mainly brown and white birds with a wingspan of around five foot (the females are larger than the males). They join us every summer to breed after spending winter in warmer climates (usually the West African coastline) and like huge nests made out of twigs and sticks.
· Rutland Osprey Project is probably one of the most successful and visited Osprey projects in the UK . There is lots of daily nest action!
· There are now a few breeding pairs of osprey in the Lake District and the Foulshaw Moss pair have made it to online fame to! The male, identified by his ‘White YW’ leg ring, hatched at Bassenthwaite in 2008. The female, identified by her ‘Blue 35’ leg ring, hatched at Kielder in 2010.
· Poole Harbour Osprey Project has a got a lovely clear live webcam with audio (although it’s mainly just wind noise!)
· The Yorkshire Dales have recently started streaming a live kestrel nest.
· A live barn owl nest from the Somerset Levels where eggs have already been laid and are currently being incubated. (This camera is not always reliable)
· The Shetland Webcam collection has some great sounds of different seabirds. This year’s live cameras are delayed because of Coronavirus but you can still see (and hear) lots of great stuff from around Sumburgh Head. If you get really lucky, people have seen the Northern Lights from these webcams on a clear winter’s night.
· This camera, run by Cumbria Wildlife Trust, provides an up close and personal view of garden birds as they visit their feeder station in their wildlife garden at Plumgarth.
· Vine House Farm, near Peterborough, have two live videos that can be streamed from their online farm and bird shop. Both are good quality and the bird feeding station has a wide selection of foods out to attract lots of species.
· Cumbria Wildlife Trust have also set up a live badger cam from the Ambleside area of the Lake District. They have set up a feeding station for wild badgers at the back of a hotel. Dusk is a good time to tune in.
· Red squirrels are doing well in the Cairngorms National Park and you can now see them live on the internet. Please note the quality of this footage is not fantastic and some people may only be able to get the recorded highlights on their computer/laptop.
· The iconic Balmoral Castle is located in the county of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The castle is the Scottish home to the royal family. This live webcam lets viewers watch the adorable red squirrel residents of Balmoral Castle grounds as they come to eat. The camera quality is good but please note that the squirrels are wild and only turn up at the peanut feeder from time to time.
· Whilst it is not currently seal pup watching season, you can watch pre-recorded videos of Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Walney Island and their 2015 seal pups…
Wildlife Reserves and National Parks
· RSPB Titchwell Marsh (Norfolk) has a wonderful audio-only live listening from the beach
· Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside Wildlife Trust run Brockholes Nature Reserve, not a million miles from Preston. They now have immersive webcams to view wildlife from different angles around the 250-acre nature reserve.
· A lot of you will be familiar with the Yorkshire Dales National Park from our walking and outings trips. You can now remind yourself of some of the landscapes in the park, with these webcams.
· If you prefer big cats to birds of prey, try the five live webcams Edinbrough Zoo have put up online. They include a glimpse into the life of their rockhopper penguins, tigers, pandas and koalas!
· Dublin Zoo is closed to visitors now but you can still watch their range of animals play from your own home. The elephant camera is particularly spectacular.
· Chester Zoo are sharing Live Virtual Zoo days on their Facebook page featuring some amazing animal antics.
· Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales, have a great live cam for watching sheep, goats and adorable new-born lambs. Is there anything cuter than goats playing?
The best of the rest:
· The Natural History Museum website features 11 ways you can explore the museum virtually including ‘hanging out’ with the blue whale suspended from the ceiling in Hintze Hall.
· If you are a fan of naturalist Chris Packham, he is now doing #WildMorningsWithChris from his home in the New Forest.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our very own YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc9JkJ0qBkrJXX3xLuzLr0A where you can view our own videos including one of Horatio Hedgehog in Kate’s garden!