The Purple Hairstreak butterfly. Dark wings with streaks of purple.


The Windsor Estate provides habitats for a vast array of fauna and flora – including birds, bats, insects, fish, and rare fungi and lichens.

Here are a few of the types and species that we work to conserve.


We have five species of amphibians. The frogs and toads are fairly common in some ponds or lakes, the newts are harder to see because of the habitats and behaviour.


Bats use trees and buildings for roosting, as well as bat boxes we have provided to help us study their populations.


The ancient trees within Windsor Great Park and the wider Estate provide a variety of habitats, offering ideal nesting sites for a number of interesting birds – including tawny and barn owls, and the green and great spotted woodpecker. 

Woodland and parkland birds

Lakes, ponds and wetland birds

Forest and heathland birds 


Fungi are essential parts of our world and help habitats to function. Fungi act as ‘ecosystem engineers’. They help trees and flowers to grow through their underground networks entwined with roots in the soil, they recycle the nutrients from fallen leaves and branches and provide food for animals and insects. 


Windsor Great Park is one of the best places to see and study rare and specialised insects. As they are legally protected we support careful study and photography, but we do not allow any collecting of specimens. 


Windsor Great Park is home to nearly 2,000 species of beetle, many of which are endangered, vulnerable or near-threatened. 

Butterflies & day flying moths

Butterflies and moths depend on particular plants for their caterpillars to feed on, and an abundance of nectar sources which the adults feed on. A selection of the species you can see in Windsor Great Park and the wider Estate are shown below. 

Decaying wood insects

Our position at the top of the ‘Index of Ecological Continuity’ indicates a continuity of high-quality dead wood habitats from ancient times to the present. 


The Estate is home to around 26 species of dragonfly, some of which can be very abundant. Our diversity of wetland habitats – from common ponds to heathland pools and mires – supports species that are also common and rare.  


Over 1,800 species have been found here including the unique royal splinter crane fly. This insect is only found here, and very little is known about its habitat preferences.  Its name identifies its dependence on the Royal Landscape.

The Queen’s executioner beetle 

In 2010 one of our rarest and most endangered beetles was given the title ‘Queen’s executioner beetle’ in a competition to name ten of Britain’s rarest species. It was formerly only known by its scientific name of Megapenthes lugens


We have numerous freshwater fish in our lakes – including pike, bream, tench, roach, perch and carp. Smaller ponds and streams may support ‘tiddlers’ like sticklebacks. Some lakes have managed fish stocks for our angling members, and other populations are naturally sustaining.


Although pollution has affected lichens country-wide, we still have some very rare examples growing on the bark and exposed wood of our oldest trees. 


We have four species of reptile in the Park, all have legal protection. They favour open habitats – especially areas of heather, grasses and gorse scrub – where they depend on warm sunshine.


In addition, Windsor Great Park is also home to a number of other species, including muntjac and roe deer, badgers, moles, rabbits and hares. 

Strictly speaking, the red deer and rare breed cattle aren’t wild, but they are important parts of the Estate’s ecosystem. 

Explore our habitats

Dig deeper into the habitats, the wildlife they support and the work we do to preserve them for the benefit of the nation.

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The Crown Estate is a unique business with a diverse portfolio that stretches across the country. We actively manage our assets in line with our purpose: to create lasting and shared prosperity for the nation.

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