The diversity of wildlife to be found at Fancroft Mill & Gardens is really wonderful and includes the following:


As one would expect in the environs of a water mill, Dippers Mistle thrush collecting foodnest under the bridge and in the mill yard. At least two pairs of Grey  Wagtails avail of the fast flowing  water habitat. For the really vigilant, a glimpse of the beautiful Kingfisher is a real treat.

Blackbirds, thrushes and robins nest close to the house so  detailed observation and recording is possible. Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Blue Tits, Long -tailed Tits and Great Tits are seen in abundance, the handsome Bull Finch a beautiful, though less common sight. The “eagle eyed” sparrow hawk swoops down out of the blue and frequently  departs with lunch in its talons. We also have Tree Creepers and Goldcrests. Busy little Wrens are everywhere! In winter the number of wetland  birds increases, we have had visits from Egrets, Woodcock, Snipe and various  duck. The Heron is a familiar visitor.

There are populations of Jays, Buzzards and Owls in the vicinity. In addition to our annual soaring, swooping Swallows we are trying to encourage Swifts to nest here. Nest boxes have been  installed in 2014. In Autumn, the occasional fine Pheasant struts by. In all seasons, sociable Robins accompany  anyone who wields a spade in the Gardens.

Red squirrel on bird feeder





Ireland’s smallest mammal, the Pygmy Shrew, is an inhabitant of Fancroft. Foxes, Rabbits and Hares are also residents as unfortunately are Mink. The largely nocturnal  Hedgehog is a very welcome inhabitant of the Gardens. Red Squirrels inhabit the nearby woods. Five species of bats have colonies in Fancroft: Leisler’s, Daubenton’s, Brown Long Eared and two types of Pipistrelle.









Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects and Fish

Lizards live in the spill stream wall. In February, the pool in the walled garden, which is spring fed, is home  to lots of mating frogs. Great Diving Beetles and Sticklebacks are year round inhabitants.

Fancroft is blessed with a fine array of Butterflies: Tortoiseshells, Peacocks and Admirals plus the common less dramatic species with the occasional exotic visitor. In Summer the Hover flies and Dragon Flies are a sight worth watching out for. The serious entomologist could have great fun identifying all of the insects seen in just one day at Fancroft Mill & Gardens.

The water quality of the mill stream is attested to by the population of small brown trout who are clearly visible if one waits quietly by the river bank.








wooden mill workings butterfly on yellow flower hedgehog. magnetic compass among purple crocus flowers. rusty metal cylinder in crevice of stone wall