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Natural History

Aden Country park has a diverse range of species which includes a huge variety of nesting and migrating birds, a wealth of aquatic and land invertebrates, amphibians and mammals, from the resident but secretive roe deer to summer migrants that have even included osprey.

Aden Roe Deer

Many of the species found at the site are included on the Scottish Biodiversity List and Local Biodiversity Action Plans which identify the species and habitats of the highest priority for biodiversity conservation in Scotland and within the Northeast. Wildlife that can be spotted at the site include water shrew, woodpeckers, red squirrels, fox, bats, frogs, heron, swans, otters and even the occasional turquoise flash of a kingfisher.

Aden Country Park has a diversity of managed and semi-natural habitats which are home to a variety of animals and birds typical of the Northeast of Scotland.

Aden Lake with Trees and Swans

The conifer plantations are home to red squirrels and crossbills can sometimes be spotted feeding on cones in the tree tops. Roe deer rest during the day in the birch woodlands which are also home to a variety of ferns and fungi, look out for the birch bracket fungus which grows out of the trunks. Fox and badger have been seen in the recently planted mixed broadleaved woodlands which are also frequented by long-tailed tits in winter.

Tree Stump in Aden

Dead trees are important habitat for wildlife too and are left standing if deemed safe; look out for the holes made by wood-boring insects and woodpeckers.

Mallard ducks in Aden

The lake is home to a resident population of Mallards and Moorhens, and most years Mute Swans nest on one of the islands. Other ducks such as Tufted Ducks, Mandarin and Goosanders are occasional visitors.

Bluebells in Aden

In springtime you can find primroses, wood anemones and wood sorrel flowering at the woodland edges; these spring flowers bloom before the leaves of the trees fully open and cast heavy shade.

Down by the river, look out for otter tracks in the mud at the river’s edge. On summer nights you can stand on the bridge and watch the Daubenton’s bats swoop underneath, catching insects just above the water. The buildings in the courtyard are a roosting site for Pipistrelle bats and you can watch them emerge from under the slates at sunset.

Aden Victorian Arboretum

Even the formal planted areas like the arboretum provide wildlife habitat and Treecreepers can sometimes be seen exploring the bark crevices of the Giant Redwood trees looking for insects and spiders.