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​Vole eating a sloe berry

Mammals living in Epping Forest

The diverse mixture of habitats in Epping Forest makes it one of the best places in the capital to spot wildlife, including some of our more secretive and rarer mammals. The ubiquitous Grey squirrel and fox will be familiar to even the most urbanised of visitors, but as well as these regulars, the eagle-eyed might spot rabbits, hares and even badgers out on the Forest. There are many other species of mammals which are even harder to spot such as field, Bank and Water voles, Wood mice, Yellow-necked mice, moles, shrews, hedgehogs and weasels.


Epping Forest is also renowned for its population of fallow deer, which can frequently be seen in herds to the north of the Forest. A rare population of melanistic, black fallow deer are also maintained at our Deer Sanctuary near Theydon Bois.

Also seen on the Forest are muntjac deer, a more recent import which escaped from parks at the turn of the last century. They are smaller, about the size of a Labrador, and are usually solitary. Listen out for their grunting bark when out on the Forest!

To find out more about our deer, see our deer page.


​Hare in the snow


Keep an eye out at dusk for the silhouette of bats as they begin to feed from spring through to late autumn. Out of the total 18 bat species that are found in Britain, 10 have been recorded in Epping Forest: soprano, nathusius and common pipistrelles, noctule, serotine, barbastelle, daubenton’s, brown long-eared, natterer’s and leisler’s. Our ancient and veteran trees provide nooks and crannies for nesting as well as supporting the insect species that some of these bats thrive on. 


Also don’t forget you can see our cows out grazing in the Forest!​

22 March 2012
Last Modified:
30 August 2019