According to TikTok, Dartmoor is the UK’s favourite when it comes to places to enjoy winter wildlife. The research, undertaken by thortful in partnership with the RSPCA has analysed TikTok data to find the best spots to catch winter wildlife in the UK. Searches for “wildlife walk” have risen by 240% over the last year, leading to the new study which has revealed the most popular locations in the UK. The top ten were then compiled using TikTok views under their corresponding hashtags.

The number one spot was Dartmoor National Park in Devon, the location has over 5.4m views under appropriate hashtags on TikTok, with animals such as the Dartmoor ponies, otters and moorland birds being the most common winter wildlife to discover. Dawlish Warren in South Devon also makes the list, coming in at number four. The seaside town near Torquay is home to a nature reserve and is where you can spot a number of migratory waterbirds at this time of year. 

The data has revealed the following make up the Top Ten Winter Wildlife Spots in the UK:

Dartmoor National Park
Teifi Marshes
Folly Farm
Dawlish Warren
Glenarm Nature Reserve
Studland Bay
Falls of Clyde
Marsden Moor
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

The full list can be found here.

As part of the data, the RSPCA has put together some tips for anyone looking to spot wildlife this winter.

Be careful when walking your dog near wildlife

When walking with your dog in the countryside, please be mindful of the wildlife nearby and even though you might not be able to see them if they’re hidden away in bushes or hedgerows, dogs can still sniff out thanks to their fantastic sense of smell. Please ensure your dog doesn’t disturb them as this could cause parents to abandon their young. Both birds and dogs can be injured by chasing so if you can’t avoid areas with livestock and wildlife, please keep your dog on a lead at all times in those areas and obey any signs asking you to keep away from wildlife and livestock.

Don’t litter
Litter can be extremely dangerous to animals as well as bad for the environment. If there are no bins along your walk, please keep your rubbish with you until you you come across one.

Have a read of the countryside code

It’s important to be mindful of UK wildlife laws and the countryside code if you’re looking to spot some wildlife this winter. Wildlife Countryside Act 1981 protects wild birds and other animals in England and Wales and Scotland has its own laws, so wherever you are going, look out into the countryside code before you set off.

Evie Button, Scientific Officer in the wildlife department at RSPCA says, “It's really encouraging to see that people are so interested in finding places to go and watch wildlife this winter. Although winter is traditionally a quieter time for much of our wildlife, there are still many animals around for us to enjoy watching; including large numbers of birds which you can only see in the UK at this time of year as they migrate from other countries to spend the winter here. From starling murmurations to gatherings of geese, you can find incredible wildlife spectacles all around the country.”

A spokesperson at thortful comments on the study, “It’s understandable why so many of us are keen to spot wildlife, and as part of our partnership with the RSPCA we were keen to provide some inspiration on the best places to do so! We hope this study inspires you to get outside this winter and admire the beauty that the UK has to offer, from its wild animals to its breath-taking scenery.  

“As part of the partnership with the RSPCA, for every A5 Christmas card thortful sell this year, they will give 5p to the RSPCA, and will give £1 for every card sold from the RSPCA Christmas card collection.”

Don't forget Visit Devon is on TikTok, @visitdevonuk