Wildlife and property often don’t mix well. Termites are unpopular houseguests and wild boar can ruin a lawn in minutes. However, the right kind of wildlife can add a great deal to the value of a property, both financially and visually.
Whether you’d like to see leviathans spouting in the sea from your breakfast table, watch red deer strut past your croquet lawn or scuba-dive from your own jetty, here are five properties which have the added advantage of being great houses in beautiful locations.
▲ Herrias de Rio Madera, Spain, €6.3m
Where: Segura de la Sierra, Andalucía.
What: A luxuriously restored eight-bedroom finca plus two cottages with 650 hectares (1,600 acres) in a valley surrounded by mountains and forest, within a natural park (conservation zone). The terrace, pergola and swimming pool all have magnificent views.
Why: Deer, wild boar, partridge and mountain goat roam the grounds, a boon for those who love wildlife, and those who love to shoot it (not mutually exclusive of course). Bearded vultures, handsome birds with three-metre wingspans, fly by regularly since they’re being reintroduced by an adjacent Unesco project.
Who: Savills, www.savills.com/abroad, tel: +44 (0)20 7016 3740
▲ Indigo Landing, British Virgin Islands, $5.2m
Where: Frenchman’s Cay, Tortola.
What: An opulent five-bedroom house with slipway and deep water mooring overlooking the preferred anchorage of pirate Edward Teach, aka “Blackbeard”. Now it’s a haven for yachts, with restaurants, boutiques and delicatessens a short walk away.
Why: From the terrace you’ll see humpback whales, dolphins, surfacing turtles and pelicans and chicken hawks. From your boat you’ll find scuba-diving and snorkelling spots. The Virgin Islands National Park, which takes up most of the island of St John, is two miles’ sail south.
Who: British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty, www.bvisothebysrealty.com, tel: +1 284 494 5700
▲ Orara Valley House, Australia, A$3.95m (£2.46m)
Where: Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia.
What: A smart five-bedroom house on a 22-hectare (53-acre) estate with over 1km of river frontage, close to the Bindarri National Park. Facilities include a guest villa, pool, spa, art/pottery studio, stables, arena and paddock.
Why: Wallabies hop through the grounds and platypuses burrow along the riverbank. Kingfishers, wompoo fruit doves, lyrebirds and king parrots all visit. Neighbouring Bindarri National Park has dramatic waterfalls. Nearby are unspoilt beaches.
Who: LJ Hooker Coffs Harbour, www.ljhooker.com.au/coffsharbour, tel: +61 (0)2 66521144
Where: Bowness on Windermere, Cumbria.
What: A six-bedroom house overlooking Lake Windermere, with boathouse and two jetties, near the town of Bowness.
Why: Lake Windermere, in Cumbria’s Lake District National Park, was home to that well-known animal-lover, Beatrix Potter. Descendants of the very hedgehogs, rabbits and ducks that inspired her will visit your lawn here, as will, every now and then, otters and badgers. The long lake is a migration highway, so is often thick with geese. Goldeneye and tufted ducks often visit.
Who: Carter Jonas, www.carterjonas.co.uk, tel: +44 (0)1539 722592
Where: Nanyuki, Laikipia, Kenya.
What: A recently rebuilt eight-bedroom 1940s lodge with 145 hectares (360 acres). Adding to the animal attractions are a swimming pool, tennis court, sauna, views of Mount Kenya and a 20,000-tree hardwood forest.
Why: Egrets, ibis, storks, pelicans, various ducks and two breeding pairs of crested crane live on the reservoir in front of the house. A small herd of impala and bushbuck are breeding on the farm. The ear-curdling nocturnal shrieks of tree hyraxes will make nights interesting. Nearby ranches and reserves provide game drives, walking safaris and riding.
Who: Aylesford International, www.aylesford.com, tel: +44 (0)207 349 5100