We always try to retain dead, dying,
hollow, staghead trees on the farm, as the habitat they
provide is almost richer than when they were in their
prime. Woodpeckers feed on the insects living in the
dead wood, bats roost in one of the hollow Ash trees
and a pair of Sparrow Hawks are nesting in the other.
Many species of Raptors (birds of prey), Corvids (crow
family) and Bats use such trees for nesting/roosting.
We have a few 'wet' ditches on the farm (i.e. a ditch
which remains wet for most of the year); they are home
to many interesting creatures and insects. Amphibians
(frogs, toads and newts) breed here and the ditch insect
life provides food for bats, birds, amphibians and other
Farmland birds have three basic requirements; summer
food, winter food and a safe nesting habitat. Most of
the species on our farm nest in hedgerows, field margins
or within the grassland (or even crops!). Alot of the
smaller birds feed on seeds themselves, but feed their
chicks on insects in spring and summer.
We try to ensure a continuous supply of pollen and nectar
by managing our field margins and hedgerows. We have
made sure there is a good mix of flowering plants and
we try to encourage late flowering.
Bumblebees are incredibly important to us all, they
are vital pollinators of crops and wild flowers. Bumblebees
are in decline, but they like our flower rich meadows.
Because we plants to attract bees and hoverflies (and,
indeed, many types of insects) we also increase our
bird population, as they are attracted to the insects.
We are very pleased that we have a female grass snake
raising her family here - as a general rule, the numbers
of grass snakes are declining.