Straw is the stalk or stem of certain species of grain, wheat, barley etc. Hay is dried grass.


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 insects.

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.

Ditches provide the watery links around the landscape between other more substantial bodies of water - there is nothing dull about ditch water.

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