Wildlife around Stubcroft Back Go Back

At Stubcroft we have a varied program of activities to encourage wildlife. This has resulted in more wildlife including hedgehogs, weasels, birds, voles, butterflies, moths and wildflowers. As well as the tree & hedge planting we have adopted a range of other strategies to encourage more biodiversity. Here are just a few examples:

Nest Boxes: We have erected many nest boxes of different types to encourage smaller birds such as sparrows, blue tits, great tits, long tailed tits, robins andother smaller birds. During 2009 we intend to put up some new owl and bat boxes.

Bird feeding: During winter and lean times for birds we feed a wide range of bird seed & peanuts to help the local birdlife overwinter. This has resulted in healthy populations of birds such as yellowhammer and gold finches which are in decline in many parts of the UK

Rotten wood & habitat piles: Around the farm we have strategically left piles of rotting wood to attract insects and provide shelter for small mammals such as voles & hedgehogs. In turn the insects in the wood provide food for some types of bird and other animals. Please do not disturb these piles or use them for firewood!

Rotten Wood Habitat

Ditches: We have spent considerable time clearing and deepening the drainage ditches (locally known as rifes) to encourage amphibians such as frogs, toads & newts. You may also spot the occasional eel who run up the rifes to breed in summer.

Sustainable farming techniques: We try to use a range of sustainable farming techniques. These include use of animal manures (which helps improve soil structure and fertility) and we do not use insecticides, slug pellets or other spays that may harm wildlife.

Right: The tractor preparing to muckspread the South Field. Below Right: A close-up of the species of bee that we care for in around 30 hives.



Bees: We keep bees to improve pollination of our fruit trees and wildflowers. Stubcroft has a large number of hives and now produces beeswax and honey every year.

 

Wildflower planting: All the hedges are gradually being planted with a range of wildflowers. We use several techniques including planting conservation wildflower & grass seed mixtures, collecting seed and planting in protected areas and germinating wild flower seeds & planting out the seedlings when big enough to compete with other species.

Above: A den of hedgehogs we found around the farm. Left: We have around 10-15 nesting boxes around the farm already.

 

Niger Seed-Feeder

 

Above: One of our many bird seed-feeders in and around the gardens. Left: Some stacked rotten wood providing a habitat for insects, beetles and smaller mammals. Below: A cleared 'rife' or drainage ditch.

 

 

A Rife

Muckspreader

Apis Mellifera carnica, Worker Honey Bee