Since we moved to our new home we have been amazed by the diversity of wildlife and sheer number of species we have encountered so far on the land here. With over 30 acres (12 hectares) of mostly oak woodland and meadows with various other sub-habitats such as Juniper scrub-land and limestone paving, we are still learning about the wildlife here and new discoveries are made almost every day.
We manage the land for wildlife and also for small scale firewood production (for our own purposes). This entails coppicing work and small scale clearance and replanting to maintain the woodland and encourage further diversity. No pesticides/fertilisers have been used on the land in recent history and we aim to continue to manage the site as organically as possible.
To summarise, here are some of the species we have recorded so far:
Badger, Wild boar, Brown Hare, Fox, Roe and Fallow deer, Red Squirrel, Pine and Stone Martin, Bats (several species).
Woodpeckers (Green, Black, Great Spotted and Middle Spotted), Buntings including Cirl Buntings, Common and Black Redstart, Short-toed Treecreeper, Birds of Prey including; Buzzard, Red and Black Kites, Short-Toed Snake Eagle, Sparrowhawk, Owls including Tawny and Scops Owl, Nightjar, Hoopoes, Turtle Doves and Cuckoo.
Insects and Butterflies:
Over fifty species of butterfly and countless moths including Swallowtail and Scarce Swallowtail, Blues (including Adonis, Small, Common and Mazarine, numerous Fritillaries including Silver Washed, Spotted, Dark Green etc, Cleopatra, Graylings, Purple Emperor, Hairstreaks, Skippers and so on. Moths including Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth, large Hawk-moths such as Oak and Eyed, Tiger, Burnet and Forester moths.
A vast number of insects and arachnids including Wasp and Ladybird Spider, Mantids (Preying and Conehead), Owlflies, Stag Beetle, Great Capricorn (Giant Longhorn) Beetle, Cicadas, Grasshoppers and Crickets (dozens of species including Great Green Bush Cricket). Dragonflies and Damselflies.
Wall Lizard, Green Lizard, Slow Worm, Western Whip Snake, Asp Viper
Plants and flowers:
Thirteen species of orchid identified to date including Bee Orchid (exhibiting much pattern variation across the land), Fly, Lady, Man, Woodcock, Early Purple, Burnt Tip, Pyramidal, Lesser Butterfly, Green Winged (both purple and white variants) and Lizard.
The meadows and woodlands have also produced several species of Helibores, Hyacinth, Scabious, Sage and Thistles. Wild Iris, Saffron producing Crocus, Poppies, Cowslip and Violets. Numerous mushrooms and toadstools. Wild strawberries.