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Wildlife at Frenchay Christmas Tree Farm

Hedgerows surrounding our fields

The wildlife at Frenchay Christmas Tree Farm is really thriving! Our three fields are surrounded by a beautiful native hedgerow, which is a haven for birds and insects. Tree sparrows roost here in huge numbers and the accompanying twittering is wonderful to hear. The blackbirds and song thrushes love the berries on the rowan trees that are growing in the hedgerows, too.

Robin keeping watch

Birds and mammals at the farm

Our farm is alive with birds! It’s home to chiff chaffs, blue tits, gold crests, gold finches, green and spotted woodpeckers, buzzards and owls to name a few! It’s also home to mammals including badgers, deer, mice and voles.

A recent resident is a falcon, who sits on a high tree near our barn and is becoming more comfortable in our presence. We were thrilled to find that we also have woodcock living on the farm. A wading bird – and mostly nocturnal – the woodcock is sadly on the RSPB’s Red List. But they love Christmas tree plantations, which provide them with ground cover and perhaps they have been attracted by our pond.

Birds in the Christmas trees

During the busy Christmas tree selling season, the robins and sparrows make themselves very noticeable.

The robins love to flit around the cut tree area, busy searching in the mulch for any newly surfaced insects or worms and the sparrows perch in flocks in the tree branches.

Fungi at the farm

Every year, as our tree plantation ages, we are seeing a greater variety of fungi. A woodland’s beneficial partnership with fungi is becoming more understood. The fungi’s underground cottony web (mycelium) interweaves with tree roots and helps them absorb more water, nutrients and nitrogen. We would love to be able to see what is going on underground on our field!

wildlife at the farm fungi
wildlife at the farm fungi on tree stumps
wildlife at the farm nesting boxes

In our barn area, we have put up nesting boxes and hope to attract swifts or house martins in the coming years

Insects and grasses

Throughout the year, we manage the farm in the most environmentally friendly way possible. We do have to spray the trees from time to time, as aphids can attack and destroy a crop of Christmas trees. But we keep this to a minimum and we let the grasses and wildflowers grow around the trees through the summer months.

The butterflies, ladybirds, wasps, spiders and many other insects thrive, all adding to the biodiversity at the farm.

wildlife at the farm spiders
wildlife at the farm orchids
Orchid flourishing in the long grass

Wildflowers and pond-life

This year, we found orchids growing amongst the grasses for the first time! We have also been busy planting a native woodland of hazel, oak, maple, willow and hawthorns on an area of our wet field, which can be a bit too waterlogged to grow Christmas trees on.

Our large pond, which we dug to alleviate water logging caused by the motorway, attracts ducks and dragonflies. The eucalyptus and willow planted around the pond help soak up ground water, too, and they are growing fast.

Read more about our farm here