Our three fields are surrounded by a native hedgerow, which is a haven for wildlife and home for many birds and insects.
We have tree sparrows, cliff chaffs, blue tits, robins, blackbirds, green woodpeckers, spotted woodpeckers, buzzards and owls living on the farm to name just a few, as well as a badger sett, deer, mice and rabbits. We are 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 excellent ground cover and perhaps they have been attracted by our newly enlarged pond.
In our barn area, we have put up nesting boxes and hope to attract swifts or house martins in the coming years
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.
This year, we found orchids growing amongst the grasses for the first time and 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.
We also have a large pond, which attracts ducks and dragonflies.