The whole farm is in the national Higher Level Stewardship scheme which recognises constant, careful work to preserve and enhance our natural wild environment.
Here are some of the ways Road Farm encourages wildlife:
- Many of the field edges (margins) are planted with special plants to encourage pollen and nectar for insects or seeds for wild birds. The insects can encourage both birds and resident bats.
- We are delighted to nurture suitable habitat for our Harvest Mice, Glow-Worms and Yellow-Hammers.
- Mixed livestock and arable field rotation is especially attractive to wildlife and, despite national downward trends in their numbers, we are proud to have Skylark, Linnet, Partridge and Brown Hare.
- We have enough wild forage on the farm to support populations of Barn Owl, Tawny and Little Owls, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Red Kite and Buzzard!
- Hedgerows are maintained for their sustained presence and the benefit of wildlife, cut on a cycle of years to ensure sufficient nesting cover and winter food for birds and mammals.
- Our ancient woodland boasts a glorious show of Bluebells in the spring.
- We have been trying to re-establish an area of chalk grassland for over twenty years, and are delighted to see bright Pyramidal Orchids in large patches.
- We keep Honey Bees, invaluable pollinators of crops, fruit, flowers and vegetables and are keen to encourage all the many wild bee species we have on the farm.
- During restoration of our old barns, we rescued bee pupae and constructed a wild bee bunker to replace their old home in a crumbling wall.