"Wonderful place. Ideal for our
"Beautiful countryside. Wonderful animals."
very elusive, badgers have been seen in the area.
Mostly, we see them as "Road Kill" after they have been hit by cars.
Deer have been seen quite regularly down by the river, and in our fields. Unfortunately, they always
seem to see us coming first, so when we get within a few hundred yards of them,
they show us a clean pair of heels, and some very nice white rumps!
A vixen raised two cubs in a hollow Ash tree here last year.
Our farm dog Maverick, a German
Shepherd, had a close encounter with a fox whilst we were harvesting
wheat last summer.
The fox was hiding in the last patch of wheat to be cut, and as the
Combined Harvester approached, he broke cover.
Maverick was onto him in a flash and bowled him over, but in the
cloud of dust, Reynard made his escape
Maverick literally didn't see him for the dust.
Wildlife you might see at Cowldyke.
Otters update. Our
visitors occasionally report seeing otters in and around our part of the River
You will almost certainly be able to spot some tracks on the river banks by the
side of the water.
In November 2009, there was a very distinctive otter trail that cut across part
of one of our fields where there is a "U" bend in the river.
Our otters are being
monitored by The Otter Trust. Both adult and junior otters have been seen by
One of our visitors who was fishing our stretch of the River Dove, saw one pass so
close to him that he "could almost count it's whiskers" !!
Another visitor spotted one whilst on a family walk by the river.
Swans. A pair of swans with cygnets on our part of the
If you are lucky, you may spot one of these by the river. They
are quite small, but very brightly coloured.
Cormorants. During the last
year or two, we have seen cormorants down by the River Dove. Although
these birds are normally associated with coastal regions, we are only about ten
miles from the sea as the cormorant flies. We are hoping they don't like
A barn owl has been seen patrolling the hedgerows looking for prey.
Evenings are best for seeing him in flight.
He is easy to spot as he is very
|Tawny owls can often be seen around the farm.
In previous years, they have been seen roosting during the day in
our horse chestnut tree near the farmhouse.
Our Jacob ewes produced plenty of lambs again this year.
We now "Rent a Ram" for our ewes.
"Carlos" below, (in the centre of the picture with the large horns)
has won prizes at The Great Yorkshire Show.
are quite a number of hares in our fields and the surrounding countryside.
They are easily distinguished from rabbits by their greater size and their
larger upright ears. Also you will probably view them for a longer time as
they are confident in open spaces and will settle down rather than immediately
run for cover, as rabbits do.
One of our visitors , from Norfolk, saw hares "boxing" in the field
adjoining Rose Cottage whilst she was looking out of the cottage window..
The best place to see our squirrels is near the bend in our drive
where there is a good stand of trees.
They also venture into our garden and especially like the horse
chestnut tree that is opposite Orchard Cottgae.
If you happen to be here at the right time, we have an orchard with a surplus of
eating and cooking apples, and plums.
As a guest, you are welcome to "pick your own".
Our Countryside Stewardship Scheme is ongoing.
Under the scheme, we
have been planting 3 metre wide headlands round designated fields with wild seeds,
and leaving up to 15 acres fallow each year.
This is to encourage wildlife - plants, insects, mammals, etc.
We now have a hectare set aside, planted with wild bird seed, and a grass meadow
ley seeded with wild flowers.
When we cut the ley for hay, the hay will be left and turned (as part of the
drying process), long enough for the wild flowers to re-seed.
John has been re-planting hedgerows, and has included trees that will not be
cut, but will be allowed to mature.
This should encourage a wider variety of birds and insects.
|Wildlife Pond update.
We are looking forward to a wide variety of pond
life once again this summer.
This frog had been spawning, and we found this newt in a trough, and put it in a bucket for this
We had quite an impressive shoal of brightly coloured Goldfish and Golden Orfe,
but now we have lost nearly all of our fish.
We took precautions to deter herons by stringing a single low strand
of wire around the pond.
Supposedly, Heron's are known to walk to the water's edge, so this
wire should have put them off.
As almost all our fish have gone, we suspect that otters have been
taking our goldfish.
In addition to the usual selection of water beetles, water boatmen and pond
skaters, turquoise, red, and brown dragon
flies and damsel flies, we are hoping once again been lucky enough to attract a pair of
Moorhens, which have nested in the reeds in previous years.
info at cowldyke-farm.co.uk
Acknowledgements photographs :- Barn