Caring For The Countryside; Creating A Wildlife Haven in Winter
As the signs of Spring continue to arrive, we are considering the impact this season has on the wildlife around us. Caring for the countryside is important to us. Being situated in the heart of North Devon, we are lucky to be able to make Yelland Farm feel like a wildlife haven. From birds to bees, plants and trees, we continue to invest in making this space greener day by day – even during the winter. At The Sign Maker, we like to observe the changes around us and consider how we can continue to make a difference for the environment. We thought we’d create this short blog for you so that we can explore some of these changes together.
Bees Still Buzzing
We have noticed a change in the number of bees we are seeing buzzing about on the farm. Unsurprisingly, some bees have begun a process of ‘overwintering’ (otherwise known as hibernation) to survive the cold. However, on the warmer days, we still see the occasional bee out and about on the hunt for spring. We look forward to the bees being out in full force to make the most of the early blooms on the farm.
Attracting Nature With A Garden Pond
At Yelland Farm, we have three established ponds including what is known as a dew pond. A dew pond is placed where other water sources are not readily available. They are generally small in size, round in shape and situated within a hollow. A hole is dug and it is then lined with clay.
Dew ponds are wildlife magnets all year round; they are home to some beautiful and unusual creatures including frogs, fish, newts and insects. Ponds also prove themselves to be a reliable water source for the birds and other animals throughout the winter. Amphibious animals lay their eggs in the safety of the dew pond, even though as adults they can live on land. The winter frogs hibernate within the mud at the bottom of the pool! Insects, such as dragonflies, choose to lay their eggs here too. The reeds around the outer edge of the pond provide safe cover for waterfowl too. Birds, such as moorhens, will nest amongst the reeds in the late spring.
Ponds encourage biodiversity. Biodiversity, by its simplest definition, is the variety of life found in an ecosystem (everything from animals and plants, to fungi and microorganisms). Ponds encourage a richer and broader growth in plants. Ponds can also provide a safe habitat for a wide variety of creatures, which in turn helps their survival. Setting up a small garden pond can be simple, as well as having some great benefits for you and the local wildlife. Aside from environmental benefits, a garden pond can be an educational investment as well as one that supports your general mental health and well-being.
We love the ponds we have onsite and enjoy seeing nature thrive within it! Caring for the countryside by encouraging biodiversity is something we can all play a part in.
Feeding The Birds
You may have caught one of our previous blogs about birdhouses and bird feeders (if not, you can find that here) so we are continuing to make feeding the birds a priority here on site. We have noticed an increase in the presence of birds on the farm since we first moved here. Soon after we arrived, we began to create an environment for the birds that they could call home.
Our bird feeders continue to be popular with common species such as robins, but we also enjoy seeing the rarer breeds of woodpeckers and such like birds too! Feeding the birds is vital to their survival during the winter, which is why we continue to invest in them. Our ponds also prove themselves to be a reliable water source so we get to experience plenty of bird watching!
Green Energy At Yelland Farm
Caring for the countryside includes caring about sustainability and renewable energy. Onsite, we have a working wind turbine. This was an investment we made within the first six months of moving on to the farm. As a business, we wanted to commit to using as much of our own energy as possible and this has continued to be successful for us. We have a wood-burning biomass boiler to heat the buildings on site. The boiler uses locally sourced timber, as well as our own waste timber. Going green was important to us and we are glad to see these investments continuing to work well.
Yelland Farm continues to be a place that wildlife can call home! Caring for the countryside is a privilege and we love making a positive environmental impact as a small business. We are committed to finding new and inventive ways of making a difference in 2022. We hope to encourage you to find ways of going green and look forward to sharing more of our journey with you!