We have a fantastic opportunity at Combe Grove to improve habitats for all forms of wildlife. We are particularly excited to encourage the return of a range of endangered birds.
The estates team have been working tirelessly to shape our estate. We have 10 examples below of the great things you can expect to see in the future.
- The team has started to leave grassy margins and thick hedges at the edges of the market garden. This encourages lots of life, from insects as well as mammals for birds of prey. It therefore benefits all areas of the food chain!
- Creating ‘beetle banks’ to encourage movement so that there is a plentiful supply around the site. This also helps to create habitats for other species including bank voles and reptiles.
- Maintaining and crating more scrub. Scrub is beneficial for massive amounts of wildlife, including rare birds, reptiles and small mammals.
- We are establishing long grass and wildflower meadows. These meadows encourage a huge range of wildlife, such as butterflies, ground nesting birds, snakes and small mammals. Sadly 97% of these meadows have disappeared in the UK.
- Buildings can be used as nest sites. Some birds around the Combe Grove site have already been spotted using holes in the walls around our estate as nesting sites.
- Re-establishing coppice and creating new areas within our woodland will create new revenue streams, create volunteering opportunities and opportunities for running courses. Coppicing is proven to improve habitat for all wildlife in woodlands; the massive decline in coppicing could in part have contributed to a decline in wildlife, including species such as the nightingale.
- The planting around the House encourages birds to come closer to the activity of the site. We are particularly excited to grow plants that encourage butterflies and caterpillars, which are a major part of the diets of many endangered bird species.
- We are currently looking into making nest boxes to put around the House.
- We currently have no insect life around the pond, and if we encourage the development of a wildlife pond, it could be a perfect site for herons, kingfishers, and lots of insects that would encourage birds such as swallows and swifts.
- Feeders and birdbaths can be put around the estate; this will also minimise kitchen waste as scraps such as cheese, cooked potato, cooked rice and fruit are all eaten by birds.