Rare butterflies, SSSI woodland, a small lake, hedgerows and responsible farming practices all help make Higher Bumsley Farm a haven for wildlife.
One of the main features of the farm is a site being transformed to encourage the establishment of a habitat for the rare High Brown Fritillary Butterfly. Here we have sympathetically reduced gorse to encourage the regeneration of bracken and wild violets, both of which are essential for the butterflies’ existence.
Five Exmoor ponies graze this site adding the right balance to keep the bracken down and thus encouraging violets to establish upon which the butterfly grubs feed.
As well as the High Brown Fritillary Butterfly site, we’ve also renovated the hedgerows on the farm. These hedgerows provide an important wildlife corridor for small mammals such as field mice, hedgehogs and stoats. The hedgerows also provide a haven and nest sites for many of our wild song birds.
At the same time a diverse variety of native hedge plants and wild flowers and fruiting berries are a very important source of food for many forms of wildlife. We’ve retained some islands of gorse as a food source and habitat for mammals and wild birds.
In our SSSI woodland we retain all fallen timber here to encourage wildlife colonisation.
The farm’s small lake now has open water to encourage aquatic birds such as Canada Geese (seasonal), ducks and moorhen.