Farm Wildlife

West Country Wool and the Natural World

New Mills Farm is situated within UNESCO's North Devon Biosphere reserve, which includes many special landscapes and wildlife areas. As nature lovers ourselves we try and encourage as much flora and fauna as we can, although, it must be said, the midges can be a little tiresome at times!  By carefully managed grazing we are increasing the plant diversity of our pastures, which will hopefully attract more invertebrates and their predator species. This page shows a few photos we've taken of some of the life we share our farm with.

Dark Bush Cricket

Dark Bush Cricket

A common cricket found in rough grassland and hedgerows

Bird's-foot Trefoil

Bird's-foot Trefoil

A food plant for Common Blue butterfly larva.

Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet

Love the scent of Meadowsweet

Brimstone Moth

Brimstone Moth

The caterpillars of this moth feed on blackthorn and hawthorn

Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel

Not everyone is a fan of these critters but they keep us amused at times

Dor Beetle

Dor Beetle

These dung beetles play a vital role helping to clean up after livestock

Water Crow-foot

Water Crow-foot

These flower in the river from April till August

Foxgloves

Foxgloves

A lovely patch of foxgloves

Mullein Moth Caterpillars

Mullein Moth Caterpillars

When these caterpillars pupate they can remain buried under the soil for several years before emerging as moths

Wild Flowers

Wild Flowers

Common Centaury and Bird's-foot Trefoil

Bumblebee

Bumblebee

Bumblebee on Bird's-foot Trefoil

Speedwell

Speedwell

A dainty flower, easily overlooked - not sure which type this one is

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Usually a summer migrant they do also hibernate here

Fish survey

Fish survey

After electro-fishing the fish are anaesthetised, measured and then returned to the river

Wild Flowers

Wild Flowers

Foxgloves and ox-eye daisies

Wren

Wren

A little bird with powerful song

Slow Worms

Slow Worms

We leave old carpet on a sunny bank and the slow worms love it.

Female Mallard

Female Mallard

This duck was looked after since it was a tiny duckling, eventually going off to join the wild ducks on the river

Comma and Small Tortoiseshell

Comma and Small Tortoiseshell

The caterpillars of both these species feed on nettles

Knapweed

Knapweed

Bumblebee and honeybee sharing a knapweed flower

Over 50 species of bird seen on or flying above the farm.

 

Survey carried out on the farm in May 2018 recorded around 11 species of bat.

2019 Environment Agency survey on small stretch of river on the farm recorded trout, lamprey, eel and bullhead. Salmon are also seen.

Slowworms, newts, frogs and toads are also to be found under anything left lying around outside for any period of time.