Lofftwen is a stunning part of the countryside in one of the most beautiful places in the world. But currently it is surprisingly poor in terms of its ecology both in the amount and diversity of wildlife it sustains. It thus has tremendous ecological potential.
We plan to use conservation land management practices to create a network of diverse semi-natural habitats across the farm consisting of a mix of different forest, meadow and wetland habitats. In addition to these distinct types of habitat, an even greater diversity of rarer habitats will be formed in the verges created where, for example, the edge of a meadow and an area of woodland meet. These types of habitat are becoming increasingly endangered, and are expected to provide some of the richest future habitats in terms of the diversity and density of wildlife Lofftwen can sustain.
In providing a whole range of wildlife habitats we will be able to support existing species that already make Lofftwen their home whilst encouraging new species to either pop by during seasonal migrations or to take up permanent residence.
What we have seen at Lofftwen so far
We have conducted a number of ecological assessments at Lofftwen including commissioning an independent Phase 1 habitat survey. This was one of the first things we did on purchasing the farm. Since then we have spent many days exploring the hills at Lofftwen, and on the way had some interesting close encounters with the local wildlife, including narrowly avoiding a head on collision with a barn owl.
Listed below are some of the animals, birds, reptiles and flora we have observed (or heard) at Lofftwen over the last 18 months or so. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but gives a flavour of what is here today and the future ecological potential of the farm to sustain even more of these wonderful species.
Animals: Badger, fox, shrew, sheep(!), common pipistrelle, Natterer’s bat, soprano pipistrelle
Birds: Barn owl, tawny owl, kestrel, red kite, jackdaw, grasshopper warbler (IUCN Red List species), willow warbler, stone chat, tree pipit, meadow pipit, sky lark, wheatear, stonechat, swallow, house martin, swift, greater spotted woodpecker, heron, blue tit, great tit, robin, black bird, rook, crow, fieldfare, redwing
Reptiles: frog tadpoles, frog, common lizard (a UK Priority Biodiversity Action Plan species), common newt
Plants: Sheep fescue, sweet vernal grass, common bent, heath bedstraw, tormentil, bilberry, bracken, nettle, heath rush, mat grass, heather, common cotton sedge, hare's-tail cotton sedge, black sedge, purple moor grass, floating club-rush, common haircap, Bog Bead-moss, gorse scrub, soft rush, sharp-flowered rush, Yorkshire fog, bramble, Mougeot’s Yoke-moss, wood sage, dog rose, creeping bent, red fescue, rushes, cow-horn bog moss, bog asphodel, common lousewort, carnation sedge, marsh thistle, bulbous rush, male fern, greater stitchwort, germander speedwell, springy turf-moss, lemon-scented buckler fern (of particular conservation note), greater birds-foot trefoil, oval sedge, meadow buttercup, mayflower, common sorrel, red-stemmed feather-moss, meadowsweet, creeping buttercup, pignut, red clover, cat's-ear, lesser spearwort, marsh marigold, timothy grass, yellow flag iris, lesser stitchwort, heath speedwell, spear-moss, bluebell, whorled caraway
Trees: Hawthorn, rowan, holly, hazel, ash, birch, willow, sitka spruce, alder, oak
WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN AT LOFFTWEN?
As the project evolves we will be assessing the ecological impact of our plans on Lofftwen's wildlife by conducting ecological assessments. Just as vital will be the eyes and ears of those who walk or ride regularly along the public footpaths. Get in touch to tell us what you've seen or heard, along with where and when if possible, and we will keep a record of the sightings. We would also love to see any photographs. Follow the GET INVOLVED link below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.