One of the things that is often mentioned by people visiting Mindrum is the sound of birds. Part of our commitment to a balanced environment is a focus on the habitat we provide to the birds and animals we are lucky enough to share the ground with. We work closely with English Nature to support a number of initiatives and run a number of stewardship schemes and projects to support various policy initiatives.
Mindrum is home to a large variety of wildlife that can be seen on the recently re-established ancient Mosses (wetlands) including skylarks, shelducks, plovers, and a wide range of songbirds, waders and waterfowl depending on the season. We now have a range of wetlands environments created in various parts of the farm. These have an exciting ecological impact, but also support Natural England’s watershed management work where in very wet times, water is held in water meadows and mosses and slowly allowed back into the watercourses to minimise flash flooding and pollution. We have followed some historical models which seem to be successful.
We manage a balance of different types of woodlands to encourage a range of species, working closely to maximise the diversity on the place. Some of the projects we have are described below. We still have a small (very tenuous) population of Red Squirrels and though the Grey invaders continually press our North Eastern flank, we continue to struggle to maintain our reds in some of the pine woods in the South West.
Though we do support government policy where possible, we are driven by the needs of the farm. Mindrum’s location, at the mouth of the Bowmont Valley provides us with some staggering opportunities, but also some local differences. Our Lapwing and Brown Hare projects, now into their second decade have been supported by Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship scheme since 2010 which has enabled us to build on our prior success. Our close relationship with Natural England allows us to take innovative experimental initiatives in order to achieve the best local solution.
We are lucky to have a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (the Bowmont Water) running through part of Mindrum. This brings a range of river life such as kingfishers, dippers, sand martins and otters which can be seen on a regular basis.
We also have a strong population of Roe Deer.
During the spring, young guests in particular enjoy seeing the new born lambs and calves in the fields around the farm.