Posted: 12/06/2016 at 12:15
We are an oasis of organic garden surrounded by arable fields and pasture which get agri-chems in varying degrees according to crop - usually potatoes, sugar beet or winter wheat - and season. There is a nearby stream with woods on the other side and we have a pond and a mix of trees, shrubs, hedges, wild patches, ornamental garden and veggie plot.
In the pond we have newts, frogs and toads and a nesting pair of mallards this year plus occasional visiting coots and herons.
We get lots of visiting birds but not a lot are resident in the garden itself as we are quite exposed and they have better shelter in the woods. There is a colony of sparrows in our eaves and assorted blue and great tits in the eaves and hedges. Visitors to the bird feeders and garden include wrens, robins, chaffinches, warblers, other tits, siskins, other small brown jobs, blackbirds, starlings, field fares, crows, jackdaws, jays, woodpeckers both spotted and green, pheasants, mallards, sparrowhawks.
There are buzzards which wheel and mew overhead and Canadian and Egyptian geese in the paddocks who occasionally inspect our garden but don't stay - thank goodness cos it's bad enough with the two dogs rolling in the duck poo this year! We hear and sometimes see tawny and barn owls but haven't seen the little owls for years.
There are also assorted small mammals - shrews, field mice, moles in the garden plus rats which live in the field margins around the garden. We used to have a lot of pipistrelles that visited at dusk but I only ever see one at a time now. No idea why as my garden is full of flying insects to feed them and all the house martins that swoop by day.
I have lots of nectar and pollen rich plants and thus loads of insects - 4 kinds of bee on one sedum head is not unusual but we have had very few butterflies for the last few years. Again - no idea why as I don't spray.