Wildlife in our Grounds
Our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway are rurally located and wildlife is a common occurrence in the extensive grounds surrounding the cottages. We actively encourage wildlife by developing and maintaining features and habitats to enhance our natural environment. Wildlife flourishes in our mature trees, shrubs and plants and there are two ponds and a stream (Bunchers Brook) in our grounds which are home to a variety of animals and plants. Log piles, stacks of stone and compost heaps also provide shelter for a range of wildlife including amphibians and insects.
It is not unusual to see the following whilst staying in one of our holiday cottages:
Pipistrelle bats in flight can often be seen at dusk feeding on flying insects. They roost in the roof spaces of some of the older buildings on site and hibernate over winter, usually between November and April.
Our grounds are home to a wide variety of birds including: Blackbird, Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tit, Buzzard, Finch, Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Heron (often sighted patiently waiting to fish in our ponds), Jackdaw (annually nesting in the trunk of one of our walnut trees), Magpie, Mallard duck, Partridge, Pheasant, Quail, Robin, Sparrow, Swallow (annually nesting in the eaves of our barn), Wagtail and Wren. To name just a few!
Both Roe Deer and Muntjac can be spotted in our grounds at dawn or dusk (they love nibbling the shoots of the roses in spring). Muntjac deer can sometimes be heard ‘barking’ in the distance.
Wild mallard ducks share our ponds and stream with our own Indian Runner ducks. Over the years a number of ducklings have hatched and grown up in our grounds.
Foxes can be seen meandering through our grounds (often unfortunately hunting our chickens and ducks or the rabbits). The foxes typically live in dens in the hedges bordering the neighbouring fields.
Newts, Frogs and Toads
Common newts, frogs and toads inhabit our ponds and stream.
Although we have never seen an otter in our grounds, otters have been sighted in Bunchers Brook both upstream and downstream of our grounds. Last summer we lost a number of fish from our ornamental pond and there were telltale signs that an otter had taken them in the form of otter spraint around the edge of the pond.
Polecat, Stoat and Weasel
These have all been spotted in our grounds. The polecat was sighted in the orchard near the chicken run (I wonder what he/she was after) and both the stoat and weasel were spotted in the hedgerows.
Wild rabbits can often be seen hopping around the grounds at dusk and nibbling on our plants!
In the field across the lane from our holiday cottages we have two pet Poll Dorset sheep. They are very friendly and will come to the fence if approached – their names are Muffin and Cookie.
The large field adjacent to our grounds is farmed by the local farmer and is often home to a number of sheep.
Grey squirrels frequent our grounds nesting high up in the canopy of the trees in the wooded area near Bunchers Brook. They are often seen nibbling on walnuts and pine cones and attempting to get at the bird seed in our bird feeders!
And finally …..
Not wildlife but worthy of a mention as they share our grounds and are allowed to wander freely whenever possible: our chickens provide us and our guests with delicious free range eggs. The chickens are housed alongside our Indian Runners in our orchard.