Oct 022016
 

naturetrailWelcome to the Ecocentre Nature Walk

This approx 3 mile circular route gives an opportunity to experience our 265 hectare farm enterprise; Home Farm is still essentially a family business currently run by the third generation farmer David Rose. Our farm is a mixed farm enterprise with high environmental and animal welfare systems.

Our farming is more environmentally sustainable, less dependent on chemical pesticides and fertilisers, thereby making the farm more wildlife-friendly. Returning to a mixed farming system is creating a diverse base for wildlife and the RSPB and WLT have monitored increased numbers of birds and animals. Please report back what you see.

Ecocentre Nature Walk  Zones – Download the Info Sheet

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Try and keep as quiet as you can, always keep dogs on a lead, don’t drop litter, respect the animals, keep looking and listening for signs of life. Take care when crossing roads.The farm comprises of 600 acres of arable, 60 acres of grass grazing and 20 acres of woodland, the circular walk will give you an insight into farm life and you will see a number of farm animals including Easycare and Jacob sheep flocks, Saddleback pig heard, a family of goats, reared pheasants, bee hives and chickens to name but a few. On route you will pass through 3 zones each offering differing natural habitats, in each you will find information boards indicating what to look out for to assist your navigation please follow the green and yellow arrow route markers.

The wildlife you see will depend on a number of factors, seasons change the landscape and the associated animals that live here so do come again.

Let us know what you think; we always welcome your thoughts. If you see something special please report it and most importantly please enjoy this walk.

This walk is a permissive route, but does connect to a number of existing local footpaths giving further opportunity to extend your walk should you wish.

Guided accompanied group walks are also available covering a number of specialism’s including, Wild Flowers, Wildlife, Ornithology, Local History, Seed to Sandwich, Foraging for Food and School Educational Trips, we also offer land tours via a covered trailer, the trailer has a wheelchair lift. Please enquire at the Ecocentre where a member of staff will happily talk to you about your particular requirements.

Please report anything unusual to a member of Ecocentre staff our contact number is 01949 21261 or David’s Mobile 07855 252151

naturetrail3Zone 1 -Spring Point

Spring water, water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth

Welcome to the Ecocentre’s best kept secret, a natural spring fed pond. Historically this valued water source would have serviced many of the farms water requirements. The pond would have been dug to hold a larger quantity of water to provide farm animals with drinking water. The natural occurrence of a spring is a welcome benefit to wildlife to which is why this zone is particularly diverse. In and around the water you might see Frogs, Toads, Great Crested Newts, Smooth Newts, Water Voles, Bank Voles and Kingfishers. This zone also offers good hunting for predatory animals such as Foxes, Barn Owls, Little Owls, Sparrow Hawks, Buzzards and Kestrels.

In this zone you will also find a wild flower meadow, a number of coppice woods and large traditional hedgerows, fantastic habitat for Hares, Rabbits, Harvest Mice, and Butterflies.

As the daylight fades Moths, Bats, Owls and Badgers arrive.

Upon leaving the spring area the footpath will arrive at this Zones woodland, here you might catch sight of an elusive green woodpecker?

Zone 2- The Dales, Stoney Dale and Shackerdale

Dale, an open valley, usually in an area of low hills

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As you approached the Dales board you may have noticed a small memorial at the side of the road, this is in remembrance of one of two RAF pilots who whilst on a Lancaster bomber training flight had a mid air collision, both pilots managed to avoid the village putting the planes down in farmland, one plane here at Stoney Dale and the other off Flintham Lane. Both crew members of both aircraft perished, steering their planes away from the village clearly saved loss of civilian lives.

Further details can be found at the main memorial situated on the outskirts of the village of Screveton on Flintham Lane.

In Zone 2 the landscape changes, this area houses much of the crop producing land of the farm.

You will see different seasonal crops growing these include spring and winter Wheat, Oats and Oil Seed Rape. These crops are rotated and harvested for use in the food production industry.

This Zone also offers budding trackers an opportunity to hone their skills, keep your eyes peeled for signs of wildlife at ground level, tracks left by rabbits, hares, foxes, badgers and the occasional roe deer can often be found but require a very keen eye.

The extra large conservation hedgerows (wildlife corridors), are a great place to find signs of life, this section of the walk passes through some fantastic scenery giving you chance to take in the views of the surrounding areas of natural beauty (How many churches can you see?). As you pass the goat enclosure you will find yourself in our new Orchard, here you can stop take a break and sit a while.

Zone 3- Whitham’s Hill

Named after Reg Whitham who lived and worked this land some 80 years ago.

Reg was a well respected, church warden, farmer and a gentleman, who had a real passion for agriculture and its importance in the community.

This Zone is our history area and is now mainly laid to grassland used to graze our farm animals the fields in this zone are used for our sheep, we rotate them regularly to allow the grass to recover; make a note in your diary to come back in the spring to see the lambs. Our pigs also live in this zone we move their houses from time to time to provide them with new places to forage.

Take time and amble a little down the lane, this old grass land is home to wild flowers, grasses, hawthorns, wild blackberry to name but a few. During spring and summer you will find several species of Butterflies feeding on the flowers alongside our colony of bees.

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Please report anything unusual to a member of Ecocentre staff our contact number is 01949 21261 or David’s Mobile 07855 252151

David Rose – Ecocentre Founder