Ochard Farm – Flora & Fauna
In this section we have tried to list all of the amazing flora and fauna to be found in the area. This is a new initiative and I’m sure it will grow as the years (and your reported sitings) go by. To help future guests do note in your barn’s Green Log Book anything of interest you have seen.
To help identification there are very useful birds, trees and wild flowers books in each barn.
At the very heart of England, Derbyshire is in a unique position. It is the southern limit for some species; the northern extreme for others, the county has a rich and varied landscape, from the Dark Peak moorland to the gentle floodplains of the Derwent Valley.
Geology and industry have shaped the county. The scars of lead mining and mineral extraction are plain to see, but in many cases where industry has finished with the land, nature has now taken over. Orchids bloom at Chee Dale and Millers Dale, now Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves. You will also find – although not exactly on an old industrial site – our very own ‘Parwich Orchid’ on the slopes of Parwich Hill in spring.
Fortunes for the county’s wildlife are mixed – while the Otter continues to make a steady comeback, Water vole numbers are once again declining. (The Derbyshire Wild Life Trust is taking action to try and halt this decline.)
The Mountain Hare (Lepus Timidus) on the other hand is apparently making a good comeback in the North of the Peak with sitings near Ladybower.
Nearer to home you may well see a glimpse of a badger, fox, hares and rabbits – not to forget the squirrel, which looks adorable but as many country people will tell you is no better than a ‘tree rat’! Certainly, they do their best to steal all the seed and nuts we put out for the birds.
Last year we put up a nesting box with camera but so far no blue tits appear to have been near. We live in hope…! We have had now for several years two bird (wren, robin) nesting boxes which have been used, and a bat box which we hope has been used but do not know for certain. Our pond in the garden is home to frogs and newts and the occasional duck, which strays from the Parwich pond.
Our log pile in the hay barn, clumps of nettles and the buddleia at the end of the veg garden all provided a safe habitat and or food source for frogs, butterflies, bees etc.
John and Marion Fuller-sessions Last reviewed 7 March 2012