Archive for the ‘Ecology’ Category

Ecological Notes

Special thank you to Angela Beresford for her help with the Notes.

A dog rose flowering.

A dog rose flowering.

This little rose flower only lasts about two days, and will then grow into a rose hip.    When it is red and soft in the autumn, it will be eaten by birds, and the rose seeds spread by them.    The hairs wrapping the seed are horribly itchy (but birds don’t seem to mind).    Rose hip syrup is tasty.

some grass and buttercups flowering

some grass and buttercups flowering

This close up of the meadow plants shows buttercups with their amazing yellow petals reflecting light.    There are a variety of grasses in our meadow.    All of them release clouds of pollen to irritate hayfever victims (including one of our horses)!
An oaktree or two

An oaktree or two

These oak trees are a huge green housing estate.    There are jays and mice eating the acorns, squirrels nesting, fungi on the trunk, and caterpillars on the leaves.    There are wasps making lumps (galls) on the acorn and lichens on the twigs.
Some small bracket fungi

Some small bracket fungi

These fungi are busy chewing their way into this birch fence post.    They will grow strong from the wood of the post, and grow into new ‘brackets’ out into the air, to spread their spores.    The birch post gets weaker but it is not a strong timber and fungi love it.
Close up of tree trunk with litchen etc.

Close up of tree trunk with litchen etc.

There is a variety of plants living on the bark of this old apple tree.    The green mosses thrive on the damp bark crevices.    The litchen is an indicator that our air is clean because it won’t grow when it too full of poisonous Sulphur Dioxide fumes from car exhausts.

Ecology – Species Count

This is a count of the number of different types of animals and plants seen at the barn farm on a particular day in early summer.    A large number is benefical, as it shows there is species diversity, which is good.    There are many more plants as is was the middle of the day, and most of the animals where else where.    There has been no count of the insects, which would increase the number of animals.    The list of domesticated animals is here instead.


In principle the ecology of the farm is simple – in practice a little harder!

Although we are in communication with them, Barn Farm is not currently registered with the Soil Association because we have to buy in our foodstuffs and hay rather than produce it ourselves.    We do however try to conform to organic standards in as many ways as we can.

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Barn Farm is a small section of unpolluted rich meadowland.  We would like to keep it that way.  This list will be updated in future.

  • No use of pesticides.
  • Nearly all wood preservatives are low impact (rather than a powerfull substance that lingers and will poison everything).
  • Use of predators (ie chicken) to keep populations of pests low.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Species Count – Wild Animals

Wild animals

  • Barn owl
  • Fox
  • Grey squirrel
  • Hedgehog
  • Mice (various)
  • Pheasant
  • Rabbit
  • Rat (oversize)
  • Rook
  • Various insects

Species Count – Garden Escapes

Garden escapes

Species Count – Wild Plants

Wild plants