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Transcript

Make It Wild have multiple sites across the UK. Shown on the map there are two around York, two around Harrogate and one in the Peak District.

Sites across the UK

Rowan Tree Farm

Bank Woods

Skipbridge Nature Reserve

Dacre Woodland & Dowgill Grange

Sylvan Nature Reserve

After many years of farming and intensive grazing, the Waller family wished to return the land to how it would have looked decades before. The traditional dry stone walls were rebuilt and many young native trees were planted in the valley - most of which are now mature and full of birds and insects.The next phase of rewilding will commence in winter 2023/24, with the planting of 12,500 trees to create 'Waller Woodland'. In the future, the river running through the valley will be dammed to create a lake and add areas of wetlands to diversify the site. Large areas of traditional wildflower hay meadow will also be restored.

Rowan Tree Farm

Restor

Make It Wild

Explore Tree Species

Trees at Rowan Tree Farm

At Rowan Tree Farm, there are a mixture of Native Broadleaf Tree and Shrub Species.

Hover over the icons to see the species names, and click to learn more.

Goat Willow

Aspen

Bird Cherry

Common Alder

Downy Birch

Rowan

Sessile Oak

Silver Birch

Wild Cherry

Hawthorn

Holly

Hazel

Blackthorn

Grey Willow

Alder Buckthorn

Bank Woods

We have semi-improved pasture, gorse and upland scrub, waterlogged grassland, several small streams and three areas of wonderful ancient woodland. The upper part of the reserve is managed as a ‘rewilding’ project. We introduced a small herd of Belted Galloway cows and six Exmoor ponies. These are our conservation grazing teams, performing a vital role in spreading wild flower seed, trampling the ground and maintaining paths through the gorse.We have planted 9,000 trees at Bank Woods, with the main areas of planting along our boundaries, and between our ancient woodlands. We have also undertaken the restoration of a wildflower hay meadow. We have created some ‘leaky dams’ to create new habitat and reduce flooding downstream. We have 40 bird boxes in our ancient woodland, and incorporated into our new barn.

Restor

Make It Wild

Explore the biodiversity story

Explore the food chain

Explore the bat species

Explore the moth species

Bank Woods Food Web

Secondary comsumers

Tertiarycomsumers

Primary comsumers

Producers

Noctule

Brown long-eared bat

Common pipistrelle

Natterer’s bat

Brandt'sBat

Daubenton's bat

Soprano pipistrelle

WhiskeredBat

Bat species at Bank Woods

During the Summer of 2023, we have been fortunate enough to have high tech bat detectors placed and monitored by local bat expert, David Watkins. These were placed in two locations at Bank Woods.One was placed in a slightly open area, near the highest edge of a steeply sloping section of one of our ancient woodlands. It remained there for two weeks from the end of August. The other was placed among young trees in a largely open area, near to our wildlife pond, for two weeks in late September to early October.The detectors can pick up and record the ultrasonic signals made by the bats as they fly. These were then automatically recorded onto a SIM card. Once the detecting period was over, the files were analyzed using specialist Sonobat software, and some manual checks by David Watkins.Read more about the 8 species found by clicking on the names!

Moths at Bank Woods

In the summer of 2023, a moth survey recorded 160 different moth species present at Bank Woods, one of which hadn't been recorded in the Harrogate area since the 1970s! Click the photos to explore the highlights!

Buff Arches Moth

Buff Ermine Moth

Gold Spot Moth

Elephant Moth

Lime Moth

Peppered Moth

Peach Blossom Moth

Poplar Hawk Moth

Biodiversity at Bank Woods

Sowed two meadows with wildflower rich green hay. We added to this with more seeds in summer 2023.

Barn Owl Box put up in the new barn.

Put up 2km of deer fence to surround our ancient woodland, and in preparation for an area of new planting.

Planted 8,000 trees to reconnectthe blocks of ancient woodland.

Large deep wildlife pond dug.

Acquired the land and removed the sheep.

Second barn owl box put up in historic field barn.

30 woodland bird boxes put up inthe woods.

Belted Galloway cattle move in tothe rewilding area and leaky dams built in woodlandstreams.

2016

2017

2018

2018

2019

2019

2021

2022

2023

Skipbridge Nature Reserve

Restor

Most recently used as rough grazing, with a few neglected hedges, surrounded by a high bank to limit the ingress of the River Nidd, and yet subject to regular flooding, it doesn’t look very inspiring. We will be undertaking a wetland restoration; wetland is one of the richest habitats in the UK for biodiversity, but sadly, it is also the habitat which has been most widely destroyed or degraded.We have been consulting with various experts about the best way to manage this land for nature. We have planted ‘scrub’ to supplement the sparse hedges, and also some water tolerant trees in some areas.

Make It Wild

Explore the bird species

Bird Species at Skipbridge

The graph on the right shows the bird species recorded during a bird survey across two days in May and June in 2023. Click to learn more about each species of bird!

Pheasant

Meadow Pipit

Kestrel

Wren

Blue Tit

Reed Bunting

Chaffinch

Long-tailed Tit

Greylag Goose

Willow Warbler

Robin

Woodpigeon

Great Tit

Mallard

Sand Martin

Oystercatcher

Magpie

Skylark

Gold Tit

Carrion Crow

Collared Dove

Whitethroat

Jackdaw

Blackbird

Chiffchaff

Sylvan Nature Reserve

Restor

Sylvan Nature Reserve was our first habitat creation project. In 2011 we bought 25 acres (10 ha) of rough pasture, on the banks of the River Nidd. This land is quite often flooded with water from the river, which makes it unattractive for arable farming, which is the main type of agriculture in that area. But this wasn’t a problem for us! With support from The Woodland Trust, The Environment Agency and The Forestry Commission, we planted 18,000 British deciduous native trees in 2012. We also sowed 8 acres of wild flower meadow, and more recently, we dug several ponds and a scrape. Sylvan Nature Reserve was a finalist in The Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods competition in 2017.

Make It Wild

Explore Windmill Hill

Explore Biodiversity Story

Biodiversity at Sylvan

Bought Sylvan Nature Reserve. Previous use was as rough grazing.

Planted 18,000 trees over 26 acres. Sowed 8 acres with a wild flower seed mix.

Dug 10 ponds of various depth and size, in groups.

2010

Winter 2011/2012

2015

Dowgill Grange

Restor

Make It Wild

Explore Tree Species

In September 2019, we were delighted to acquire 44 acres of land called Dowgill Grange. This land adjoins Bank Woods.It has a few mature trees, lots of fairly derelict dry stone walls, and wonderful stone field barn. During the planting season 2019/20, we planted 8,500 trees on approximately half the area.Winter 2020/21 saw the creation of our experimental ‘Super-hedge’. At the top of our land, we prepared a long strip of land for planting, and enclosed it with rabbit and deer fence. Inside we planted almost 6,000 shrubs and trees. They are arranged in five parallel, densely planted hedges. In time they will form a dense ‘thicket’ which will be fantastic habitat for birds and small mammals.Our belted Galloway Cows, and some young Angus cattle lightly graze the rest.

Explore Dacre Woodlands

Dacre Woodlands

Restor

Make It Wild

Our young woodlands on Dacre Lane total just over 5 acres. Here we have completed our woodland creation, with the final trees planted in February 2022. There are clearings where we have sown wildflower seeds, and created wildlife ponds, all to support biodiversity.

Explore Dowgill Grange

2019 - impact

Further increase in biodiversity of flowers and mushrooms. In 2023, waxcaps mushrooms, a sign of a healthy grassland were extremely numerous. They include ballerina waxcaps which are rare.

Areas of intermittently waterlogged soil have been created, which support many more different types of wildflowers and invertebrates than previously.

2019 - impact

Each year since, the diversity and number of wild flowers increase. A survey of the pollinators has shown we have many more than in fields managed conventionally.

Holly

Ilex aquifolium

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 24 m
  • Identification: bark is smooth and thin. leaves are dark green and glossy, with younger plants having spikey leaves and older plants having smooth leaves. White flowers develop into red berries.
  • Value to wildlife: provides dense cover for hedgehogs and small mammals to hibernate under and nesting opportunities for birds. Flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees and the leaves are eaten by caterpillars and deer. Berries provide food for birds and small mammals.
  • Historical uses/mythology: Holly trees were a symbol of fertility and a charm against witches, goblins and the devil.

Holly

2023 - impact

Both boxes supported broods of owlets. We put a webcam in the first box, and were able to share pictures of the owls moving in, and the whole process from mating, hatching and fledging. Both broods of owls were ringed.

“I do a lot of hiking all over the UK, and spend a lot of time in the countryside … and I have never seen such a concentration of wildlife as I see at Bank Woods”- Member of the Make It Wild team

Meadow Pipit

Anthus pratensis

  • UK conservation status: amber
  • Identification: brown, streaky markings amd white outer tail feathers
  • Diet: flies, beetles, moths and spiders
  • Habitat: upland, marine and intertidal, farmland, heathland, wetland, grassland
  • Wingspan: 22-25cm

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Woodpigeon

Columba palumbus

  • UK conservation status: amber
  • Identification: grey feathers, white neck patch and white wing patches visible when in flight.
  • Diet: Crops like cabbages, sprouts, peas and grain. Also buds, shoots, seeds, nuts and berries
  • Habitat: Woodland, Urban and Suburban, Farmland, Grassland
  • Wingspan: 75-80cm

Alder buckthorn

Frangula alnus

Alder Buckthorn

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 10.67 m
  • Identification: branches are smooth and thornless, leaves are matt green and slightly hairy, flowers are star-shaped and berries ripen from green to red to black.
  • Value to wildlife: leaves are main food plant of the brimstone butterfly, flowers are important to bees and berries are a food source for birds.
  • Historical uses/mythology: thought to have the power to protect against witchcraft, demons, poisons and headaches.

Skylark

Alauda arvensis

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  • UK conservation status: red
  • Identification: streaky brown with a small crest which can be raised. White-sided tail, white rear edge to wings which is visible in flight
  • Diet: Seeds, insects
  • Habitat: Upland, Marine and Intertidal, Farmland, Heathland, Grassland
  • Wingspan: 30-36cm

Whiskered bat

The Whiskered bat and the Brandt's bat are very difficult to separate based on their calls. The software attributed both species as being present here, and both are likely to occur. The correct identification would need to be confirmed by other means, so it is best to regard them as Brandt’s/Whiskered.Whiskered Bats have a fluttering flight, often following hedges. They hibernate in caves and tunnels.Weight: 6gBody length: 4cmWingspan: 22cm

Gold Spot Moth

Plusia festucae

  • Conservation status: common
  • Identification: adults are brown/gold with white/gold spots on the wings. Caterpillars are bright green.
  • Caterpillar foodplants: variety of plants associated with damp habitats
  • Habitat: Marshes, Fens, Woodland, Grassland, Heathland, Moorland, Riverbanks
  • Wingspan: 3.4-3.6cm

Sand Martin

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Riparia riparia

  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: dark brown upper parts and dark under wings, pale under parts with a dark stripe on chest
  • Diet: invertebrates
  • Habitat: farmland, wetland
  • Wingspan: 26-29cm

Windmill Hill

We were delighted acquire, in 2021, a piece of land adjacent to Sylvan Nature Reserve.At around the same time we planted our first trees at Sylvan, in 2011, our neighbours at Windmill Hill were planting an orchard, a vineyard and lots of native deciduous trees . It has not been under intense agriculture, for some time, and is perfect to ‘give back to nature’. We’ve planted a wide mixed hedge interspersed with oaks and mixed native trees We have dug new wildlife ponds and in due course will sow a wildflower meadow.

Restor

Make It Wild

When left alone, all that appeared were nettles and thistles.

2010

Impact

2018 - impact

Surveys in 2023 revealed that moths and their larvae were numerous among the new woodland. Hare have become more numerous, as they have a larger area of continuous cover.

Daubenton's bat

This medium sized bat is also known as ‘The Water Bat’, as it typically feeds on insects close to the surface of water.Amazingly, they can fly at 25kph!Weight: 10gBody length: 5cmWingspan: 25cm

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Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

  • UK conservation status: amber
  • Identification: pointed wings, long tail, cream/brown/black/grey feathers
  • Diet: Small mammals and birds, worms and insects
  • Habitat: Urban and Suburban, Farmland, Heathland, Grassland
  • Wingspan: 71-80cm

Blackbird

Turdus merula

  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: males have black feathers, an orange beak and a yellow eye ring. Females have brown feathers, often with spots and stripes and a brown beak.
  • Diet: insects, worms, berries and fruit
  • Habitat: Woodland, Urban and Suburban, Farmland, Grassland
  • Wingspan: 34-38.5cm

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Robin

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  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: red breast, cream/brown/grey feathers, black beak
  • Diet: Worms, seeds, fruits, insects and other invertebrates
  • Habitats: woodland, urban and suburban, farmland
  • Wingspan: 20-22cm

Erithacus rubecula

Soprano Pipistrelle

The Soprano Pipistrelle is very similar to the Common Pipistrelle - they have only recently been recognized as two distinct species. They are extremely similar in appearance, and can only be easily distinguished from each other by their echolocation calls.They are the most common and most widespread species of bats.Amazingly, each of these bats can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night!Weight: 5gBody length: 4cmWingspan: 20cm

Downy Birch

Betula pubescens

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 40 m
  • Identification: grey-white bark, triangular-shaped leaves, long yellow-brown catkins
  • Value to wildlife: canopy provided by the downy birch provides perfect conditions for grass, moss and flowers to grow. Provides food and habitat for insects and fungi. Woodpeckers often nest in the trunk.
  • Historical uses/mythology: in Celtic mythology, birch symbolised renewal and purification, and in Scottish Highland folklore is symbolises love and fertility.

Downy Birch

Pheasant

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Phasianus colchicus

  • UK conservation status: not assessed
  • Identification: long-tails, males have chestnut/brown/black markings on their bodies and tails, a green head and red face wattling. Females are mottled with paler brown and black.
  • Diet: Seeds, grain, shoots and insects
  • Habitat: Woodland, Urban and Suburban, Farmland, Grassland
  • Wingspan: 70-90cm

Peppered Moth

Biston betularia

  • UK conservation status: common
  • Identification: adults have a broad, furry body and long narrow wings with white and black markings all over. Caterpillars are twig-like.
  • Habitats: Grassland, Farmland, Woodland, Towns and Gardens
  • Caterpillar foodplants: leaves from silver birch, oak, bramble and hawthorn
  • Wingspan: 4.4-5.6cm

Noctule

This is the largest British bat. They have narrow pointed wings.They have a characteristic fast and powerful flight, reaching speeds of 50 kph! They fly above the tree tops, and dive to chase insects. They often appear before sunset.Weight: 40gBody length: 4.5cmWingspan: 40cm

Whitethroat

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Curruca communis

  • UK conservation status: amber
  • Identification: long tail, grey head, white throat and brown back
  • Diet: insects, berries and fruit
  • Habitat: woodland, urban and suburban, farmland, heathland, grassland
  • Wingspan: 18.5-23cm

Elephant Hawk-Moth

Deilephila elpenor

  • UK conservation status: common
  • Identification: adults are mainly golden-olive with pink bars on the wings and body. Caterpillars are grey/green/brown with two large eyespots towards the head.
  • Caterpillar foodplants: willowherbs, fuchsia, bedstraw
  • Habitat: Grassland, Freshwater, Farmland, Wetlands, Woodland, Towns and Gardens
  • Wingspan: 4.5-6cm

Greylag Goose

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Anser anser

  • UK conservation status: amber
  • Identification: brown/grey/white feathers, orange beak
  • Diet: Grass, roots, cereal leaves and spilled grain
  • Habitat: Urban and Suburban, Marine and Intertidal, Farmland, Wetland, Grassland
  • Wingspan: 147-180cm

2017 - impact

We had been warned following a survey of thehabitats, that the ancient woodlands were indanger of dying out.The over-browsing by roe deer meant that noyoung tree seedlings could ever grow, as theywould quickly be eaten.Ancient woodland is one of the most biodiversehabitats found in the UK, home to many specialistwild flowers, bird and mammals.In the summer of 2023 surveys revealed that wehave an amazing 8 species of bat, in ourwoodlands, including the rare Natterer’s Bat.

Wren

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Troglodytes troglodytes

  • UK conservation status: amber
  • Identification: almost round in shape with a fine beak, short round wings and a short narrow tail. Cream/brown/white feathers
  • Diet: insects and spiders
  • Habitat: woodland, urban and suburban, farmland, heathland
  • Wingspan: 13-17cm

Sessile Oak

Quercus petraea

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 46 m
  • Identification: leaves are dark green and lobed, after pollination female flowers will become acorns.
  • Value to wildlife: provide a habitat for insects which become a food source for birds. Bark provides a habitat for mosses, lichens and liverworts, and nesting birds and roosting bats.
  • Historical uses/mythology: the oak was sacred to gods including Zeus, Jupiter and Dagda. Oak has also been a symbol of royalty and strength.

Sessile Oak

Jackdaw

Corvus monedula

  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: black feathers, silver sheen on the back of head, pale eyes
  • Diet: insects, young birds and eggs, fruit, seeds and scraps
  • Habitat: Woodland, Upland, Urban and Suburban, Farmland, Grassland
  • Wingspan: 70cm

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Blackthorn

Prunus spinosa

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 10 m
  • Identification: bark is dark brown and smooth, with twigs being thorny. The leaves are slightly wrinkled, oval and toothed. White flowers develop into blue/black berries.
  • Value to wildlife: Flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees, foliage is a foodplant for caterpillars and the thorny thickets provides nesting space for birds.
  • Historical uses/mythology: blackthorn is associated with witchcraft; it is thought that witches' wands and staffs were made using this wood.

Blackthorn

Great Tit

Parus major

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  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: green/yellow body, black head with white cheeks
  • Diet: insects, seeds and nuts
  • Habitat: woodland, urban and suburban, farmland
  • Wingspan: 24cm

By 2016, many insects, birds, birds of prey and mammals were noticed, inspiring us to found Make It Wild.

Winter 2011/2012

Impact

Buff Ermine Moth

Spilosoma luteum

  • Conservation status: common
  • Identification: adults are pale yellow with black dots on the wings. Caterpillars are brown/green and hairy.
  • Caterpillar foodplants: Common Nettle, Honeysuckle, Hop and birch
  • Habitat: gardens, hedgerows, parks, woodland
  • Wingspan: 3.4-4.4cm

2018 - impact

From 2019, monitoring shows that we have 80-90% occupancy. We have mostly great tits and blue tits, plus Nuthatches, Redstarts and two to three broods each year of Pied Flycatchers. (these were ringed in 2023)

Rowan

Sorbus aucuparia

Rowan

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 35 m
  • Identification: bark is smooth and silver/grey, leaves are arranged into leaflets that sit opposite eachother on a stem. Flowers are white and in dense clusters that develop into red bunches of fruit when pollinated.
  • Value to wildlife: leaves eaten by caterpillars, flowers provide pollen and nectar for bees, berries are a source of food for birds.
  • Historical uses/mythology: believed to provide protection against witches and spirits.

Oystercatcher

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Haematopus ostralegus

  • UK conservation status: not assessed
  • Identification: orange/red bill, red/pink legs, black tail and white back when in flight
  • Diet: mussels, cockles, worms
  • Habitat: upland, marine and intertidal, farmland, wetland, grassland
  • Wingspan: 80-86

Wild Cherry

Prunus avium

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 40 m
  • Identification: bark is red-brown and shiny. Leaves are oval-shaped, toothed and have pointed tips. White flowers develop into red cherries after pollination.
  • Value to wildlife: flowers provide pollen and nectar for bees, cherries are eaten by birds and small mammals, foliage is eaten by caterpillars.
  • Historical uses/mythology: in Highland folklore, the wild cherry was considered to be a highly mysterious tree.

Wild Cherry

Reed Bunting

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Emberiza schoeniclus

  • UK conservation status: not assessed
  • Identification: deeply notched tail, male has a black head, white collar and females/winter males have a streaked head
  • Diet: seeds and insects
  • Habitat: urban and suburban, farmland, wetland, grassland
  • Wingspan: 21-28cm

Long-tailed Tit

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Aegithalos caudatus

  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: tail larger than body and blush/black/white feathers
  • Diet: insects and occaisonally seeds
  • Habitat: woodland, urban and suburban, farmland, heathland
  • Wingspan: 16-19cm

Natterer's bat

This medium sized bat is a scarce species, and we are delighted they have made their home in our woods. They have broad wings allowing them to control their flying speed and direction very carefully. They can even pluck a spider from its web!They have large ears and pink limbs. Weight: 10gBody length: 4.5cmWingspan: 27cm

Willow Warbler

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Phylloscopus trochilus

  • UK conservation status: amber
  • Identification: grey/green feathers on the back and pale feathers underneath. Yellow-tinge to chest and pale strip above eye.
  • Diet: small insects, spiders, fruit and berries
  • Habitat: Woodland, Urban and Suburban, Heathland, Grassland
  • Wingspan: 16-22cm

Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita

  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: brown/green feathers, usually with dark legs and a pale eye strip
  • Diet: insects and spiders
  • Habitat: Woodland, Urban and Suburban, Farmland, Heathland, Wetland
  • Wingspan: 15-21cm

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2016 - impact

Huge increase in the floral biodiversity of the meadows. Sheep are non-native, and have a deleterious effect on grassland, through their way of grazing the grass of close to the root.

Grey Willow

Salix cinerea

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 13.72 m
  • Identification: grey-brown bark, long oval-shaped leaves that have a fine silver felt underneath, grey/green catkins
  • Value to wildlife: foliage eaten by caterpillars, food plant for the purple emporer butterfly. Catkins provide pollen and nectar for bees and other insects.
  • Historical uses/mythology: willows were a symbol of celebration in biblical times, but now are associated with sadness/mourning, and in Northern areas are used instead of palm branches on Palm Sunday.

Grey Willow

Brown long-eared bat

These medium-sized bats fly close to the ground, and sometimes pick insect prey from the ground or from foliage. They often roost in old barns. They use their incredibly sensitive hearing to locate insects; it is said they can hear a ladybird walking across a leaf!Weight: 10gBody length: 5cmWingspan: 25cm

Hawthorn

Crataegus monogyna

Hawthorn

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 44 m
  • Identification: bark is brown-grey and knotted, twigs are brown, slender and thorny. Leaved are heavily toothed, flowers are clustered and white/pink and fruits are red.
  • Value to wildlife: foodplant for caterpillars, flowers are eaten by dormice and provide nectar and pollen for bees, fruits eaten by birds and mammals.
  • Historical uses/mythology: pagan symbol of fertility and has links with May Day. It was also believed that hawthorn blossom would bring illness and death when brought inside.

Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: pale pink/brown/grey feathers with a black neck collar and deep red eyes and feet.
  • Diet: seeds, grains, buds and shoots
  • Habitat: urban and suburban, farmland
  • Wingspan: 51cm

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Common Pipistrelle

The Common Pipistrelle is very similar to the Soprano Pipistrelle - they have only recently been recognized as two distinct species. They are extremely similar in appearance, and can only be easily distinguished from each other by their echolocation calls.They are the most common and most widespread species of bats.Amazingly, each of these bats can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night!Weight: 5gBody length: 4cmWingspan: 20cm

Poplar Hawk Moth

Laothoe populi

  • Conservation status: common
  • Habitat: woodland, gardens, heaths, fens
  • Identification: Adults have scalloped wings with leaf-like edges with areas of grey and brown, small, pale eyespots and occasionally a purple tinge. Caterpillars are green with faint yellow lines diagonally across the body and a spike at the tail-end.
  • Caterpillar foodplants: poplars, willows and sallows, aspen
  • Wingspan: 6.5-9cm

Bird Cherry

Prunus padus

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 25 m
  • Identification: bark is smooth, peeling and grey/brown, leaves have sharp serrations on the edges, white flowers are clustered along short stalks and later develop into black cherries.
  • Value to wildlife: flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees, cherries are eaten by birds and mammals, foliage eaten by caterpillars.
  • Historical uses/mythology: strong-smelling bark of the tree was thought to have magical properies that would protect against the plague.

Bird Cherry

Goat Willow

Salix caprea

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 35 m
  • Identification: oval leaves that have grey, felty coating underneath. Grey-brown bark. Once pollinated, female catkins develop into woolly seeds.
  • Value to wildlife: foliage eaten by moth caterpillers and is the main food group for the purple emporer butterfly. Catkins are an important source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects and birds forage for caterpillars and insects here.
  • Historical uses/mythology: willows were a symbol of celebration in biblical times, but now are associated with sadness/mourning, and in Northern areas are used instead of palm branches on Palm Sunday.

Goat Willow

Lime Hawk-Moth

Mimas tiliae

  • Conservation status: common
  • Identification: adults are blush with grey/green at the tips and base of the wings and dark green patches in the middle of the forewings. Caterpillars are green with pale streaks on each segment and a blue 'horn' at the tail.
  • Caterpillar foodplants: leaves of lime, silver birch and elm
  • Habitat: Grassland, Farmland, Woodland, Towns and Gardens
  • Wingspan: 4.6-7.8cm

Hazel

Hazel

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 30 m
  • Identification: smooth, grey-brown bark, round leaves that are toothed and hairy, males have yellow catkins that hang in clusters and females have tiny flowers that develop into oval fruits.
  • Value to wildlife: provide food and habitat for caterpillars, butterflies and ground-nesting birds. Hazelnuts are eaten by dormice, woodpeckers, nuthatches, tits, woodpigeons, jays and mammals.
  • Historical uses/mythology: believed to be a magical tree: hazel rods thought to protect against evil spirits and hazelnuts thought to ward off rheumatism.

Corylus avellana

Blue Tit

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Cyanistes caeruleus

  • UK Conservation status: green
  • Identification: blue/yellow/white/green feathers, black beak
  • Diet: insects, caterpillars, seeds and nuts
  • Habitats: woodland, urban and suburban, farmland
  • wingspan: 18cm

Mallard

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Anas platyrhynchos

  • UK conservation status: not assessed
  • Identification: long body and long and broad bill. Male has a green head, yellow bill and has a purple/brown breast and grey body. Females are mostly brown with an orange bill.
  • Diet: seeds, acorns, berries, plants, insects and shellfish
  • Habitat: urban and suburban, marine and intertidal, farmland, wetland, grassland
  • Wingspan: 81-98cm

Silver Birch

Betula pendula

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 32.6 m
  • Identification: bark is white and papery, and becomes black and rugged at the base. Leaves are small and triangular with a toothed edge. Male catkins are long and yellow-brown, whereas female catkins are short and green.
  • Value to wildlife: canopy provides perfect conditions for grasses, mosses, wood anemones, bluebells, wood sorrel and violets. Provides food and habitat for insects, fungi and hole-nesting birds such as woodpeckers.
  • Historical uses/mythology: in Celtic mythology, birch symbolised renewal and purification, and in Scottish Highland folklore is symbolises love and fertility.

Silver Birch

Brandt's bat

The Brandt's bat and the Whiskered bat are very difficult to separate based on their calls. The software attributed both species as being present here, and both are likely to occur. The correct identification would need to be confirmed by other means, so it is best to regard them as Brandt’s/Whiskered.Brandt’s Bat is a small bat with shaggy fur.They fly around woodland, skilfully navigating around trees, and picking prey insects from leaves. They are often found in buildings but tend to hibernate in caves and tunnels. Interestingly the first bats to be confirmed as Brandt’s bat were found at Smelthouses in 1970, only a couple of miles further up Nidderdale from Bank Woods.Weight: 7gBody length: 5cmWingspan: 24cm

Aspen

Populus tremula

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 60 m
  • Identification: grey bark, leaves are round with large, irregular, blunt teeth. Male catkins are brown, female catkins are green.
  • Value to wildlife: insects are attracted to aspen trees and become food for birds and ladybirds. Deadwood cavities provide nesting opportunities for birds like woodpeckers. Aspen is a preferred species for beavers.
  • Historical uses/mythology: a crown of aspen leaves was believed to give the wearer power to visit the Underworld and return safely.

Aspen

Chaffinch

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Fringilla coelebs

  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: white outer tail feathers, males have a red/pink chest and blue/grey head and females are brown.
  • Diet: insects and seeds
  • Habitat: woodland, urban and suburban, farmland, heathland, grassland
  • Wingspan: 24.5-28.5cm

Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis

  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: red face, yellow patches on wings, cream/brown/black/white feathers
  • Diet: seeds and insects
  • Habitat: urban and suburban, farmland
  • Wingspan: 21-25.5cm

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2021 - impact

Within weeks two pairs of mandarin ducks moved in. Soon after, Dragonflies arrived. They bred and laid eggs, producing a population of these wonderful insects where there were none previously. We also have hundreds and hundreds of frogs each spring.

Buff Arches Moth

Fringilla coelebs

  • Conservation status: common
  • Identification: adults are grey, white and brown and heavily marked. Caterpillars are reddish-brown with 2/4 creamy spots.
  • Caterpillar foodplants: bramble
  • Habitat: Woodland, hedgerows, gardens
  • Wingspan: 3.5-4cm

Common Alder

Alnus glutinosa

  • Conservation status: Least concern
  • Tree height: 40 m
  • Identification: bark is dark and fissured. Leaves are dark green and are leathery to touch with serrated edges. Male catkins turn yellow and female catkins are green, and turn brown once pollinated.
  • Value to wildlife: foodplant for caterpillars, catkins provide pollen and nectar for bees, seeds are eaten by siskin, redpoll and goldfinch.
  • Historical uses/mythology: Irish believed it was unlucky to pass by an Alder. The green dye from the flowers was used to camoflague to clothes of those like Robin Hood.

Common Alder

Carrion Crow

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Corvus corone

  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: black feathers, black legs, black beak
  • Diet: Carrion, insects, worms, seeds, fruit, eggs and any scraps
  • Habitat: Woodland, Upland, Urban and Suburban, Farmland, Heathland, Wetland, Grassland
  • Wingspan: 93-104cm

Peach Blossom Moth

Thyatira batis

  • Conservation status: common
  • Identification: adults are brown with pinkish spots. Caterpillars are reddish-brown.
  • Caterpillar foodplants: bramble
  • Habitat: Woodland and scrub, urban areas
  • Wingspan: 3.2-3.8cm

Very quickly invertebrates moved in. Most noticeably, the Banded Demoiselle dragonfly.

2015

Impact

Magpie

Pica pica

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  • UK conservation status: green
  • Identification: black and white plumage, long tails, purple/blue iridescence to wings and green iridescence to tail, black beak
  • Habitats: woodland, upland, urban and suburban, farmland, heathland, wetland, grassland
  • Diet: omniverous and scavenger
  • Wingspan: 52-60cm

2022 - impact

A brood of barn owls were observed and two were ringed.