Conservation

White Admiral
Monitoring of Barn Owl Boxes – ongoing project
It has been proved that having a dead Jackdaw at the entrance to a nesting box deters visiting Jackdaws, but is ignored by the Owls – so this ‘trick’ has been tried over the winter.  This has proved to be very successful with fantastic results particularly in 2017, where 4 barn owl chicks have recently been found in a single box and have been ringed as part of our ongoing monitoring.
 Waveney Bird Club – April 2017, The bird club had an early morning walk around Ditchingham on Good Friday.  please see following link for species count; DitchinghamHallSpeciesListApril 17 .
Cowslips
“It is such a privilege for our members to be able to view an Estate that had channelled so much energy into management techniques that are sympathetic to wildlife.”  – Steve Piotrowski, President of the Waveney Bird Club, 2013
Ditchingham Estate is part of the Higher Level Stewardship scheme, a competitive scheme which rewards farmers and landowners for conservation activity across a wide range of themes.  Click here to see the full HLS theme priorities for East Anglia.
Our Wild Bird Covers have grown well this year, in particular the sunflowers;
sunflowers sunshine meadow.jpg
At Ditchingham, we focus on the following themes:
  • Improving the resilience of nationally important habitats (such as Ditchingham’s ancient woodlands) to climate change
  • Reversing the decline of farmland birds
  • Securing the recovery of nationally important species of flora and fauna
  • Reducing the damage caused to undesignated below-ground archaeological sites (such as our archaeological earthworks) by cultivation
We aim to plant 1 km of new hedgerows, consisting entirely of native species, each year.  In 2012/13 planting season we planted 2.2 km.  Since November 2005, we have planted 2,823 trees; 1,483 shrubs; and 7,758 metres of hedgerow.  The species we plant typically include Hawthorn, Dogwood, Guelder Rose, Field Maple, Hazel, Spindle and Blackthorn.
Academic approaches on wildlife-friendly agriculture are always welcomed – please get in touch for more details.

Wildflower meadow

Rare flora now recovering at Ditchingham include:

The increased range of flowers has been beneficial for many pollinators, including our bees. Beehives panoramic If you happen to be a registered Bee Keeper and would like to keep bees on the estate, please contact the Estate Office on 01508 482700 or email estate@ditchingham.org.uk. Bees Although they may be subject to less formal protection in the UK than elsewhere in Europe, we are still encouraged by the rise in our Brown Hares. Brown hare We have created beetle banks to act as biological pest control on our arable fields. On some field strips, we have put down a specialist wildflower mix to act as a natural catalyst for biodiversity. In other places, we have let nature take its course – leading to a rise in poppies, thistles, and various different grasses. Poppies and thistles Areas of game cover provide another opportunity for natural regeneration of the landscape at Ditchingham. The Estate is gradually reintroducing the English (Grey) Partridge (Perdix Perdix): the Ditchingham population reached 23 breeding pairs in 2013. Ditchingham is also home to muntjac deer, Chinese water deer, roe deer and red deer, and of course, pheasants. Pheasants Many of our trees hold bird boxes, or specialist owl boxes.  A recent Dawn Chorus bird walk counted 57 species of birds present on the Estate – in just one morning!

We can arrange outings for groups to see some of the willdlife on the Estate, please contact estate@ditchingham.org.uk 

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