Fauna is a 16-acre Local Nature Reserve, created in 2011-12 on land which the Fairfield Association leases from Lancaster City Council. It contains several different types of habitat: hay meadow (currently under restoration as a traditional wildflower meadow); grazing pasture; wetland; water features including a stream (Lucy Brook), ponds and scrapes; and hedgerows with several veteran trees, a fine row of willows along Lucy Brook and old hedgerows which have been restored and replanted.
White Park cattle, an ancient and endangered breed, graze both the reed beds and grassland. In winter 2015/2016 Fell ponies complemented the cattle’s efforts to control the rushes, which may become too dense for our over-wintering snipe.
Fauna is being managed to encourage a diversity of wildlife, including hedgerow, wetland and water birds; meadow and wetland flowers; and invertebrates including butterflies, moths and dragonflies.
A fully accessible public footpath, designated as a ‘concessionary’ right of way, crosses the site, linking the Fairfield Orchard near Sunnyside Lane to Cromwell Road and the Lancaster Canal. Access to the rest of the fields is via guided walks (see our events pages) or by special permission. Almost all of the management and maintenance of the site is done by volunteers – visit the Volunteering area for further details.
Fauna is full of the sound of birds, including waterfowl, hedgerow and wetland birds. In autumn and winter, look out for snipe, curlews and other wading birds; in summer, sedge and willow warblers are visitors flying from Africa to breed here. Hares are frequently seen and there are wonderful views of Lancaster Castle.