Good to see that the arable field continues to attract lots of seed-eating bird species. As well as the 20+ chaffinch currently favouring the area the numbers of linnet have increased significantly in the past week or so. This morning (Boxing Day) there were approximately 50 present – this fast declining farmland finch is red listed. A great sign that the field is doing exactly what it should!

Egret and teal

Little egret flying along the west hedge of West Field this afternoon.

We also spotted a couple of teal on the School Pond. This was good as for the last week or more we have not seen the teal. Do they come and go?



A brown hare observed running across the Flora field this morning. Plus four pheasants in the field. They, at least, seem to be enjoying the food generated by an arable field.

Volunteer session Saturday 13th December 2014

Here is Jonathan’s message to the Orchardeers

Greetings All,

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, FAUNA and FLORA this
Saturday, December 13th, starting at 10.00am and finishing at 1.00pm or

Please come along if you possibly can and wear your wellies if have any –
it’s likely to be “a little damp” under foot.

Jobs for this session…

* Remove remaining stumps and roots of self seeded blackthorn in Orchard.
Flatten the ground ready for spring sowing of grass.
* Remove self seeded trees in Alder Pond and Upper Sowerholme.
* Remove two non-native plants in the Orchard.
* Check through the mowing area of the Orchard that there are no more
stumps / obstructions for the mower.
* Assist Keith in the pruning of apple trees.
* Move timber in West Field to the pile by the gate.
* Retrieve and replace tree guards for saplings in west hedge of West Field.
* Plant hedge saplings in hedge by the Orchard / Fauna path crossroad.
* Plant hedge saplings in gaps in east hedge of West Field
* Black bag the elder stumps we have cut back in the east hedge of the
West Field.
* Replant in Sowerholme the reeds we have dug out of the east hedge of
West Field.
* Remove leaves from track between Sunnyside Lane and Orchard.
* Dig out ragwort in Big Meadow.

And that’s your lot from me for this time, and for this year in all
Keep warm and stay safe, folks, and we’ll do it all again next year.

Best wishes,



Whilst walking on the Long Pads footpath this afternoon we saw a flock of 20 and more birds. They settled in the lone oak tree in the West Field hedge and with the sun on them we had a clear view. On returning home and consulting our bird book we are very confident they were brambling although there were some chaffinch in there as well.

Nests and birds

Whilst hedge laying yesterday in the east hedge of West Field we came upon our first birds’ nests in over 150 metres of laying – and three of them!

Photos below.

We also saw an oystercatcher take off from the field and a flock of lapwings circling the field – I guesstimate 40 or so