Working with Nature: Our Wildlife Friendly Glampsite Goals
We are very fortunate to live in the Malvern Hills AONB, one of the most spectacular settings nature has to offer. We are very passionate about working with nature and have implemented a Swallowfields Biodiversity Enhancement Plan to create new habitats for wildlife. Here are some enhancements we have carried out so far, many of which can be implemented in your gardens.
It’s that glorious time of year when the wildflower meadow is in full bloom. In spring, we see the tall meadow buttercup and the delicate pink flowers of the ragged robin make their appearance. As summer approaches, you begin to hear the hum of wildlife all around you.
Our wildflower meadow is now in its fourth year, with a wide variety of bees, butterflies and birdsong who all thrive on its flower-rich tapestry. The wildflower meadow at Swallowfields is also home to our summer visitors, the swallows, who have journeyed many thousands of miles from the plains of Africa to breed in this beautiful part of the world. There is no greater feeling than walking through a mown path in the long meadow grass, watching the swallows in flight.
Discover more about how we restored and manage our wildflower meadow here.
So far, we have planted over 300 metres of new mixed native hedgerows, gap filled existing hedgerows and have restored old hedgerows using the traditional management of hedgelaying; providing vital resources for mammals, birds, and insect species. Standard trees such as oak, field maple and crack willow have also been added at suitable intervals.
Log piles support a wide range of wildlife including invertebrates, insects moss and fungi. Birds, hedgehogs, and frogs are attracted to log piles, looking for food that lies within. You will see a number of log piles around the glampsite, created using wood from trees that were pollarded the previous winter.
Our new nature pond, shaped like an acorn and planted with marginal and submerged species, is an important biodiversity enhancement; attracting invertebrates such as dragonflies and water beetles, as well as amphibians. The rocks and logs placed around the margins of the pond serve as much-needed refuge and hibernation sites. The willow fedge around the pond creates a safety barrier for our younger guests, whilst the decking provides a fun platform for pond dipping.
Orchards were once a traditional feature in Castlemorton. An old ordnance survey (OS) map dated 1813 confirmed that the whole glampsite used to be an orchard. We wished to maintain our local historical connection as well as creating new habitats, and so decided to plant new orchard trees.
We have planted over 50 traditional apple varieties between our safari tents, with the aim that in the future, the fruits can be picked and eaten by our glampers, or alternatively will be pressed into juice. We have also planted traditional cider apple trees in the centre of the glampsite and aim to work with local cider mills to produce cider.
In addition to the apple and cider trees, we have planted several crabapple trees that are loved by wildlife, from the bees that pollinate their beautiful blossom in spring, to the birds and small mammals that eat their red fruits in autumn. The fruits are also great for making Christmas wreaths!
Birds are an important part of the eco system; they help to control pests by eating unwanted insects and control weeds by eating weeds. Watching birds and listening to birdsong has been scientifically proven to improve our mental health.
Nesting boxes provide a safe place for birds to build their nests, protected from predators and external elements. We have added several nesting boxes around the site to attract a variety of different birds.
Our work isn’t finished yet, as we will continue to implement our Biodiversity Enhancement Plan over the coming years.
Click here to book your break in nature today!