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January News

An update from Lindy – our Tour Guide Manager and Conservationist

Happy New Year!

2022 has arrived, and although the days are short and sunshine is sparse, wildlife is as busy as ever on the estate.

Woodpeckers can be heard knocking and hunting for insect larvae in dead tree bark. A variety of birds can be seen in January as they start to come out of cover to find the scarce seeds and nuts they crave. Birds of prey are also becoming more obvious, buzzards and kestrels will be soaring overhead and hovering for rodents.

It is mating season for foxes, and we can start to see their tracks in the woodlands, making it easy for us to spot them in the woods. They are foraging for earthworms, small mammals, and insects in the fallen leaves on the forest floor.

We now also notice flowering in the woodland, such as snowdrops and catkins, which is a wonderful reminder that the shortest day has come and gone, and spring is on its way. If you look closely at the twigs and branches there is often a golden crust-like growth, known as lichen, which provides welcome colour in mid-winter. The partnership between algae and fungi, creates a pollution ‘watchdog’, by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.

The scope of observing nature is wide and well worth a walk on the beautiful estate even in the darkest of days.

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