Nature conservation is very important for us. Ash Tree Farm has been run for 26 years with nature in mind. Over the years we have encouraged all kinds of wildlife and planted many trees, hedges, wild flowers, bird seed mixes and left beetle banks and margins.
WHAT WE DO
For the past 6 years Ash Rescue Centre’s aim has been to turn previously farmed arable land into a wildlife conservation site. We have been doing this in many ways such as... digging ponds, planting hedges, planting trees, sowing native grass and meadow mixes, putting 10 acres into a birdseed mix for overwintering birds and invertebrates, planting and sowing many wildflower plugs and seeds, keeping on top of invasive species, not over- grazing and creating specific habitats and homes for some of our rarer residents like Barn Owl boxes, Dormouse nest and Bat roosts.
We have worked with..
Devon Wildlife Trust on managing horses and wildlife together
The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project on creating habitats for the bats
The Heritage Lottery Fund for planting Wildflower meadows
Natural England for stone wall repairs
South Devon Nature Trust on creating habitats,
Devon Rural Skills Trust on preserving our hedges and old stone walls,
The Woodland Trust on tree planting and sustainable coppicing,
Devon Mammal Group for providing habitats for Dormice
Dartmoor horse loggers for clearing our fallen trees in a low impact way.
WHAT NATURE DOES
By creating this wildlife site we have seen a huge increase in the amount of insects and birds living on the land. With just a little bit of help from us the wildlife is now not only surviving but increasing and thriving. Birds like Cirl Buntings, Skylarks, Goldcrests, Bullfinches, Barn owls and Woodcock now visit or live on the farm. We have a small Deer herd, Foxes, Badgers, Stoats, Hares and a visiting Otter.
Small mammals such as voles, field mice and moles are common and the rarer Dormice have their own protected areas. Insects like the Great Green Bush Cricket and the Silver Wash Fritillary Butterfly have been found here as well as many species of Bee.
Wildflowers have appeared from old seed banks in the soil. they have now been given a chance to grow and are in turn colouring our meadows with beautiful flowers. Like the Red Bartsia, Common Centuary, Hop Trefoil and Snakes head Fritillary to name a few.
We would eventually like to be able to open Ash Rescue Centre’s reserve to the public so that it can be enjoyed by everyone. The healing power of Nature is well known and for our elderly horses it is a perfect, safe, stress free retirement home that enables them to live in herds and as close to a natural environment as possible.