Welcome to the Farm Conservation Guide

Field FenceImportant habitats on the farm include the Letcombe Brook, an old network of hedgerows, 40 acres of Wild flower meadows including cowslips that are registered Country Wildlife Sites. UK and Oxfordshire Habitat Action Plan's habitats including Wild flower meadows, chalk stream, supporting UK Biodiversity Action Plan species - brown hare, skylark, linnet and watervole. There are also nationally important species present including lapwing, yellowhammers.

Letcombe BrookThe Letcombe Brook is a chalk stream with a fascinating array of wildlife. The brook supports wild brown trout, bullheads and there is a diversity of aquatic in vertebrates. Also the brook has had good water vole populations and is frequently visited by heron and kingfishers. However over the centuries it has altered considerably and today suffers from issues such as development, low flows, disappearance of species such as water voles due to loss in habitat and predation by mink, siltation, litter and flytipping.

To address these problems the Letcombe Brook Project was set up in April 2003. The aim is to enhance and protect the natural beauty of the Letcombe Brook and help people appreciate the environment.

Wild FlowersThere are three meadows, which are very rich in wildflowers, and they have been designated as County Wildlife Sites. They are designated because of their county nature conservation importance. 97% of wildflower meadows have been 'improved' since 1947, so they are now one of our rarest habitats. Wildflowers in meadows were once very common but due to changes in agricultural practices such as intensification, drainage etc there are only a few remnants left. Fortunately these fields survive, as they have not been ploughed in at least 40 years. These fields are being managed in a particular way to encourage the wildflowers to seed and enhance the sward. There are a variety of grasses including quaking grass, meadow barley and foxtail. In the spring they are covered in cowslips and through the summer you can see yellow rattle, meadow crane's-bill, lady bedstraw, knapweed, and many other wildflowers. These plants then attract all sorts of other wildlife including invertebrates such as butterflies, common blue, speckled wood and gatekeepers.