Wildlife

“This is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty protecting some of the most unspoilt holiday coast in Britain, yet it also encompasses a surprisingly untouched rural hinterland. The coastal landscapes, stretching from Lyme Regis to Exmouth, show the lush, highly coloured scenery of classic ‘postcard Devon’.”

Courtesy of Natural England

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Perched towards the top of East Hill, Burrow Wood Farm offers commanding views over the breathtaking surrounding East Devon Countryside, from it’s elevated position.  We are in a perfect location to view the abundance of wildlife that being situated in the middle of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) affords us.

We are situated in 10 acres of our own land, comprising of lake, marsh, heath, paddocks, orchard and garden, and completely surrounded by farmland or forest.  As such, there is a stunning array of wildlife that is right on our doorstep.

With the large East Hill Tree Plantation above us, and next to that, Fire Beacon Heath Nature Reserve, we are fortunate enough to have some real rarities very close to us. Yellowhammers can be found breeding there, as can the very scarce Dartford Warbler, and Nightjars, which can be heard at night hunting for moths.

There has also, this year, been the first wild Beaver for 500 years in England, discovered living in the river on the farm next to us.

Wild Beaver

Wild Beaver at Ottery

During your stay here you may get the opportunity to encounter:

Mammals:  Foxes; Badgers; Roe Deer; Grey Squirrels, Stoats, Weasels, Otters (very occasionally up here – you are most likely to see them on their way back from stealing Koi from our pond or lake!); Bats – Long-eared and Common Pipistrelle  (we have 2 registered colonies of Bats in the attic of the main house, which you will see fly out of one of the chimneys during summer at dusk and dawn)

Birds: Barn Owls, Tawny Owls, Little Owls; Woodpeckers, Jay, Nuthatch, Kingfisher, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, rare Black and white Blackbirds; Wagtails; Swallows; Magpies; Chaffinch; Chiffchaff; Starling; Buzzards (numerous, but most noticeable is the huge one that sits on the ancient Oak as you look down into the Llama’s field).

Rehabilitating Fox Cubs

Rehabilitating Fox Cubs

Interesting creepy crawlies: Cockchafer, Glow-worms (June to August), Slowworms, Dragonflies and Damselflies

We are also a wildlife release sight for certain animal charities, and you may be lucky enough to be here when we are releasing birds of prey, or mammals back into the wild.

For more information of the wildlife to see in this area see the links below:

Fire Beacon Hill Nature Reserve

Devon Wildlife Trust

Wildlife in Devon

East Devon AONB 

Devon County Council have produced a digital guide to wildlife in Devon, which includes a guide to the local nature reserves in the county and how to get to them.

 

Birdwatching

There are some wonderful opportunites for birdwatching locally:

Exe Estuary: internationally important site for winter migrant birds, including the Avocet, Brent Geese and Lapwings. The RSPB and Devon Wildlife

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Trust manage nature reserves on the estuary, with public trails, viewing platforms and hides allowing visitors to get close to the birds without disturbing them.

Fire Beacon Hill: Yellowhammers breed on the Local Nature Reserve, as does the nationally scarce dartford warbler and nightjars can be heard at night hunting for moths.

Axe Estuary Wetlands: is home to grazing marsh, mudflats, saltmarsh and reedbeds, and so provides a haven for wildlife, especially birds.

Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve: is a grazing marsh, with scrapes, ditches and ponds that attract considerable wildlife interest, from wildfowl and wading birds in the winter to dragonflies and butterflies in the summer.

To discover more about birdlife on the River Exe Estuary, join a winter guided bird watching cruise with Stuart Line Cruises at Exmouth.