Helping To Give Nature A Home

‘The Grange Cl’, we are passionate about the welfare of the UKs wildlife; we are ‘Helping To Give Nature A Home’.

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Pick up a paper or magazine; listen to the news, we are constantly being reminded of the plight of different species of wildlife on the verge of extinction. The Hedgehog was voted our most favourite mammal, but it’s in serious trouble in the last 10 years their numbers have declined by 30%. There are now thought to be fewer than 1 million left in the UK.

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Apart from the 1.5 acre 5 CL (certifcated location) Caravan Club site we have also a nine peg fishing lake within our 6-acre wildlife meadow. The lake was developed in 2004 and stocked with Mirror and Common Carp, which now vary in weight up to 20 lb (9 Kg); some silver fish (Roach & Rudd) have been artificially introduced to the lake and bred. However, to keep the fish stocks under control, most years around autumn we remove around 250 lb (114 Kg) of mixed species of fish of weights up to 1.5 lbs (0.7 Kg).

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The lake's appearance has matured and blends in nicely with the wildlife meadow. There are many different species of wild flowers and water plants around the lakes perimeter It is not unusual to see Water Vole, stoats, Kingfisher, many species of Dragonfly, Damselfly and Butterflies around the lake area at different times of the seasons. Moorhens and Mallard Ducks breed on the water each year. Other visitors we have witnessed are Grey Heron, Little Egret and a pair of Common Terns circling and swooping down to the water for small fry.

Use the slideshow below to see some of the varied wildlife seen around the fishing lake…..

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    Catch of the day
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    Well stocked fishing lake
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    Red Admiral
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    Banded Demoiselle (Damselfly)
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    Magpie Moth
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    Four spotted chaser (dragonfly)

As much as our passion for wildlife in 2011, we had an unwelcome visitor to the lake. An Otter arrived and over a course of a month caught several pounds ( Kg) of fish the tell-tale signs being the leftover fish parts and the Otter spraints (droppings). For further proof, I succeeded in capturing a few seconds of video footage on my Acorn wildlife scouting camera one night around 2 am the Otter arriving for it’s evening meal. Drastic action had to be taken; a 1m high-wire mesh fence was erected around the lake's perimeter, including gates for each fishing stage to keep the Otter out. The fence has been very successful in keeping the Otter at bay. The matured vegetation around the lake has helped the fence to be less inconspicuous.

Our endeavour is to 'Help Give Nature a Home'. The 6-acre meadow is a haven for wildlife with around 1.75 miles (2.8 Km) of paths, cut through the meadow with areas of trees, shrubs; wild flower beds, including a wildlife pond (no fish) and many other features to attract wildlife; you will find hedgehog houses, the Hilton Bug Hotel', Bee & Insect Hotels, log piles, metal corrugated sheeting laid to attract reptiles and mammals and many other features. The wildlife meadow attracts many different species of wild birds, insects, mammals and reptiles throughout the year.

Use the slideshow below to see some of the ways we are giving wildlife a home at The Grange CL…..

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    Wildflower Bed and Bee B&B
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    Insect and Bee Hotel
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    Hilton Bug Hotel & Bug Penthouse Suite
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    Wildlife Pond
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    Basking Area for Reptiles and Mammals
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    Bog Garden and Bug Resort
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    One of Many Wildfolower Beds

Sit a while

Walking the many paths, you will find several wooden bench seats to take a pit stop where you can sit and relax and admire the scenery. At the wildlife pond/bog garden area, there's a two-person bird hind, bird feeders and not forgetting ‘The Olde Non Swing, Swing Seat’ for you to sit and past the time away.

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Birds at The Grange CL

We all love to see birds in their natural environment. The problem is that they usually don't want to see us.

To give our visitors the best chance of seeing our feathered friends we have built a hide.

Use the slideshow below to see some of the birds who have visited The Grange CL…..

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    Green Woodpecker
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    Meadow Pippit
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    Kestral Hovering For Prey
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    Our most rare arrival for the weekend a Laughing Kookaburra

Our succesful bird boxes

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The success story of this year (2016) is, the Barn Owl breeding in the Barn Owl Box 00225 which was erected around 2010 in an oak tree on the perimeter of the wild life meadow.

Other years we have had Stock Doves and Jackdaws breeding in the box. Over the years, it has not been unusual to see the Barn Owl hunting for prey at any time of the day throughout the year around the wildlife meadow. However, the barn owl did not seem interested in the nest box until this year. Over the last couple of months several of our visitors to The Grange CL have witnessed Barn Owls coming and going from the box. On July 15th 2016, the Owl Box ranger arrived to do the annual box inspection. It was not a surprise when the ranger opened the box to find two owl chicks around a month from fledging the nest. Both chicks looked healthy and well-fed and hopefully will survive.

Use the slideshow below tor photographs of the young owls…..

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    The warden places a ring on the owl's leg for identification
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    Totally nonplussed with the whole situation
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    Just put us back in box, we want a kip.
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    Mum goes out to get some more grub for the kids.

Moths - Not the drab cardigan munchers you might have thought.

For those of you that are not entirely familiar with the many species of moths in the UK, a new feature we have introduced this year (2016) is the MV (mercury vapour) lamp moth trap for all to witness the many different species of moths we have.

There are approximately 2500, with more establishing every decade following migration from continental Europe. They are found from the shoreline to mountain top, and occur in a wide variety of habitats. They are split into two groups Micro, small moths and more primitive with around 1500 species and Macro around 1000 species.

The MV light box is set to come on at dusk and switch of at dawn. I check and record the box in the morning, early as possible and then release the catch. The light box is moved to new locations around the wildlife meadow for the next trapping. With time, it will be interesting to see our species vary from the different locations around the wildlife meadow. On good nights, it has not been unusual to catch up 200 species of moths and other insects in the MV moth trap. So set the alarm for an early rise to see this moth spectacular one morning when you are staying with us at The Grange CL. In comparison to moth, there are only around 59 various butterfly species in the UK.

Use the slideshow below to see some of these fascinating catches…..

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Why not 'Be at one with Nature' give us a visit and see what you can spot around our wildlife meadow, you may be surprised. We look forward to seeing you sometime.

Don't forget to check out Steve's Blog for more information on wildlife in the UK.

We also have links to the wildlife conservation organisations that we support.