Wildlife

The field is grazed by a local farmer, David Alderson, and the sheep and growing lambs will rotate through several grazing fields including upland areas from spring to autumn. The local area of Melbecks Moor and Little Rowleth Pasture form part of a local stewardship scheme for maintaining the unimproved grassland habitat Pear House also takes part in a stewardship scheme to maintain the remaining dry stone walls, trees and traditional rural buildings.

The rabbits are the most numerous mammalian wildlife by far in the field. We have heard and seen weasel hunting them. There are also a number of smaller holes representing the homes and territories of smaller mammals but we have not yet made time to observe and study these more fully. We do have moles making themselves known mainly in early spring and autumn.

We also enjoy the company of small and larger birds in the field, around the established woodland and making use of the shelter of the whitethorn and blackthorn close to Pear House. We have a cuckoo who visits each year in whose song the two notes are only a single tone apart, rather than the two tones more typical for a cuckoo. And we enjoy the song of the curlew through the early summer

When we first came to Pear House there were occasional owl pellets to be found on a ledge outside the house, but none seen in the last 3 years. However, we have heard tawny owls from time to time and we would like to encourage them to set up home with us… after all, the field offers a surfeit of young small mammals! The general consensus is that at over 300 metres above sea level and this far up the dale, barn owls are unlikely, but eternally optimistic I have made both a barn owl nesting box and a tawny owl box, which we will be putting up in autumn 2015. The larger triangular one is for the barn owl. The design for the boxes came from the Wildlife Trust, and other information is easily available from the Barn Owl Trust, RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts

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