The growing of Christmas Trees provides the opportunity to provide a wide range of habitats - giving an ideal environment for many species of birds, mammals and insects.
From our own observations, comparing the days when the farm was used for wheat, barley and grass to today's wheat and Christmas Trees, there appears to be not only a much greater density of wildlife on the farm but also a great increase in the variety of species.
Whilst there has always been a good representation of the larger farm land birds such as wood pigeon, collared dove, rook, crow, ray & grey leg partridge and pheasant, there has been a very noticeable increase in the number of song birds. Some of the more notable, if not spectacular birds, which are commonly seen since the trees have grown are the green woodpecker, woodcock, long eared owl and most recently the appearance of the red kite and buzzard in the area.
At Digby Farm we enlisted professional help in identifying the various types of bird which gain a substantial part of their livelihood from the farm and in particular the Christmas trees. We are also working on a programme to widen the range of habitat we can provide on the farm. Christmas trees already provide a ready roosting and nesting site for many birds as well as providing a good food source in terms of insects
Alleyways between the trees are being treated in different ways: some are mown to provide hunting areas for the birds of prey, others are left for the grass to grow to give cover for small mammals and provide nesting sites for birds such as warblers. Other areas around Digby farm are left to grow wildflowers to attract insects and provide groundcover. Nest boxes will be installed to try and attract more tree sparrows and blue tits as well as owls and kestrels.
The intention is to develop the programme year by year creating a more diverse environment attracting as wide a range of wildlife as possible.
Support your local wildlife - Buy a real Christmas Tree!