The Wildlife

  Staying Wild is all about taking the time to stop, look and listen.  If you’re in the right place at the right time, it’s usually just a matter of being really quiet, patient and blending into the scenery and the creatures will soon come out or start to catch your eye.  You might see one of our lovely fox families or even have an up-close encounter with a Deer - truly gorgeous animals!  The resident Rabbits hop around all over the place, especially early in the morning, but if they see or hear you, they’ll quickly hop off home, flashing their little white tail right back at you.  You might even catch sight of a badger, but you need to be very sly for that.  

  Never ever leave bags of rubbish or any food remains out at night, as they will be fighting over it as soon as the sun goes down - you have been warned!  

  Here are just some of the things you might bump into if you simply tune in to what’s going on around you at the right time!...

In the Meadow:

 

  • You might hear Grasshoppers.  See if you can find one!  They make that noise by rubbing their back legs together, look closely and you’ll see.  You might also start to hear other insects buzzing around.  If you are near some wildflowers, you should hear or see the bees.  There are actually many different types of bees around the farm, see if you can spot the differences between them.  In our hives on site are the native Cornish Black Bee (Apis Melliflua Melliflua) but there are lots of other types around all the time too…

 

  • More insects you might come across are the Butterflies.  Again, there are so many types - do you know your Red Admirals from your Cabbage Whites or your Gatekeepers?  So many to see - keep your eyes out for Peacocks, Meadow Browns and Tortoiseshells too!  We have loads of beetles here too, some are "iridescent" and have beautiful 

  • You will probably also hear a lot of squeaking in the grass - this will mostly likely be the resident Field Mice - a lot harder to spot, but they’re very noisy!  Other similar creatures you might hear or spot out of the corner of your eye might be voles, other types of mice, rats, stoats or weasels, shrews or of course even moles.  

 

  • Another great spot that are actually all around the site, but very timid and well camouflaged are the common lizards - the usual place to spot these will be as they bask in the sun, usually on rocks or logs.  We even saw a European Wall Lizard once!  Even more camouflaged and even harder to spot are the wild stick insects that populate the farm - they’re out there, I promise - we’ve seen a fair few now!  Take a picture if you see one!

 

  • Also there are many frogs and Toads to be found all around the farm….. 

 

In the Sky:

 

  • Direct your eyes and ears upwards and the patient amongst you will see or hear all kinds of bird-life here.  We have a beautiful resident pair of Buzzards nesting in the trees.  You’ll hear their distinct Eagle-Like cry as they glide effortlessly around the fields, looking for their next prey.  Often found sitting atop the telegraph poles or trees. If you’re lucky, you might even see one swoop down and go in for the kill!  

 

  • Also very prominent here are Wood-Pigeons, Magpies and Crows. You’ll also see the odd Seagull, but the Crows generally keep them at bay.  Distinctive birds to listen out for are Cuckoos, Barn or Tawny Owls (mainly at night - you can hear them call to each other as they hunt) and the tap-tapping of the Wood-Peckers - we’ve seen the black/White and Red Great Spotted variety here and occasionally, the Green Woodpeckers too.  They have a distinctive up and down flying style.  

 

  • There are many smaller birds here too.  Swallows, Tits, and Finches to name but a few.  The Robins are a very interesting bird to watch - and around the site you will start to see how they operate - They each have their own small area of territory that they will guard very vocally and you can actually interact with them once you get to know them.  They are very chirpy and will watch you like a hawk if you come into their zone!  See if you can interact with one - they’re very inquisitive!

 

  • From time to time, other interesting birds will fly over, at certain times of the year you might see Geese in formation, honking as they go, or perhaps a pair of Heron, scouring the surface look for ponds and lakes to fish in - They’re huge and look a bit like a Pterodactyl!  We’ve even had reports of groups of Red Kites very close by but not seen them yet.  They are a large bird of prey, easy to spot by their red-brown body and forked tail.  Saved from extinction and only recently re-introduced to England, they will be a fine spot if you do see them!  

 

By the River & in the trees:

 

  • When you head down to the River, you’ll be greeted by a whole new array of wildlife.  At certain times, the midges will be out in swarms and this attracts all sorts of animals.  The dragonflies will scout up and down the river and hang out in the hedgerows nearby.  There are quite a few in the UK and in Cornwall in particular - we’ve seen Brown Hawkers, Emperors and my personal favourite - the Golden Ringed Dragonfly - these are magnificent and the largest Dragonfly in the UK.  Not to be mistaken for the smaller, usually thinner damselflies, which you will see here too, including occasionally some quite rare ones in the mix from time to time.

 

  • In the river itself, we’ve seen brown trout a few times.  Our river is the very beginning of the River Cober.  It’s part of a closed river system leading out to Looe Bar (a lovely place to go explore) and is the same river that flows through Helston Park. We think perhaps fish are even breeding here in places - there are ponds, but they’re quite well hidden at the moment.  Other fish in the system are Roach, Perch and Sticklebacks.  Of course when you’re near water and if you look closely enough, you’ll find for sure, frogs, toads and even newts - There are lots here!  A recent survey has also discovered just down the river in the village, the River Shrew, which up until then were thought to be completely extinct in the area, so please try and take a photo if you see one of those here!

 

  • As it gets near dusk, keep your eyes to the sky.  If you love bats as much as we do, you’ll be in for a real treat!   Especially down by the river, they swoop around and gobble up all the insects they can, to keep them going for another night.  They make some interesting noises too, but are very quiet!  Don’t be alarmed by them, they are no harm to us at all and even though they might swoop quite close to you at times, their in-built radar will mean they’ll never hit you - they are probably the most agile flyers here - watch as they change direction so quickly to catch those insects.  Bats have big appetites, as flying uses up a lot of energy!


 

Other than the array of wildlife mentioned above, there are lots more things you might come across here - just because we haven’t seen it here yet, it doesn’t mean it’s not here!  We’re fairly sure with all the amphibians and rodents that there ought to be snakes - most probably grass-snakes, but maybe even adders too - we’ve seen one fairly locally - such a gorgeous creature - very timid and definitely more afraid of us than we were of it, but definitely something to be respected and admired from a distance if you do see one.  If you’re REALLY lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of one of the big cats rumoured to live in the area, a Panther, Puma or a Lynx - you might even earn some money from the press if you get a good picture of the Beast of Carnkie!

 

We love all our resident wildlife here - if you manage to take a great picture - please be sure to send it on to us at edibletrail@gmail.com - we’ll feature some from time to time on our website and social media and if it’s really good, you might even get a prize!  Good luck and happy snapping!