Animals and Wildlife

Woodland & Hedgerows:

The farm has 35 acres of woodland, some ancient woodland but mostly created in the last 15 years, with a wide variety of native tree species. The woodland and hedges support many nesting birds, and the glades and hedgerows are rich in flower and plant species, attracting a wide range of insects and butterflies. The traditional Devon hedge banks are in some cases many hundreds of years old.

Tree and bush species include hazel, willow, birch, ash, oak, horse chestnut, sweet chestnut, crab apple, aspen, beech, field maple, Scots pine, rowan, hawthorn, blackthorn, holly, hornbeam.

Birds include tawny owls, little owls, finches, thrushes, dunnock, yellowhammer, tits including willow tit and, in winter, field fares and redwing.

Animals include dormice, red deer, roe deer, brown hare and badgers.

Encouraging Wildlife:

Activities under our Higher Level Stewardship Schemes include recreation of lowland moor and restoration of wildflower meadows. The farm has won the Bronze Otter trophy from the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group for the most outstanding example in Devon of integrating conservation with commercial farming practices.


Land, previously drained for growing crops, has been allowed to revert to Culm Measure (typical mid-Devon moorland), to encourage skylarks, curlew, lapwing and snipe to return to their traditional nesting grounds. The skylark population, in particular, has exploded in the years since this policy has been followed, and hares benefit from the cover provided by the rushes.

Hay making is carried out on the moorland followed by sheep grazing as part of the environmental management programme.

River and streams:

The farm is bounded to the South by the Little Dart River and to the East by a tributary of the Little Dart. The river and stream are used by trout and salmon for migration and spawning, and two otter holts have been built along the stream to encourage the visiting otters.

Below are a selction of images of some of the Wildlife that live in and around Dart Raffe Farm:

Brown Hare

Brown Hare




Little Owl