Cheshire Wildlife Trust has teamed up with Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre to give you the chance to get up close to nature.
In conjunction with conservation trust we have a new Wildlife Watch Nature Trail which links the native species exhibits at our visitor attraction with the wildlife that can be found both on our farm and in the wider countryside around us.
We already have some remarkable native breeds on display here at Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre – from Scottish wild cats and polecats, to barn owls and red deer – and now you will be able to head off around the Wildlife Watch Trail to discover what amazing wildlife makes its home in the ponds, trees, hedgerows and fields around our farm.
You will be able to follow the Wildlife Watch Nature Trail with the help of a trail leaflet to guide you, and information boards in the bird hides and field shelters where you can observe wildlife, especially birds, waterfowl, and grey squirrels at close quarters.
A stroll around our Wildlife Watch Nature Trail takes about an hour where you can visit the horses further afield and see if you can spot the hidden wildlife.
The way marked trail takes you past our three lakes and pools, Bullswater, Kingswater and the Hollybush pool where you can look out for Swans, Herons, Moorhens, Coots, Canada Geese and various breeds of duck.
There are bird hides so that you can observe wildlife, especially birds and grey squirrels, at close quarters.
Also spot the Fox earth & Badger sets and see if you can name the many different trees you will pass.
Look in the trees around the farm for the bird boxes we have put out to encourage owls and tits etc
You will also walk by our two wildlife areas at Kingswater and Blind Mares Bog.These areas have been given back to nature and left to regenerate themselves. The water here is spring fed and this wetland area is specially designed to encourage invertebrates to inhabit and the willows have grown here naturally providing shade. Toads, Frogs, Great Crested Newts, a Water Voles nest and Grass Snakes have been spotted here and Perch, Rudd and Roach are fish species in the lakes and ponds.
A variety of wild flowers make a colourful display in spring and summer.
Our Native Woodland is four and a half acres where we planted 1500 native trees in 2009, supported by The Woodland Trust. The largest number of trees planted were 400 common Oak tree’s but other varieties included Maple, Silver Birch, Wild Cherry, Crab Apple, Hazel, Blackthorn, and Dog Rose. Look out for the woodcarvings around the woodland maze!
In years to come it will provide habitat for many of our countries wild birds and animals. It is now matureing into a significant woodland and another place of outstanding beauty.
Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre is always keen to help develop the environment and promote nature as well as our lovely horses.
You can wander around our Woodland maze, take a picnic to enjoy in one of the picnic areas around the Trail and if you get caught out in a shower of rain there are bird hides and field shelters where you can take cover.
Please let us know if you spot any wildlife!