By visiting us you help conserve British wildlife!
Did you know ...we own 46.5 acres of land purely to conserve British wildlife. A percentage of the admission price you pay to visit the park goes into the management and upkeep of this land. Some animals that have been spotted at these sites include large herds of red deer, barn owls, grass snakes and a huge abundance of native butterflies! We have 3 sites dedicated to improving habitats for a variety of species, read more about them below!
Our Bethorpe site, at Newark contains lowland heatth which is considered a priority for nature conservation because it is a rare and threatened habitat. Because of this it requires very careful management and specialised machinery use.
Species spotted at this site include buzzards, great spotted woodpeckers and many insects including butterflies and bumblebees. Insects are in such abundance at this site that if you walk through the grass during summer, a wave of grasshoppers jump away from you!
The plot of land we have managed for the longest amount of time is a limestone grassland meadow in South Yorkshire, close to the centre. Limestone grassland is an extremely species rich habitat type, and is vital for the conservation of wildflowers and insects; both of which have declined in abundance since agricultural industrialisation.
Kestrels and nuthatches have been recorded nesting at this site year after year and two species of orchid appeared shortly after management of the land began. We are proud to say that the abundance of butterflies on site has increased drastically since management began, as long-term declines of butterflies have been seen nationwide.
Our largest site is at Grindleford, Derbyshire, and it contains a mixture of many great habitat types for wildlife - hillside grassland, wet meadow, extremely old oak trees, springs, streams and bogs and many old dry-stone walls which are fantastic houses for bugs! Many bird boxes and a handful of bat boxes have been installed, including barn and tawny owl boxes. There have been frequent sightings of red and roe deers, kingfishers and dippers, and we have found evidence badgers and water voles using the site.