The Wildlife at Forda

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Heron

 

“Forda has a magic all of its own”
Jill & Ted, Keynsham

 

Blue Tit

 

“There is something almost spiritual going on here…..the peace and tranquillity of the surrounding environment, the spa treatments and all the other facilities” Donna, London

It's superb, the lodges are lovely, the fishing is great and the setting is magical - Wildlife in abundance!  Angie & Sue, Stoke

Roe Deer
A number of roe deer live in the wooded valley between Forda and the head of the river. They generally keep to cover and are usually seen in small groups or singly – either near the woods or up the valley away from any habitation. Occasionally they have surprised fishermen at the ponds where they come to drink and in winter they have grazed near the lodges. They are most active at dawn and dusk and feed mainly on tree shoots or shrubs. The young are usually born in May or June – newborn young (kids) seen lying should not be disturbed. The mother (doe) is near by and returns to suckle them several times a day.

Roe Deer

Roe Deer

Fox
Foxes are widespread in the area but are mostly active at night, when they forage for whatever food is available, scavenging from carcasses or killing small animals – they are also the biggest enemy for the Forda ducks. Alert and wary, foxes have acute hearing and a keen sense of smell. Their eyes are quick to detect movement but do not see stationary objects so well. Foxes breed once a year, with the mating season lasting from Christmas until about February, when courting foxes may be heard emitting short triple barks or unearthly screams as a vixen calls to a potential mate. The peak period for births is around mid-March.
Fox Fox
Badger
Badgers like to live in undisturbed woodland with well-drained, easily dug soil, plenty of undergrowth for cover and a good supply of food – the woodland slopes at Forda are ideal and there are a number of setts, or burrows, in the woods. Generally they are active at night and rarely seen – the most likely times are the twilight hours of early morning or late evening. Each sett is occupied by a group of one or two families and the group forages within an established territory, which has well-defined paths between the sett, feeding grounds and latrines. If you see a path at Forda not made by humans, most likely it was made by badgers.

 

Badger

Badger
Otter
Otter numbers are gradually increasing and some live in the upper reaches of our river, occasionally coming down as far as Forda. They are very wary of humans and are rarely seen. Fish are their main food but they will also eat frogs, mammals and birds. Streamlined for speed in the water, the otter has small ears, a long body with a powerful, tapering tail and short, strong legs with webbed feet.

Otter

Otter

Stoat/Weasel
Slim and savage, the stoat is one of the fiercest of predators, active by day or night. It may be seen in all types of country but usually where there is good cover and in farmland it keeps mainly to hedges or fences. Rabbits, small mammals and birds provide the bulk of its diet and a stoat often kills prey more than twice its size by biting deeply into the neck. Stoats grow to about a foot (30cm). Young stoats may be mistaken for the slightly smaller weasel but can be recognised by the black tail-tip. The weasel looks something like a long, slim, fast-moving mouse and is the smallest British carnivore. Voles and mice are the main food, along with a few rats and rabbits as well as small birds and their chicks. Prey is usually taken on the ground but weasels climb well and sometimes raid nests. Weasels may have two litters a year and unlike other British carnivores, may be capable of breeding during their first summer. Most weasels do not live to be more than a year old. Cats, owls, foxes and birds of prey will kill weasels, but risk a hard fight in doing so.
Stoat Weasel
Rabbit
Rabbits are sociable creatures and live in colonies in burrow systems or warrens. They were introduced to Britain from the Continent from the 12 th century, as a valuable source of meat and skins. They are now widespread and often regarded as pests. In one year a female rabbit can produce more than 20 offspring, many of which will themselves breed when only four months old. Such prolific breeding is countered by deaths from cold, wet, disease and predators and well over three-quarters of all rabbits live less than a year.
Rabbit Rabbit

Grey Squirrel
This is one of Britain ’s most familiar and frequently seen mammals and Forda is an ideal habitat. As well as nuts, acorns and fungi, squirrels eat tree bark, leaves, shoots, buds and flowers, and occasionally raid nests for eggs and nestlings. Because they are agile, acrobatic and active by day, they are one of the most interesting and easiest to watch of all British wild creatures.

These are just a few of our residents and visitors !

Not forgetting…………. the moles, hedgehogs, mice, voles, shrews, dormice, hares, frogs, toads, bats, grass snakes, slow-worms, lizards, newts, and then of course all the birds and butterflies and dragonflies…………

 

Squirrel Squirrel

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