Secret Meadows Inspired Holidays
Inspired Holidays
Now you can stay at White House Farm wildlife site and experience this special place through dawn and dusk.
Suffolk Wildlife
Weasel at side of pond Kingfisher Red Admiral butterfly on flower Roe buck and doe Close-up of hedgehog

White House Farm is a rural haven for wildlife supporting over fifty species of birds as well as many small mammals. The Trust's management plan, developed in collaboration with Suffolk Wildlife Trust, and surveys, guide our conservation work. In accordance with the UK Biodiversity Action Plan the Trust conserves the habitats of endangered species found at the wildlife site.

What you might see when you visit White House Farm:

Spring (March, April, May)

Hedgerows: Large, mature areas of hawthorn scrub. It is worth visiting in May just to see and smell the dense drifts of white flowers.

Birds: There is a wonderful dawn chorus during May. Bird species recorded at White House farm include blackcap, brambling, bullfinch, chaffinch, chiffchaff, coot, cuckoo, turtle dove, dunnock, fieldfare, spotted fly catcher, goldfinch, greater and lesser spotted woodpeckers, greenfinch, buzzard, kestrel, kingfisher, little owl, tawny owl, barn owl, mallard, mistle thrush, moorhen, nuthatch, robin, pied wagtail, snipe, song thrush, sparrowhawk, swallow, swift, longtailed tit, willow tit, blue tit, coat tit, great tit, treecreeper, tree pipit, whitethroat, willow warbler, woodcock, wren, and yellow hammer.

Flora: Spring flora will appear on the woodland floor and in the meadows such as lesser stitchwort, ground ivy, field forget-me-not, meadow buttercups, early purple orchid, meadow vetchling, bugle, germander speedwell, pyramidal orchid (from May) and twayblade orchid (from mid-May).

Summer (June, July, August)

Insect Life: The best time to visit to see dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, bumble bees, crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles (including Stag Beetle). To see the butterflies, try visiting on a calm, sunny day, especially in July and August. The best areas are at the meadows, including near the hedgerow borders, and at the woodland glades. Butterflies recorded at White House Farm include common blue, brimstone, gatekeeper, purple hairstreak, comma, large skipper, orange underwing, ringlet, skipper (small/Essex), small copper, speckled wood, meadow brown. Damselflies and dragonflies recorded at the farm include azure damselfly, black tailed skimmer, broad bodied chaser, emperor, ruddy darter and southern hawker.

Bats: In the evenings, just after sunset, bats can be spotted in the woodland, meadows or at the ponds.

Birds: One of the most celebrated of birds, the nightingale, should have arrived at the farm by June. The most popular places for the nightingales are usually Ley Meadow, Spider's Wood and Upper Ox Eye Meadow. One year there were seven pairs recorded. Still a wonderful time for birdwatching at the farm, and for spotting fledglings in the early part of summer.

Flora: In early June the species-rich meadows to the east of the farm are adorned with meadow and creeping buttercups. On a sunny day, these meadows appear to have a radiant aura from the dazzling, golden flowers. It is challenging but very rewarding to find the grass vetchling in the central open glade in Palmer's Wood. Grass vetchling is rare this far inland and in 1993 it was added as a new record for this part of Suffolk. It is usually surrounded by southern marsh and common spotted orchids in June. In late May and June, patches of ragged robin flower in Fleabane Furrow. Later in the season, this meadow is rich in corn mint which makes for a very fragrant walk. Orchids (including bee orchid, leopard orchid, southern marsh orchid and common spotted orchid) should be fully flowering in mid June in the species-rich meadows, Palmer's Wood and Orchid Glade. The bright yellow fleabane in Fleabane Furrow is late flowering in August and attracts lots of butterflies and day flying moths. Some of the many summer flowers at the farm you might also spot include agrimony, selfheal, false brome, smooth tare, creeping cinquefoil, black medic, knapweed, scarlet pimpernel and fairy flax. Thistles include woolly, creeping, marsh and spear.

Grasses, rushes and sedges include sweet vernal grass, yellow oat grass, smooth meadow grass, meadow foxtail, common bent, glaucous sedge, wood sedge, compact sedge, spiked rush and hard rush.

Autumn (September, October, November)

Hedgerow Harvests: The hedgerows are full of berries, nuts, fruits and seeds. Members of the Trust are invited to visit the farm to pick their own sloes and bullaces (second weekend of October).

Fungi Spotting: There are many different species of fungi at the farm, found in the meadows and woodland.

Winter (December, January, February)

Birds: There may be winter visitors such as redwings and fieldfares. Tawny owls tend to be very vocal at this time of year as they start their courtships (notably in the Herne Wood/Wych Meadow area). You may also hear a greater spotted woodpecker, tapping at the trees.

Tracks and Trails: This is a good time of year to find animal tracks in snow or in muddy or soft ground.

Mammals: Roe and fallow deer are often sighted at the farm and there is evidence of the return of red deer nearby. Foxes are often seen as well as brown hares. Small mammals include pygmy shrews, wood mice, moles, field voles, common shrew, pygmy shrew, and hedgehog. Weasels have been sighted near ditches and undisturbed, overgrown areas of scrub near woodland.

Owls: Tawny owls and little owls nest on the land. The tawny owls can often be heard during the day close to the Boulge Wood boundary. Barn Owls make an appearance too, especially at the species-rich meadows. Barn owls have been seen nesting in an ancient oak tree on neighbouring land and the Trust has two barn owl nest boxes on site to encourage these owls to become resident.

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