Wildlife at Lyme
Lyme is home to an abundance of wildlife. From the mightiest stag to the smallest tadpole, the residents of Lyme are great in number and personality.
The sounds of spring
The arrival of spring means that Lyme is once again alive with the sound of birdsong. Our resident songsters are joined by those returning from spending the winter in warmer climes. The first of the returning crowd to make themselves known is the chiffchaff, its distinctive call being heard for the first time at Lyme around 20th March each year. Pied flycatchers, redstarts, willow warblers, swallows, house martins and swifts will all follow in the coming weeks and months. The beautiful song of the skylarks can be heard over the grasslands, look up high to catch a glimpse of them!
Very soon birds will be nesting all over the estate and whilst some nest in trees and shrubs and others use the nest boxes which the ranger team have provided, many have their nests on the ground. Skylarks and meadow pipits breed at Lyme in places such as the moor, the Knott and Cage Hill. Wood warblers and woodcock prefer to nest on the ground in woodlands. This puts them at risk of unintentional disturbance which can lead to the nest and either the unhatched eggs or chicks being deserted by the parents. This is why we ask that dogs are on short leads during the bird nesting season, so please do follow the instructions on signs around the estate so that we can help nature to thrive.
There have been deer at Lyme for over 600 years and their presence has played a pivotal role in the history of the estate. Come and see them during the rutting season in October and witness the stags showcasing their prowess or visit in June as we welcome baby deer to Lyme.
Conservation is key
We check nest boxes around the estate so that we can get important data on the health of our bird populations. All chicks are fitted with a unique ring which causes them no harm and allows them to be identified if they are ever found by another bird ringer. This box was occupied by ten Blue Tit chicks which, all being well will fledge this week. Shortly after putting them back in the nest mum returned with a mouthful of juicy caterpillars.
The Rangers are currently being trained, as a license is required to carry out nest box checks, doing so without the right training can cause the birds to abandon the nest.
This essential conservation work that is carried out by the Rangers and their dedication and your support helps it continue.
Lyme is home to a number of veteran trees of different species. The oldest oak tree is 550 years old. The reason these trees are so important is because they support so many animals, insects and fungi - sometimes up to 260 species.