Conservation at the heart of it all

Countryside rangers hedge laying

The mosaic of meadows, ancient woodlands and orchards at Swan Barn Farm are cared for by a dedicated team of countryside Rangers. Helping to look after the countryside for the benefit of nature conservation, safeguarding special places forever for everyone.

You might have seen the Rangers busy with a range of tasks, from looking after the countryside to running family friendly events and everything in-between.  They are gladly not alone in their quest. A team of long term Volunteers work alongside the Rangers, living in one of the sustainably built buildings, Speckled Wood.  And where would we be without our Wednesday volunteer groups, faithfully assisting with the management of the countryside. Ever wanted to get involved? 

Countryside volunteers
Vounteers gathering devil's bit scabious for translocating

A year in the life of a Ranger at Swan Barn Farm

Spring brings a sense of energy to the place as the Rangers prepare for new life to arrive on the farm. The lambs, calves and chicks often arrive in time for our annual Easter event.

Summer is an exciting time year where we can see the result of all the hard work carried out during the winter.  Wildlife surveys help us to understand the results of the different habitat management techniques used and enable us to adapt the way we manage the land. 

Autumn is all about preparing for the winter ahead. The Belted Galloway cows are moved back up to Black Down to graze the heathland of coarser grasses and scrub.

Winter is the busiest time of year for practical habitat management. The combination of hedgerow lined meadows and coppiced woodlands provide an ideal opportunity to demonstrate some lost countryside skills, such as hedge laying and hazel coppicing.

Want to find out more? Come along and talk to the Rangers at one of our events held throughout the year.