A brook runs through this ten acre site in the Somerset countryside which has been used for grazing in the past. The clients wanted to develop the site for wildlife by creating a variety of habitats. Our first step was to plant native woodland, with the help of a Forestry Commission grant. Four thousand trees were planted during the winter bare-root planting season. The woodland layout was designed to create a scalloped edge that supports a diversity of conditions for different wildlife. Rides and glades create opens spaces to extend these woodland edge habitats.
The following summer the existing pond was enlarged. The banks of the pond are gently shelved to create water of different depths that will suit a variety of aquatic species. A small boat is now moored by the jetty and the clients and their children enjoy rowing over to the small island we built in the middle of the pond. The spoil was used to create sculptural banks to the north of the house which were sown with wildflowers.
The former agricultural fields were over-sown with wild flowers and grasses. We sowed yellow rattle in the autumn to suppress the lush grazing grasses. It didn’t take long for the local wildlife to start colonising our new habitats. The highlight was when otters appeared in the brook!
The area around the house was developed to create ample opportunity for sitting and watching the wildlife and there is cheerful welcome in the front garden from herbaceous perennials. A kitchen garden has been built in a sheltered south-west facing corner with sweeping views to enjoy when taking a break from the weeding.