Our Resort

Harvest Mice

We have many
species of small mammals in the UK but only six mice – the Yellow Necked Mouse, Wood Mouse, House Mouse, Hazel Dormouse, Edible Door Mouse and Harvest Mouse.

Britain’s
smallest is the Harvest Mouse, at just 5.5 to 7.5 cm long and weighing around
six grams, it is the smallest rodent in Europe. This iconic little mouse is the
one always pictured climbing an ear of corn or curled up in a little ball
shaped nest. Sadly like many British species, once common the Harvest Mouse is
struggling to fit into our ever-changing world. Intensive use of herbicides and
pesticides to provide humans with cheap food has turned the once wildlife rich
fields into a lifeless monoculture, where only the crop remains. Cornfields
that once held bountiful supply of insects, wild flowers and grasses are now mostly
gone, along with the partridge and Barn Owl that also thrived there.

Harvest Mice
can still be found in hedgerows and areas of waste ground where they can be
seen using their amazing prehensile tail, which can be utilised as a fifth limb
to hold onto grass stems as they climb from stalk to stalk. Now classed a BAP
Species, being on the Biodiversity Action Plan list identifies the plight of
the harvest mouse, requiring direct action to halt the decline and hopefully
reverse it.

With
relatively short lives, the average Harvest Mouse will only living to about
eighteen months and in the wild they normally have about three litters of four
to six young a year.  The young are driven
out of the nest at sixteen days old to enable the female to produce her next
litter. Unfortunately most of these will die young from starvation, predation
or the cold.  It’s no fun being a small
mammal with a plethora of birds, mammals and reptiles preying on you including Barn Owls, foxes, adders and crows. With the peril of the Harvest Mouse being
caused by man made problems we need to help this species by managing the land
in a more sympathetic way.  This can be
done by leaving field margins wild and trying to reduce the amount of
pesticides and herbicide’s used on the land, which is a difficult topic with a
constantly growing human population demanding more and more from the land.

The Harvest Mouse has been around for a long time so lets hope the efforts to support this
species will encourage them to flourish. You can come and see the beautiful
and tiny Harvest Mice on any of our Wildlife Experiences at Feadon Farm as with
conservation in mind, they are one of a few species we breed at the centre.

To book a visit to Feadon Farm please call 01209 842354. Wildlife activities are £8 for kids and £13 for adults. Click here to find out more

What To Look Out for In June

It’s a great time
for bat watching with over a dozen species to look out for, which with a little
effort can be seen, even in some gardens. If you want to learn more about them
you can join an
organised bat watch or book onto a night walk at Feadon Farm
where you are guaranteed to see some, as we have resident bats for you to meet.
This is also a great time to look at our wildflowers along hedgerows and even
the roadside plus this is the best time of year to see basking sharks, which
can sometimes be seen from the clifftops.

Things To Do

Farming
Wild Flowers, Tuesday 19th June (7pm – 9pm), Lower Ash Moor Farm,
South Molton, Devon EX36 4RF

Cyril
Cole has converted much of his former stock farm into wildflower meadows – not
just a joy to see but also a resource to emulate – booking essential

Details
and more activities on
www.devonwildlifetrust.org


Meet The Animals, Thursday 14th June (10am to 12pm) Feadon
Farm, Portreath, Cornwall

Come meet the foxes and the other animals at Feadon Farm

£13.00 per adult,
£8.00 per child

Call 01209 842 354 or visit www.feadonfarmwildlife.co.uk


Encouraging
Pollinators in your garden, Saturday 16th June (10am -12pm), St Austell,
Cornwall

Join
Wildlife Watch Volunteers and Tamasin Pemberton to learn how to encourage bees
and butterflies into your garden this summer

Details
and more activities on
www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk


 

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