Flora and Fauna

FLHF logo

Lyncombe Hill Fields supports a range of features typical of the Cotswolds, including traditional grassland pasture, old hedgerows with wonderful mature trees and a small, developing woodland.

Pockets of grassland rich in wild flowers can be found, and we are managing the site to improve the diversity of all the other grassland too. Plants such as cowslip, bird’s-foot trefoil, salad burnet, black knapweed, glaucous sedge, rough hawkbit, and the pretty quaking grass can be found. In some areas yellow meadow ants have made their anthill homes in the grassland.

Grass, Elephants Eye – photo by Peter McSweeney’

The hedgerows are made up a range of species, including hazel, elder and holly, topped with large ashes and sycamores, with some majestic field maples and elms.  Dog’s mercury grows along many of the hedges, which is sign of their age.  The dead wood around LHF is great for insects and fungi and the newly planted hedges will encourage wildlife in the future.

Oxeye Daisies – photo by Anita Breeze

Our bird surveys have logged over 37 different species.  We have put up over a dozen nest boxes which have supported successful blue tit families and we hope that the great tit, kestrel and the bat boxes will be equally well used.

The edges of the fields are allowed to grow tall with grasses, cow parsley, nettle, hemp agrimony and brambles, to provide a food source for insects and other bugs, as well as cover for the numerous field voles, which the local kestrel preys upon.  Toads are often found when the grassland is managed during summer. 

We are also hedge laying to turn a sparse row of saplings and a coppiced Hazel towards the top of Jacob’s Ladder into what we hope will be a thick and substantial hedge. This will create a rich habitat for birds to nest and feed in, and mammals and insects to find food and shelter. The shrubs being cut will still grow and their horizontal boughs will send up new vertical shoots and recreate height and bulk over the next few years. The action of cutting the stems and folding them over is called pleaching. In the past this was the traditional way of creating fences that kept farm stock in the fields, before barbed wire fences. It is possible to see some very old evidence of hedge laying, maybe from 80+ years ago in the fields.

Our volunteers will continue to carry out wildlife surveys and so far we have logged over 200 different species, recording them in the iNaturalist APP; you can too anytime – simply download the APP and get started.