Wildlife at Rains Farm, Pickering, North Yorkshire Moors

Many birds and wildlife make Rains Farm their home due to its secluded, peaceful location.  A pair of Moorhens decided to make our wildlife pond their home last year and hatched their chicks there for the first time. We also have lots of wild hares who romp amd frollick near the cottages and in the orchard. Hares do at times wander through the courtyard. Sometimes the hares even go right up to the cottage lounge windows and peer in at guests! You will never get so close to a wild hare! One spring a hare even had her leverett in a flower trough in the courtyard, a very rare occurance as they are shy creatures!

To us Rains Farm is seven acres of wildlife heaven. We enjoy living here amongst all the birds and animals that have chosen to make this their home too. We like to encourage the birds by hanging feeders all around the property. Many birds and animals can be seen in the daytime but often your best time for viewing wildlife and birds is at dawn or dusk. All the photos on this page were taken at Rains Farm.
What birds and wildlife can you see around Rains Farm?
All around the Farm you can see Pied Wagtails and Yellow Wagtails, Sparrows including the rarer Tree Sparrow, Starlings, Swallows, Wrens, Robins, Bull finches, Gold finches, Green finches, Chaffinches, Siskins, Ring Necked Doves, Wood peckers, Wood Pigeons, Pheasants, Partridges, Crows, Blackbirds, Mistle Thrushes, Fieldfare, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Wheatears and now and again Magpies and a Kestrel. The familiar sound of a cuckoo can be heard in the distance at springtime and Buzzards now fly overhead at times.

We are very lucky that 3 different types of owls that can occasionally be seen at Rains Farm, Tawny, Little and Barn owls. Around the grounds we have placed ‘owl posts’ these are tall posts which the owls land on whilst hunting for prey. The Barn and Little owls frequently hunt during the daytime especially when feeding their young and can often be seen utilising the posts. For the last four years a Little Owl has reared her chicks just under the edge of the slates at the corner of our farmhouse roof!

In the Orchard and Lake area we sometimes see Green woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Mallard Ducks, Herons, and Kingfishers. In the fields you might see Sky Larks, Partridges, Pheasants, Lapwings, Seagulls, Crows and many other smaller birds that also live around the farm buildings. One Spring we even had a male Hen Harrier visit. Sometimes a Sparrow Hawk swoops around trying to grab one of the smaller birds, nature at its most dramatic.

At the bottom of our orchard we have a deep lake (large pond! but we like to think it's a lake!) , we have already had frog spawn, newts have moved in and lots of minows and sticklebacks, a pair of wild mallard ducks, a heron visits trying to catch the fish and a flash of vivid blue signals that the kingfisher is looking for a meal. A pair of moorhens have now nested there for the first time.

We purposely leave areas of the paddocks and orchard to grow wild vegetation and long grass. This creates some ‘cover‘ for the birds and wildlife, a more natural habitat for their existence. We have to mow certain areas to keep a well kept appearance as part of our business but we also try to provide suitable places for birds and animals to make their home.

Often in the paddocks you will see Hares roaming, they occasionally hide their leverets in the paddocks amongst the long grass; hares live above the surface and not in burrows like rabbits. The photo of the leveret you can see on this page was found neatly hidden by its mother in one of the flower troughs in the courtyard! Rarer animals to see in the fields are Foxes, Badgers and Deer. Foxes have a large ‘territory’ and patrol this area at dusk, dawn and night time. Deer from time to time come down into the lowlands from Dalby forest, the edge of which is just 1.5 miles away above Allerston. They occasionally wander into our orchard, Badgers do the same arriving into this area at night from the forest. Once in a while we will get a Squirrel living in the old Oak trees. During the winter when there is snow on the ground it is always wonderful to be able to see the tracks of animals as they cross the paddocks, the fox even comes into the courtyard, you would be lucky to spy him but his paw prints are there for all to see.

Contact us

Rains Farm Holidays,
Allerston, Pickering,
North Yorkshire, YO18 7PQ

01723 859 333 or 07760 752165

e mail:  rainsholidays@btconnect.com

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Rains Farm has many excellent reviews
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