Hours of fun was had at last month’s Saturday Safari Club, as the group enthusiastically dissected some Barn Owl Pellets that had been found on the farm.
This Summer, Pierrepont was lucky enough to have a pair of Barn Owls nest and rear young in one of our barns. Once all the young Owls had fledged the pellets that they had produced were collected from underneath the nest.
As Owls swallow their prey whole, they produce pellets made up of the indigestible fur and bones of the small mammals that they have been eating. These pellets are regularly coughed up, and although they can be tricky to find, they are often found in large numbers under regular roosting or nesting sites. Dissecting these pellets can give us a good idea about the diet of these animals.
Our young naturalists enjoyed discovering the hundreds of tiny bones inside each of their pellets. They worked hard to try to identify the different animals that had made up the Owl’s dinner and some even tried organise the different types of bones, and put all the pieces of the jigsaw together to make a complete skeleton (with a little help from the grown ups, who seemed to have just as much fun!)
Thank you to everyone who took part in Pierrepont’s Conservation and Wildlife Monitoring morning on Tuesday. Together you recorded 140 pond creatures and identified them as 11 different species, including Newts, Dragonfly Nymphs and a whopping 80 Pond Snails. We also did a hedgerow survey, gathering data about the species of plants and invertebrates making up a sample section of hedgerow on the farm. Finally, after a lot of hot work digging holes and gathering wood, we made a fantastic new habitat for Stag Beetles. The UK’s largest native terrestrial beetle is declining due to the loss of it’s favourite habitat…dead wood. Hopefully this stunning new home will attract a new Stag Beetle family!
On Thursday Pierrepont’s classroom was transformed into a crafty hub! We went for a walk through the woodland collecting lots of natural objects to use in our projects, took them back to the classroom and got creative!
Here are some of the masterpieces……….
New homes for Pierrepont’s birds
The Countryside Restoration trust and Pierrepont Farm would like to send a big thank you to the 8th Aldershot Scout group, who between them managed to build these wonderful new bird boxes during a visit to the farm on Friday 15th July. These bird boxes will be put up in the farm’s woodland to add to the boxes already situated that the farm’s conservation volunteers maintain and regularly monitor. We hope that this project will help the scouts towards their Enviornmental Conservation activity badge.