Rose Cottage is in a unique place to see wildlife. It is situated on the bank of the river Teme, which is itself a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and adjacent to woodland and to open farmland. Beacon Hill nature reserve is across the lane, and there are several other reserves nearby.
We have spent the last 15 years encouraging wildlife close to the cottage, with regular feeding and by creating habitats and nesting sites. Children are pleased to find the bird and bat boxes, hedgehog and insect shelters in the garden, which is managed organically. We have also used seed from the Radnorshire Wildlife trust reserves to plant a wildflower meadow at the bottom of the garden.
Observing the local wildlife is a big part of the Rose Cottage experience. We provide some bird food for visitors to help encourage the many garden and woodland birds which visit the bird feeders; or are to be seen in the adjacent woodland. Owls buzzards and red kite are frequently seen nearby. Voles and shrews live in the garden terraces, and hedgehogs, foxes and badgers visit the garden. The river Teme is at the bottom of the garden and dippers, kingfishers, goosanders, herons, and otters are seen, as well as frogs and toads. Nearby, foxes, badgers and polecats are often seen after dark trotting down the road.
If there is an opportunity to sit quietly beside the river you may be surprised to see the creatures that visit!
Close by are several nature reserves: just across the lane visitors are able to walk up to the Beacon Hill reserve, an upland heather moor with many interesting and uncommon plants, and birds including; red grouse, merlin, peregrine, wheatear, stonechat, whinchat and meadow pippit. Tylcau Hill and Rhos Fiddle are a bit further away. See the Wildlife Trust websites for Radnorshire, www.rwtwales.org Montgomeryshire www.montwt.co.uk and Shropshire, www.shropshirewildlifetrust.org.uk for more.
The wildlife observation room at Rose Cottage (new built in 2013) was designed to provide a warm comfortable room with large windows offering panoramic views of the garden, river, woodland, and adjacent farmland. Visitors are able to see and enjoy our rich diversity of wildlife in comfort.
We also provide Binoculars, bird and plant observation books, videos and charts and there are activities for even the smallest children to take part as well. All visitors have enjoyed recording what they see in the nature diary and it makes very interesting reading too.
There are other dedicated sites for the nature lover including the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre www.shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk which runs lots of activities, including geocaching, for the children. The Elan valley www.elanvalley.org.uk and the Red Kite feeding centre and nature reserve at Gigrin Farm www.gigrin.co.uk to name but a few.
Sitting in the conservatory watching the river and the abundance of wildlife around is a wonderful change for those that live in busy towns and cities.
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