Important: We now have new signs everyone should follow please see below. Choose between a long walk of 3.5 miles or a shorter, easier walk of about a mile. Both walks start and finish at the Ecocentre.
These routes are permissive and not public rights of way. It is very important you keep to the paths and always keep dogs on a lead, (strictly monitored). Please don’t drop litter and take care when crossing roads and uneven surfaces.
The Nature Trail remains closed following Covid guidance, but keep an eye on Facebook posts for more information and updates
Home Farm is still a family business currently run by third generation farmer David Rose.
The farm has a mix of enterprises - arable, agro forestry, native breeds of sheep and a small number of English Longhorn cattle. It adopts high standards of environmental practice and animal welfare.
Our environmentally sustainable farming practices, with less dependency on chemical pesticides and fertilisers and an emphasis on soil health and care, mean that the farm is more wildlife-friendly. Our mixed farming system creates a diverse base for wildlife, and the RSPB and FWAG have monitored increasing numbers of birds and animals.
Ecocentre Nature Walk Zones
The circular walk will give you a valuable insight into farm life and you will see lots of interesting trees, wild flowers, birds, insects, farm animals, bee hives and chickens to name but a few.
All we ask in return is that when walking you respect the land you cross and the animals you see, if you bring a dog please always keep it on a lead and take any litter home with you.
On route you will pass through three zones, each with different natural habitats. There are information boards in each zone providing more details of what you can see. Please follow the green and yellow arrow route markers as they will help you find your way.
The wildlife and landscape features you see will be different throughout the year, so please visit more than once! This walk is a permissive route, but it also connects to additional rights of way, giving further opportunity to extend your walk if you wish.
Guided group walks are also available, and cover a number of specialist areas including wild flowers, wildlife, ornithology, local history, seed to sandwich, foraging for food and school visit. We also offer covered trailer rides around the farm, and the trailer also has a wheelchair lift.
Zone 1 -Spring Point
Spring water flows naturally to the surface from an underground source
Welcome Farmeco's best kept secret, a natural spring fed pond. Historically this valued water source would have served many of the farm's water requirements. The pond would have been dug to provide farm animals with drinking water.
The natural occurrence of a spring is a welcome benefit to wildlife which is why this zone has such diverse species. In and around the water you might see frogs, toads, great crested newts, smooth newts, water voles, bank voles and kingfishers. This zone also offers a good hunting ground for predatory animals such as foxes, barn owls, little owls, sparrow hawks, buzzards and kestrels.
In this zone you will also find a wild flower meadow, coppice woodland and large traditional hedgerows, all great habitat for hare, rabbit, harvest mice, and butterflies.
As the daylight fades moths, bats, owls and badgers arrive. On leaving the spring area, the footpath will take you closer to woodland where you might catch sight of an elusive green woodpecker.
Zone 2- The Dales, Stoney Dale and Shackerdale
Dale, an open valley, usually in an area of low hills
As you approached the Dales information board you may have noticed a small memorial at the side of the road. It's a memorial to one of two RAF pilots who whilst on a Lancaster bomber training flight had a mid air collision. Both pilots managed to avoid the village putting the planes down in farmland, one here at Stoney Dale and the other off Flintham Lane, but the crew members of both aircraft perished
This zone contains much of the farm's arable land. You will see different seasonal crops growing, including spring and winter wheat, oats and oilseed rape grown in rotation. This Zone also offers budding trackers an opportunity to hone their skills, keep your eyes peeled for signs of wildlife on the ground, tracks left by rabbits, hares, foxes, badgers and the occasional roe deer can often be seen but require a keen eye!
The farm's broad conservation hedgerows act as wildlife corridors, and are a great place to spot signs of life. This section passes through some fantastic scenery and long distance views, how many churches can you see?
Zone 3- Whitham’s Hill
This zone is named after Reg Whitham who lived and worked this land some 80 years ago. Reg was a well-respected, church warden, farmer and a gentleman, who had a real passion for agriculture and its importance in the community. This is our history area and is now mainly laid to grassland for our farm animals to graze. We rotate them regularly to allow the grass to recover; make a note in your diary to come back in the spring to see the lambs.
Take time and amble a little down the lane, this old grass land is home to wild flowers, grasses, hawthorns and wild blackberry to name but a few. During spring and summer you will find several species of butterfly feeding on the flowers alongside our colony of bees.
Please report anything unusual by contacting David on 07855 252151