• Landscape Farmland
  • Season Summer

Agricultural land covers 69% of the total land in the UK and is usually found in rural locations (outside of cities and large towns). Most farms today are large with big fields planted up with cereal crops or fenced and containing livestock. Farming in the UK is highly mechanised and intensive which helps to produce large amounts of food, however the UK still only produces 59% of the food that it consumes.

In summer the cereal crop fields are golden with ripening wheat, oats or barley whilst the livestock fields are greeny-yellow from the grass pasture and dotted with sheep or cows. Many fields are lined by hedgerows or trees which are alive with bird chatter as the young fledgling birds call for food. A walk in the countryside will no doubt lead you through or around farmland as many fields are criss-crossed by public footpaths so you will definitely see mammals even though these may be the sheep and cows living on the farm.

However if you look closely you may spot signs that wild mammals are present. Well worn tracks through a cereal crop could suggest that Deer, Hare, Fox or Badger have been commuting up and down a field. Grassy field margins on the edge of fields are used by small mammals (wood mouse, field vole, harvest mouse and shrews) and their predators (weasel, stoat and owls). If you listen carefully near a field margin and hear a series of high pitched squeaks there are field voles nearby defending their territories. Getting in close to a thick field margin and gently parting the grassy clumps could reveal a grass woven nest made by a harvest mouse!

Summer Articles

Read other issues!