The Wildlife

The Estate is very proud of its wildlife. Red squirrels abound, with no sign yet of the encroaching greys. Squirrel feeders are placed in all of the lower lying woods to cover the starvation period in July and August; the feeders are colour-coded, only one colour being filled at any one time, which encourages the squirrels to continue to hunt for their food.

Bird feeding stations have been established to enhance the numbers of small birds. Birds of prey, such as buzzard, peregrine and sparrow-hawk, are plentiful and the sound of owls at last light is almost deafening. Though significant efforts are made to control the number of foxes, there is still a very healthy fox population and there are many badgers. Indeed the name Greystoke derives from ‘grey’, the local word for a badger, and ‘stock’, the Norse word for a place or a home. The otters have made a welcome return and are now regularly to be seen feeding and playing in the lakes by the castle.