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Across Mudchute, we try to encourage and support our local wildlife and in order to do so, we must manage our habitats for local flora and fauna populations. Last year we began restoration projects on our banks, returning these areas to more open grassland. This year we are continuing to do so in several areas across the site where brambles have recently taken over.

Thorny and frost hardy!

Thorny and frost hardy!

Brambles are fast-growing and can make excellent habitat for nesting birds, but they also crowd out many of the flora and fauna that inhabit the open grassland habitats that Mudchute offers. We have taken professional advice as to where and when works can be carried out and our works are targeting key habitats. To minimise disruption to wildlife, we will be carrying out the works now so not to interfere with nesting birds.

To remove the brambles, we must not only cut back the visible growth, but also remove their roots to prevent rapid recolonisation. New canes begin growing as new shoots from just below the surface in the form of bright pink new buds. Brambles have a few other tricks up their sleeves as well. If a cane meets the soil, the area in contact with the soil can put out roots of its own, tapping into even more resources and fuelling even more growth! And of course, one cannot forget those unforgiving thorns, which are found across the plant, even including its leaves!

All in all, cutting the brambles back is a tough job, but we look forward to seeing the benefits soon. The area may look a bit messy at the moment, but Spring should bring some rather more interesting wildflowers to the area. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

In the meantime, we have produced lots of delicious forage for our goats and pigs and the local wildlife have even pulled together an impromptu cleanup crew, following us as they forage for invertebrates in the disturbed soil. There are plenty of robins in tow and we have even spotted a fox having a go at some earthworms!

Interesting in lending a hand? Could you lend your expertise or equipment? We are always grateful for contributions! Please get in touch with us at voluntering@mudchute.org or to find out more about other ways you can help support our work.


Over the past week we have received a very generous donation of logs, bark and wood chippings from CSG Ushers Ltd, a local tree surgeon who has been working nearby. The byproduct of their work (branches, logs and wood chip) have been put to good use across the farm, providing a nice dry layer underfoot for our goat, duck and chicken pens as well as enrichment in the form of log piles and perches for many of the farm’s animals. The pigs love having a good scratch against their logs and searching for food among them. The goats seem keen on stripping all the bark off their logs and the chickens and ducks are eagerly scratching through the wood chip, looking for insects, worms and other treats. More photos and videos on the next page.

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You may have noticed we’re doing a bit of work around the farm. Thanks to our lovely volunteers, we’ve been making great progress on two big projects on the farm and hope both will be complete sometime next month. See how the new plans for the new and improved goat pen and new grazing field are coming along and a few photos of our volunteers hard at work on the next page! To find out more about volunteering opportunities, please email us at farm@mudchute.orgContinue reading