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Protecting our wildlife

Balnahard has for many years been managed in an environmentally sensitive way, with the emphasis on bird protection. The farm is a SSSI and SPA (special protection area) for Chough and sea birds, as well as being a Corncrake breeding site. The farming measures we practice are principally to protect & encourage these two species.

For the Corncrake this involves putting in cover strips around the fields and shutting off our silage fields in May and not cutting and baling till the 1st September, to allow time for 2 clutches of chicks to be raised.

The Chough (a rare member of the crow family) feeds on the worms and grubs that live in and under cowpats & sheep droppings. In order to keep them well supplied the cattle and sheep graze out on the hill for most of the year, with the cows moving onto the sand-dune area at the north end of the island during the worst of the winter and during calving.

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