Haddon Hall, like so many old buildings, is very attractive to creepy crawlies and other little creatures. We have some amazing examples of spiders living the house. Head Warden Jo is a spider lover, and is often caught up in a crisis of conscience; does she clear away a cobweb so the house looks lovely for visitors, but renders the spider homeless, or does she leave the spider and web intact and hope the visitors understand? Janet, the Hall Manager, is a confirmed Arachnophobe and is of the firm belief that there’s only one kind of good spider – and that’s a dead spider!
Right now, we have a little mouse living in the Guide Room. He’s a cheeky little blighter, and regularly makes the journey from the Guide Room to the drain cover – often surprising visitors on his way. Cute though this little mouse is, Melvyn, our wonderful pest control man, will be brought in to “find him a new home”. We like it when Melvyn visits – he always comes armed with biscuits for the Estate Office staff. The sceptics among you may think this is a marvellous business plan. Biscuits = crumbs = vermin = work for Melvyn! We don’t care. We like biscuits!
Visitors can enjoy watching the hundreds of butterflies and bees in our garden. This year the Cabbage White butterfly is in abundance. It’s a beautiful sight and wonderful to see the new planting working so well to attract these splendid creatures. Look up and there’s often Buzzards circling majestically overhead.
We’ve a couple of swans parading up and down the river right by the bridge. It’s one of the first things visitors see on their approach to the Hall. We consider ourselves priviledged to have these stately waterfowl in our grounds.
Only this morning, a stoat was busy gathering food on the grass by the driveway. His black tipped tail could been clearly seen as he bobbed along in the grass.
There’s so much wildlife here. Next time you visit, take some time to sit quietly and see what comes your way.