Flora & fauna

β€˜In a world of increasing ecological fragility, there has been no more important moment to focus on the health of nature and what it means to us as human beings, and how we relate to it.’ – Lord Edward Manners.


In recent years the rewilding of the land is creating parkland out of farmland and the birdlife has responded positively to the changes.

Species of note discovered within the Park:

House martin
Common Snipe
Barn Owl

Grey Wagtail
Mute Swan
Northern Goshawk
Tawny Owl
Common White Throat
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

“The birdlife at Haddon has always been accessible. On arriving, there are Swallows nesting under the entrance archway, a Tree Creeper with its nest behind a metal notice board against a stone wall, and a Dipper active below the bridge across the river on your way to the Hall.

In recent years the rewilding of the land is creating parkland out of farmland and the birdlife has responded positively to the changes. Warbler species confined to field margins have expanded their territories into the developing scrub with Common and Lesser Whitethroats singing at the same time from overlapping territories. Grasshopper Warblers have established nest sites for the first time as have Common Sandpiper and Tree Pipits with Goldfinch and Linnets establishing loose flocks as the habitat changes support greater numbers during the summer months. Lapwings and Snipe are recorded as are Quail, as the diversity of bird species continues to increase. Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers frequent the mature Ash trees. All three woodpecker species are found at Haddon. Birds of prey such as Barn Owl, Red Kite, Buzzard, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Peregrine have all been included in my Common Bird Census species counts.

By the river Mandarin bring their young after leaving their nests in nearby hollow trees. Pied, Grey and Yellow Wagtails nest too with Sedge and Reed Warblers beginning to establish themselves. The changes have been a welcome positive.”

Dr. Geoff Mawson OBE

With an interest in bird study from an early age, Dr Geoff Mawson OBE, became a founder member of the Sorby Breck Ringing and has helped in ringing across the World, including Africa, Asia, North America, Australia and Europe. Dr Mawson is also a compliance inspector for Animal Health checking the legality of CITES species of animals and plants being imported and sold within the UK. Dr Mawson OBE became involved in bird surveying at Haddon in 2012 and is enjoying watching the expansion of many bird species within the park, as its return to woodland pasture becomes more embedded.

Dr Mawson OBE was a head teacher in a successful school for 40 years.


Since June 2012, Dr Geoff Mawson OBE has been undertaking comprehensive surveys of the breeding birds within the Medieval park, the first survey being to provide a baseline against which to measure change.

What is a comfort to see from these reports is that the park provides a home to a number of birds found on the red and amber list of conservation concern and that the diversity of the ecology within the park provides a diverse and important range of breeding habitats for the wide selection of birds found within it.