Feed the birds!

We are very lucky on the Estate to have lots of native wild birds. Some of them are regular visitors to the garden at Escot House. These are the usual suspects in an English garden, including blackbirds, finches, tits, sparrows, doves and occasional woodpeckers, peacocks, pheasants and ducks! We’ve been putting out food for the […]

Autumn at Escot Estate

There’s never a dull moment at this time of year! As the sugars in the leaves turn them into those wonderful autumnal colours, so too the ground softens with the seasonal rains. Before it became too wet we managed to run an aerator, or slitter, over the Park, lent to us by Devon Wildlife Trust. […]

Big Butterfly Count – help take nature’s pulse

Here at Escot Estate we are proud of our work in land and estate management, supporting a biodiverse environment where native plants and wildlife can thrive. Butterflies are a crucial part of the ecosystem. They are important pollinators as well as contributing to the food chain. Sadly, their numbers have been decreasing since the 1970s. […]

Wild Bee Swarms

We recently spotted something a little odd on the terrace by Escot House. On closer inspection it turned out to be a huge group of bees, seemingly fixed to the stone wall! So we had a chat with Malcolm Crook, who keeps 14 beehives on the Estate, 2 in Escot’s gardens, 2 in neighbouring Wildwood […]

Himalayan Balsam on the River Tale 2022

Every year,Escot welcomes teams of volunteers to the Estate to help remove the invasive Himalayan Balsam. The report of this year’s activity was put together by Mish Kennaway. June 24: 3 volunteers covered from Tuck Mill to Cadhay Bridge. Disappointingly the stretch through Escot Park had proliferated, although less than 10 plants overall were in […]

Escot Ecology – Himalayan Balsam in the Tale Valley

The Tale Valley Trust organises three Himalayan Balsam removal dates in the year, where volunteers join in to take out this invasive plant. This is an abridged version of Mish Kennaway’s report for 2021. If you’d like to volunteer, please make a note of next year’s dates at the bottom of the article and get […]

Is frogspawn on the decline?

This is the time of year when the frogs and toads have been doing their thing, with frogspawn appearing in ponds, lakes and even puddles. One female frog can lay around 3,000 eggs, quite a feat – but out of that perhaps only five will survive. As they hatch, other creatures see a feast in […]

Beavers at Escot

We recently posted a video on social media of a new wild beaver dam we’d come across on the Estate. There was a huge amount of interest! So we thought it would be helpful to explain more about beavers, their history and their reintroduction into Britain. There have been beavers on Escot Estate since 2007. […]

Bees at Escot Estate

Escot Estate is delighted to host a number of beehives in different locations. The beekeeper tells us Escot is his most productive site due to the diversity of year round nectar. We also have wild bee colonies which have made their homes within hollow trees. Rural estates are an important bank of old parkland trees […]

Encouraging wildflowers at Escot Estate

We’re enjoying a wonderful show of wildflowers this autumn (yes, it’s autumn!). But new patches of wildflowers don’t just appear from thin air. In fact, experts say 97% of the nation’s meadows have been eradicated since the 1930s, with popular species like wild strawberry, ragged robin and harebell facing steep declines. Campaigners say the collapse […]

Cuckoos, black caps & flycatchers


Hearing the cuckoo at Escot used to be a given sign of Spring – but then about 15 years ago we stopped hearing its distinct call. Last year we heard it again, but just on a single afternoon. This year, however, we heard it over several days. Spending the winter months in Africa, cuckoos travel […]

Hobbies & Swallows

Spring at Escot is the time when the hobbies arrive! These beautiful birds of prey are about the size of a kestrel, and there are around 2,800 breeding pairs in the UK over the summer. They area  Schedule 1 protected specise, migrating here from Africa to breed. Their favourite prey, which they catch on the […]

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