There are many species inhabiting Llanyrafon Manor. Below, a few are outlined along with the Manor’s methods for supporting them.
The Bat Cottage forms the last section of the Manor. Numerous studies have been carried out on the bat population at the Manor and we are still trying to decipher their patterns. Inside, there are three known species of bat including the Common Pipistrelle, the Brown Long-Eared and the Lesser Horseshoe Bat. Each has its own requirements which are met by the combination of small, enclosed spaces and large open roof vaults within the building. The bats feed and travel along the river corridor which is rich with insects and moths.
Just like the bats, a number of owl species also make use of the river corridor, feeding on small mammals, rodents and birds as well as frogs, fish, insects and worms. A number of owl boxes have been installed at the Manor around the lawn and the paddock and these are designed to attract and house Tawny Owls, Barn Owls and Little Owls.
The elusive otters that inhabit the Afon Llwyd River are another of our supported creatures at Llanyrafon Manor. Feeding mostly on fish within the river, otters are opportunistic and will eat a range of prey species, many of which can be found within the river. Alongside the leat, an artificial otter holt has been created to encourage otters into the site. It is basically a mass of twigs and branches in which the otter can form a den.
On the other side of the river, there are two large blue boxes raised off the ground. These are Sand Martin boxes, designed to house the birds after their long flight from Africa. They migrate to the UK after winter but are often too tired to dig a nest for themselves which can prove to be fatal. This coupled with recent droughts in Africa has caused a sharp decline in European Sand Martin numbers over the last 50 years. These boxes, placed next to the river where the birds can feed on the wing, are helping to halt this decline in numbers and already we have seen nearly double the number of Sand Martins nesting here.