Welcome to Merlindale
Merlindale is home to a wide range of different habitats. From expansive meadows to ancient woodland and species rich river bank.
Here is a flavour of what you might see at Merlindale throughout the year.
Spring begins with Snow drops and Daffodils as the whole estate comes to life. As Spring gets underway Merlindale becomes a vibrant area of the valley with a vast carpet of bluebells overflowing through the forest floor. Bees begin to fill the air hurrying around and beginning their 3 season long mission. Bird song resonates everywhere as the males sing for their right to mate; the fiercest of singing contests. And finally the meadow begins to awaken after its long slumber, little crinkley leaves of Yellow Rattle are joined by Wood Crane's Bill and the distinctive Melancholy Thistle. The only Northern Hay Meadow in the Upper Tweed can be found here.
Summer arrives, ushered in on the wings of the lively Spotted Flycatchers who arrive at the end of May, or even beginning of June from their long African absence. If you take a walk along the river you may be lucky and see the Ospreys gliding up and down stream in the hopes of catching a fish to feed impatient young. Each tree in the woods now has its distinctive cloak of leaves and as you take a walk down from the woods into the meadow, the sounds of the meadow envelop you. Every bee in the land is now hard at work, busy pollinating the scores of different flowers and those early to flower such as wood crane's bill and melancholy thistle slowly give way to tufted vetch, bird's foot trefoil, ox eye daisies and common knapweed in a splendid progression. Butterflies flutter about everywhere, ringlets and meadow browns join common blues and small coppers in the meadow, as June turns to July and August to September peacocks and red admirals join small tortoiseshells, commas and Y moths on the buddleia scattered throughout Merlindale's gardens. At night take a glance up and you are likely to see small shadows shoot by as the bats hunt effortlessly for the fluttering moths.
Autumn in Merlindale is all about the trees. It's as if the forest is literally on fire with rich oranges, deep reds and dashes of yellow. If you stand outside and listen closely you begin to hear huge masses of Geese gradually flying over on their journey South. Bees are still out albeit in reduced numbers. As the days shorten the night sky becomes an ever more dominant influence as it is filled with stars - the milky way is clearly visible as Merlindale is far from any light pollution.
As it becomes quieter in winter it is still possible to hear the drumming of woodpeckers filling the air. When the snow falls the landscape is turned into a wonderland, suddenly everything around you becomes different. Merlindale has a magical quality as the trees lie beneath a blanket of snow. Robins continue to sing and flutter about in the search for food throughout the winter. Indeed they are one of the first singers of spring. Large flocks of Chaffinches descent on the feeders and at a closer glance you can find Bramblings who do their best to fit in. The Red Squirrels are always active scurrying about in the trees, and if you are in luck you can see them on the feeders stealing nuts.