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Natural History

The garden and surrounding area are great for birdwatching and nature walks. In Spring the birdsong fills this normally peaceful area and the only traffic problems are caused by flocks of partridges on the road!

In about 3 acres of grounds La Maison Neuve is situated in fields normally covered with cereal crops, glorious sun flowers and maize. La Maison Neuve's 3 acres is a mini nature reserve among the rolling peaceful hills of the Vendee.

We have many shrubs, trees and flowers. There is a small copse area as well as open grass. Trees include oak, sweet chestnut, ash, plane, horse chestnut, willow, acacia, sycamore, hazel, walnut, cherry, plum, apple, pear, buddleia, elder, hawthorn,laurel and mimosa.

Bird records in the garden include golden oriole, hoopoe, turtle dove, cuckoo, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, treecreeper, goldcrest, firecrest, barn owl, tawny owl, little owl, buzzard, kestrel, hobby, sparrowhawk, goshawk, merlin, black kite, hen harrier, red backed shrike, great grey shrike, nightingale, cirl bunting, partridge, pheasant, pied and spotted flycatchers and many more. Also in the surrounding countryside one can see little egret,kingfisher, cetti's warbler, migratory osprey and storks.

Other garden sightings include red squirrel, roe deer, hare, hedgehog, garden dormouse, noctule bat, weasel, beech marten (and a visit from wild boar) western whip snake, grass snake, slow worm, adder, and various lizards. Both types of swallowtail butterfly, peacock, comma, brimstone, hawkmoths and hundreds more.

Binoculars and reference books are available.