Acorn Bank Watermill Trust


The Mill is home to a variety of wildlife, some of which you might be lucky enough to see when you visit us. Swallows and bats actually make their home in the mill building but the woods and fields surrounding the mill are also full of interest with many species of birds seen including Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Deer can sometimes be seen in the estate and in the fields opposite the mill.

The Crowdundle Beck is part of the River Eden Special Area of Conservation and River Eden and Tributaries Site of Special Scientific Interest. This is an important spawning ground for Salmon and Brown Trout. Kingfishers and Dippers can be see in the Beck near the Mill and Otters can sometimes be spotted playing in the stream.


Bats live in roof of the mill building. These are Pipistrelles and possibly Brown Long Eared Bats


Spring 2024 - a blackbird has set up home in the stable, on top of an upturned yard brush!

Blackbird nest

The nest on the upturned yard brush

Eggs in Blackbird nest

Four blackbird eggs in the nest

Spring 2022 - we have a Grey Wagtail nesting in one of our window boxes...

Eggs in the nest

The nest with five eggs

Grey wagtail on nest

Adult bird incubating the eggs

Young wagtails in nest

Chicks in the nest

Young Swallows in nest

Adult bringing in the food

Young Swallows in nest

Baby Swallows in a nest in the kiln room August 2021

Young Swallows

Young Swallows July 2021

Swallows on a beam in the barn

Young Swallows in the barn July 2021

House martin in nest

A young House Martin looks out of its nest July 2021


A Swallow just returned in April 2021

Pied Wagtail

A Pied Wagtail on the mill roof

Swallows nest each year in the roof of the mill, particularly the kiln room where their nests can be seen, and also in the Bank Barn. They can be seen flying around the yard and heard chattering in the trees.

25th April 2021 - A pair of Redstarts has returned to look for a nest site in the mill yard. The male found a hole he liked the look of in the wall of the workshop.


Male Redstart in the trees by the Mill Yard


Feale Redstart in the trees by the Mill Yard


Female checks out a nest hole in the wall of the mill


Male checks out a nest hole in the wall of the mill


Otters live in and around the Crowdundle Beck and can sometimes be seen playing in the stream near the Mill.

The mill in the 1890s


Otter footprints

Otter footprints at the mill

Otter footprints

Otter footprints on the sluice

Mink or Otter

One of our visitors took this picture near the weir
Is it an Otter or a Mink?