WILDLIFE

Wildlife is integral to the way we farm and live. All our farm plans and decisions are made holistically, taking into account the flora and fauna here.  Our farming methods help to sustain wildlife in ecosystems that the farm relies on to stay healthy and  abundant - a natural interdependence.

WINTER

In winter we are host to fieldfares, redwings, yellowhammers and waxwings, and owls pierce the silence of the long nights with their haunting calls.  Hares and deer nibble the trees, the fox and badger fill up on voles.  When dawn breaks there are tracks in the snow telling tales of many night-time journeys.

WINTER
SPRING

In spring we gladly welcome back some dear summer-visitor friends: curlew, black grouse, snipe, swallows, skylarks and

 house martins.  The frogs spawn, the flowers bloom, the bees emerge, and the  air is filled with song and  the sights and sounds of  life burgeoning.

SPRING
AUTUMN

The season of berries 

and mushrooms and

stocking-up for winter!

 Swallows set off on their winter pilgrimage.  

Hares disperse to find their separate territories.

Seeds set and make ready to take their chance at life.

We say goodbye to the seasonal residents and mornings become quiet.

We check our stores

of food and firewood.

AUTUMN
IMG_0680.jpg
SUMMER

The long days of summer

are filled with sweet scents, the buzz of insects (and the silence of midges!).  Nestlings become fledglings, leverets run down the track, sheep are hidden by long grass.  Tadpoles sprout legs and start their onward journeys.  Worms hide in the cool depths of the earth.

We forage for chanterelles and berries and take dips in the loch on our days off.

SUMMER
ways we are encouraging wildlife...
...and much more too!
IMG_20200516_133535.jpg

tree

planting, seeding

and regeneration to keep soils healthy and provide food and shelter for 

wildlife

IMG-20200518-121932-Original.JPG

enhancing

wet pasture

 to make a rich  feeding ground for waders

CWZQ7944.JPG

encouraging biodiversity and 

celebrating plant heritage by using 

holistic grazing 

and local seeds

IMG_20200518_120700_Original.jpg

reducing grazing pressure on riparian and heath land to allow natural regeneration

IMG-20200524-121142.JPG

slowing

water-flow through the site by blocking drains, embracing 

the bog, and planting and encouraging

trees

IMG-20200520-120150.JPG

respecting and cherishing the

wildlife here, by ensuring that the changes we make

are neither radical 

nor sudden

IMG_20200506_092252.jpg

digging

ponds and swales to capture water, reduce run-off and provide habitats

why is wildlife important to me?

Because the joy that all these things bring to my life is immeasurable! Each year, the first cry of the curlew, swoop of the swallow, sniff of valerian, lifts my spirits high.

I think there is also a misconception that it is farming OR wildlife - but livestock can (and in my opinion should) live alongside wildlife, both enriching the other.  

 

Nature is important to how I connect to the land, my ancestors, gain a sense of place and understanding that guides me.  When I hear a wood pigeon call I think of my Granny, see a forget-me-not think of my Nana, swing from a tree think of my auntie.  Those connections mean that I find each of these everyday things special, so my desire to care for the elements both heightened and more personal.

I don't feel the need to dominate the landscape; I can find a silver lining in most things; I like having wonderful surprises and seeing how nature sorts things out (not always a happy ending for all).  My farming career has been heavily influenced by permaculture - the fair share principal is lovely and so appropriate in these times of greed and capitalism, there is so much to go around if we look after it!

ISBG4516.JPG