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News From The Farm: July

News From The Farm: July

At The Community Farm, we’re just wild about nature. And it’s paying off, as Marketing Manager, Ally Laing, explains.

Environmental sustainability, and nature-friendly farming, are at our heart. It’s why we exist as an organisation - to have a positive impact on people and the planet.

Every year we see increased activity in our wildlife population at The Farm. New species of moths, butterflies and bees are recorded here each season. We’ve even identified the scarce violet oil beetle.

At dusk, the call of the Tiny Owl is now regularly heard alongside the more common Tawny and Barn owls. We often spot Sparrowhawks, Kestrels and Buzzards gliding and hovering above our fields, proof that our small mammal population is thriving and we’re getting the predator/prey balance right.

Noisy skylarks nest at our 15-acres overlooking Chew Valley Lake, as do swallows and swifts, song thrushes and linnets. Some 15 species of bird were noted in a recent survey at The Farm.

Badgers and deer, prone to the midnight munchies, will feast on our crops if they’re not covered. And our fox and rabbit populations are so settled and undistributed, you’ll frequently find them foraging during daylight hours.

This haven has been achieved through pro-active, thoughtful and planned works that are embedded in our everyday practices. We actively manage our field margins and hedgerows, conserving spaces for wildlife to thrive. We plant flowers and pollinators to encourage and support insects, at our farm entrance, in our polytunnels and across our raised beds. We’ve built bird boxes, owl boxes and placed mammal homes in the hedges. And we monitor their abundance through monthly bee walks, and our butterfly, moth and Dormice counts. The Farm has a dedicated team of volunteers and outside experts who make up and/or feed-into our Wildlife and Pollinator Group. But there’s still lots more to do.

We’ll be developing our Feel Good Garden over the next 12 months, which will further increase biodiversity at every level. It will include fruit tree planting, the provision of insect hotels, nesting boxes and the development of the pond area, to include a dipping platform.

And we’ll be taking opportunities to align with other organisations and individuals working to promote wildlife in the Chew Valley – because we recognise The Farm is just one part of a much larger ecological patchwork that needs to be enriched and nurtured, for nature, and for future generations.

 

Ally Laing
Marketing Manager

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