For day 25 of the 30 Days Wild Challenge, we’re thinking about how to support wildlife in as many different ways as we can. We recently visited Phillip Hambly’s farm, Lethytep, at Penadlake, near Looe and came away feeling hugely inspired after seeing the fruit of one man’s passion and labour to return his farmed fields into wildflower meadows and a haven for wildlife.
The weather was fine and sunny and we had 52 acres of woodland and meadows to explore.
Phillip is a highly knowledgeable guide and obviously takes great pleasure in walking around the farm sharing ideas and showing guests what he’s acheived there. He is also a keen and talented photographer and his collection of wildlife and nature photographs taken at Lethytep is breathtaking.
He talked to us at length about how he recreated the wildflower meadows and I was moved by the nostalgia I felt when walking around. These were like the fields I had played in as a child, rolling around in the sweet smelling grasses whilst listening to the skylarks above us. I was struck by the realisation of what we have lost over the years as the pressure to produce cheap food has led to a regime of monoculture and fast growing rye grasses which have swamped out all the lovely traditional plants and flowers and with them the creatures who used them for food and shelter.
Philip has noted 100 species of bird at Lethytep. We saw probably around 6,000 orchids in the fields along with traditional wildflowers – agrimony, cat’s ear, ragged robin, meadowsweet, plantain, yellow rattle, ox eye daisy, and many, many more. The air was alive with insects, beautiful demoiselles, moths, butterflies, dragonflies and the like. Froglets were hopping out of the ponds by the dozen – it was difficult not to tread on them and ducks, moorhens, coots and grebes could be heard from their nests in the reeds.
Philip’s wife Faith laid on some lovely refreshments and they both made us really welcome.
The farm has open days to raise money for many local charities such as Butterfly Conservation. If you are ever down in Cornwall when the gardens are open, do go – they are a joy!
Supporting wildlife at Bosinver
We are working hard to increase the diversity of wildlife habitats at Bosinver. We have many already but can always do better! This spring has seen the planting of many bee and pollinator friendly plants around the cottages and we have been encouraging our families to take part in the big Bosinver birdwatch. Paul has put up bird feeders and nest boxes and we are working on some hedgehog shelters.
We are all keen on wildlife spotting and often post our finds on Farmer Dave’s Facebook page – look out for out latest updates!
Fancy going wild?
You can find lots of suggestions about how to make the most of the natural world on the 30 Days Wild website, and by following #30DaysWild on Twitter.
Don’t forget you can read all about our random acts of wildness on Facebook, Twitter and our blog. And if you’re taking part in the 30 Days Wild Challenge, we’d love to hear about your adventures – so please do share your photos and suggestions for activities.