I felt a bit like that this morning, but this afternoon ...... I took a trip around the farm with Loddington's keeper James Watchorn and Richard Barnes from Kings.
My main aim on the farm is to produce food and I was pleasantly surprised by the spring rape and oats. I had still have major concerns over black grass in all the crops, but the size of the wheat ears fills me with hope and the more the sun shines the better this late harvest looks.
However, the improvement in my mood was the amount of wildlife in some of the non crop habitats. Much of our work at Loddington concentrate on wildlife, game and environmental responsibilities and this afternoon we saw it in spades. Our select group spent a couple of hours visiting some of the environmental habitats away from our normal visitors route. We discussed our next set of management prescriptions for grass margins, wild flower mixes and the wildlife seed plots. The sunshine certainly helped with a wildlife explosion.
The landscape was full of bees, butterflies, pollinators, songbirds and pheasants.
With all the discussions on CAP Greening that has been in the media recently, I wish I could have bottled up the farms biodiversity and let it loose amongst the PowerPoint presentations, flipcharts and words of wisdom.
By heck it was an exhilarating walk around the farm... here are a few photos that try and do it justice.
|James and Richard survey some maize, chicory and sweet clover|
|Chicory edge to the maize|
|Scores of tortoiseshell butterflies feeding on some strategically placed thistles !!|
|Some of these plots have ended up with fodder radish, birdsfoot trefoil and wheat|
|Kale, fodder radish and mustard|
|Pollen and nectar margins were awash with pollinators|
|We even spotted some yellow rattle.|