Thursday, 25 July 2013

Some days are just great.....

If its not the weather.... then its the price.... if its not the price..... then its the bureaucracy, administration and politics of the job.
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 !!

Bees everywhere

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.


  1. Looks fantastic considering weather etc. I know some farmers think HLS etc can make their farms look "scruffy" however your pictures show the benefits without major impact on agricultural practice. Well done all.

  2. Thanks John
    Our cover crops are tremendous after the recent rain, especially as our ground is extremely challenging clay. A credit to keeper James Watchorn. Its fair to say that some pollen and nectar plots need a makeover, but mainly due to grass swamping flowers and clover. We have some exciting plans afoot

  3. Hope this cheers you up after the wet miserable weather in winter 2013-14