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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Trip to Folly Farm!

On my recent visit to the UK aside of some extremely wet weather I had a very enjoyable morning walking around Folly Farm in Somerset - the changes there since my last visit were remarkable... the place has been rebuilt and the grounds are still in the process of being developed. All the original buildings have been beautifully renovated - providing the chance for the wider community to engage with the environment and really enjoy the surrounding countryside. If you're interested in learning more about the environment and how to preserve it, you should check out the courses offered here http://www.follyfarm.org/ - you can even stay here too!







They've developed a short woodland walk through lovely mixed woodland, which is mainly surrounded by meadow - some of which has been left untouched for over 100 years. In these areas you can see great examples of established ant hills of yellow meadow ants - one of the favorite foods of the Green Woodpecker! These birds are able to feed on such insects aided by their sticky tongues. Walking through there are plenty of nesting boxes for both bats and birds and if you come at twilight you might be lucky enough to watch badgers.



On the way round we spotted hedges which had been laid in the traditional way - using a mix of Field Maple, Black Thorn and Hazel. Hedging like this is a wonderful way of encouraging wildlife into the area offering both shelter and a nesting site for some.

There are longer walks here too - a place for all ages and well worth a visit if you're passing!






And to finish off with before heading to the car park - some wonderful views towards Chew Valley Lake! Only a couple of hours later I was in my seat on the aircraft bound for Dinard...











6 comments:

Cheryl said...

Looks like a beautiful place.....my sort of place......I love a natural environment.....formal gardens are not for me personally.......

We have had awful weather this year......the sun has been very reluctant to shine too often......

Patsi said...

Country living must be wonderful!
Always so beautiful.

My husband would be glad to send you seeds from a few varieties grow this year,including tiger tom.
Find my e-mail at profile and send us your mailing address so we can mail them to you.

Border Reiver said...

Hi Miranda, Glad you liked your visit to Folly Farm. I only went there for the first time in October, and well it was wonderful and I expect to be getting involved more after chatting to the manager re moving forward. An interesting place. As I write this the Avon Wildlife Trust AGM is in full swing and I've been nominated to be come a Trustee of the Trust. We'll see what comes of that, quite exciting.

Connie said...

A beautiful place....thanks for sharing the photos! I especially like the trees, they have so much character. I was interested to see that the last three photos included teasel....we have that here in Idaho, as well.

A wildlife gardener said...

This is my kind of plce, Miranda, as I love mixed woodland and meadows :) Thanks for the lovely photos as I feel I've had a little visit there now :)

Miranda Bell said...

I feel awful this morning seeing all these comments and I've not replied - please forgive me...like many people I've just not stopped these past few weeks and it's always things like my blog that suffer - just wish there were more hours in the day!! All said and done I'm very grateful to have the kind of work that people would have difficulty in doing without, especially in the current economic climate.

Dear Cheryl - thanks for your comments - I'd have guessed this would have been your kind of place - I much prefer these kind of gardens but formal gardens have their place too and have lots to offer but given the choice I'd go for something like this anyday!

Hi Border - interesting to hear of your invovlvement here and also with the Avon Wildlife Trust too - will look forward to hearing more as things develop. I've spent a good deal of my life in and around Bristol so I do come back from time to time as this is where most of our really good friends are too!

Hi Patsi - as you know your lovely seeds arrived and I'm much looking forward to sowing them next year... if you've got any special tips for any of them do let me know, otherwise I'll treat them like any other tomato!

Hi Connie - thanks for your visit - the trees at Folly Farm are really beautiful - some have been there for years and years and are very interesting in their shapes now... I love Teasel and this year got some seed from one growing in field nearby and am hoping to grow it on the edge of our woodland - they make lovely dried arrangements!

Thanks for your visit too Wildlife Gardener... hope everything is going well with you... I think this is a place I'll return to at some point if I get the chance - they've had some good courses on there this year!

See you all soon... off for some dog walking now! Miranda