Day 5! A day late, but, oh boy, what a day it has been.
Today has been defined by three things…..
- The weather
- Open Farm Sunday
- How ‘Going Wild’ has taken over this house.
On waking this morning Team Lovett quickly came to realise that the weather has suddenly remembered it’s supposed to be doing it’s rightful Summer thing and very soon our part of Wiltshire was basking in 30 degree temperatures with the most stunning blue skies.
Georgia and Hazel were out in the garden even before breakfast pottering in the stream looking for that elusive ” Dinosaur bone” and pottery of ages past, or in Hazels case just nosing around and generally getting wet as a Labrador is wont to do. Dad had headed out on his bike to be a mobile marshal for the Macmillan Cancer Trust Castle’s Bike Ride, which would take the cyclists on a route through the Marlborough Downs along the Ridgeway and by-ways. Mum, meanwhile, took the opportunity in this window of respite to sit outside in the sunshine with her morning dose of caffeine.
Late morning saw Mum and Georgia too heading through the Marlborough Downs on the drive to the Open Farm Sunday at Manor Farm, Avebury Trusloe, Wiltshire hosted by the farmers of The Marlborough Downs: A Space for Nature partnership. This partnership is a fantastic farmer lead Nature Improvement Area project for the benefit of wildlife and the locality and is supported by a whole host of partners including The Wildlife Trusts, Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, RSPB, Butterfly Conservation, National Trust and lots more. They are all working to one common goal, ‘To improve the condition and connectivity of the ecological network of the Marlborough Downs NIA and to connect people to the downland landscape.’ (Marborough Downs: Space for Nature website).
A view of Manor Farm nestled in a landscape featuring Avebury Stone Circle, Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill
We went to last years Open Farm Sunday hosted by the same partnership, but at a different farm and today, just as last year, it was just the most amazing opportunity to meet all these different wildlife organisations in one place and see first hand some of the wonderful results of their partnership throughout the farms.
Mum and Georgia had a great time learning about all sorts of ‘wild’ subjects: We watched and listened with interest demonstrations and talks about Tree Sparrow conservation and ringing by the Wiltshire Ornithological Society; How the number of farmland owls are being helped to increase with the introduction of bird boxes, ringing and the creation of habitats for their prey; How bees work to produce honey and their value as a pollinator; How our food is produced from farm animals and agricultural crops; How the farms plant areas of their land with wildflower seed specific for bees, butterflies and birds thus creating a link between farming and the natural landscape; How sheep are sheared and how the wool is spun on a spinning wheel.
We got up close with farm animals, birds and machinery, handled and learnt about wild animal skulls, snake skins and bird nests, created a wildlife badge, an origami bug, a bug house and a bee house.
Hands on with wildlife skulls, snake skins and bird nests
Georgia’s wild creations
Georgia also had an “Awesome” time having a go at fly fishing, watching the gun dogs training, hurling herself around an assault course, over and over. Both Mum and Georgia enjoyed going for a drive with the Kennet Valley Driving Group RDA, who are helping to make the Marlborough Downs more accessible for disabled people. Their horses are gorgeous and always a hit with Team Lovett.
There were just so many things to see and do, wild or otherwise, that we’ve surely missed some things out. All round it really was a fantastic day out, wild and wonderful learning and fun, but exhausting, especially in the heat. We went home very happy, but thoroughly worn out.
Later in the evening after a half hearted tidy up Mum was in no doubt at all that ‘Going Wild’ had entered the house with a vengeance, for everywhere, room after room, were the fruits of a day cycling the Downs and of a day at the farm doing just about every conceivable wild thing going; grass, grass seed, hay,straw, grain, moss, petals, and flying bugs, lots of them, because someone had left the light on in the loo with the window open. Needless to say, Mum turned the lights off, shut all the doors and trudged up to bed to join the rest of Team Lovett happy in the belief that some things are best left for another day.
🙂 🙂 🙂