"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 12 June 2017

Southfields Farm

Why do several interesting events so often happen on the same day? Yesterday it was the Open Day at Maxstoke Castle and also Southfields Farm Annual Open Day and I really wanted to go to both but sadly didn't have the time so had to pick one. We've been to Maxstoke Castle several times in the past but I have never visited Southfields and, as it is a farm under Environmental Stewardship, I was keen to see what had been done there for wildlife so D and I decided to visit the latter.



It was an ideal day out for families with activities such as Meet the Animals, Trailer Rides, Craft Activities for Children, Pond dipping etc. so we had a quick look round - it was very busy!


I did know thanks to Vinnyman's Blog (see link on the right under my Blog List) that there is a rather beautiful wildflower meadow. Unfortunately we had arrived too late to join the Farm and Wildlife Walk which would have taken in that area, but eventually I found someone who was able to give me directions. Once we had left the main area of activities in the farmyard it was very quiet and peaceful.

Some views of the farmland and Warwickshire countryside as we walked down the Bridle Path in the direction of the River Blythe.

I am not sure what this pretty pink flower is - it looked like a species of geranium and am not even sure if it is wild but it was certainly attracting bees.

In the distance we could see the hamlet of Maxstoke and the Priory - the Canon zoom came in useful to get this picture.

As we reached a field by the river we were lucky enough to see a hare running towards us. It spotted us almost immediately and turned and ran in the opposite direction - the best photo D was able to get!

River Blythe

We followed the banks of the river for a short distance and then through a small wooded area and we were in the wildflower meadow.

We didn't see many butterflies apart from a Large Skipper - it was very very windy - but we did find lots of Banded Demoiselles.

Ladybird Larva

The field was full of Ox-eye Daisies, many many species of grass, Buttercups, Knapweed, Clover and Birdsfoot Trefoil. A wonderful sight - taking me back to my childhood when so many meadows still looked like this one.




Some of the flowers seen in hedgerows - many species of umbellifer, Dog Roses, Foxgloves, Pineapple weed and Hedge Woundwort.







Looking back as we walked back to the farm for


a cup of tea and cake in a cup (carrot cake) :)

I do hope to visit the farm again in the future - there is also a field sown with plants that provide seeds for birds over the autumn and winter.

Most of the photos were taken by D with the Canon SX50 HS so this time I have marked the ones taken by me with the Olympus *C.

Thanks again to Vinnyman for alerting me to the existence of this farm.

If you want to see Maxstoke Castle and Gardens please see here and here for posts on previous visits.


Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

Another lovely visit ~ and agree that it is a pain when things clash! I am sure I recognise that pink flower. It looks a lot like a pink version of Star of Bethlehem, but isn't, of course. Carrot cake looks yummy.

Ragged Robin said...

Deborah RusticPumpkin - Thank you. The pink flower looks familiar to me too. Wonder if it is a garden escapee? There was just one huge patch of it at the farmyard end of the walk.

Vinnyman. said...

Superb blog post ! I'm so glad you made a visit to the farm and even better I'm pleased you think it's as good as I do. Great write up and photos. Thanks for the mention by the way :)

Ragged Robin said...

Vinnyman - Thanks so much for your kind words and for letting me know about this local farm that supports so much wildlife :) My son loved it there too and so further visits are definitely on the cards :)

Pam said...

What a lovely place and don't the Poppies look fantastic, I love seeing a field of them!

Rosie said...

Looks like you had a wonderful visit, it looks an interesting place especially the wildflower meadow. We've seen similar wildflowers on our walk this morning, everywhere looks so lovely at the moment. How wonderful to see the hare:)

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thank you. Yes it is so lovely to see poppies. We have some this year in our garden mini wild flower meadow :)

Rosie - Thank you. Sounds as though you had a good walk this morning too :) I think May and June are my favourite months for wild flowers in the hedgerows/fields/woods :)

amanda peters said...

Such a lovely place, I would have liked a day there especially coming from a farming background. Been having a look at your flower and it does look like Hedgerow Crane's-bill, see what you think.
Lots of lovely photos and 🍰.
Amanda 🐰🐰

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much Amanda - yes, so good to see a farm that does so much to encourage wildlife :) Thanks so much for the suggestion re: Hedgerow Crane's-bill. I have a close up I took of one of the flowers so will check the photo against some field guides :)