Watching the countryside waking up after a long winter is really magical. Every season has a special feel to it, but I love this time of year because the trees turn green and the animals start emerging from the woods and parkland. I often see fallow deer grazing first thing in the morning, and late afternoon is a good time to spot red kites coasting on the breeze and woodcocks pottering around the forest floor. When I walk back to the farmhouse in the evening, I see bats flitting about and the odd hare flashing past. The other day I saw a little owl watching the cattle as they had their breakfast. Sherborne is full of wildlife during the spring partly because of the help we give the animals and birds during the winter. After the autumn harvest, we let some of the fields remain fallow. The stubble provides much needed cover for the animals, and is a rich feeding ground for several different species of bird. No matter how prepared you are there are always surprises in this job, such as the baby calf born during the cold snap, ten days earlier than expected. There is no job quite like this. I never know what I’m going to be faced with. Watch out for future posts from me in the coming months.
Sherborne Park: Life at Home Farm
The Limbrick family have farmed on the Sherborne Park Estate for 70 years. Jolyon Limbrick currently helps manage Home Farm with his father Roy. The 33-year-old father-of-one is passionate about the Cotswold countryside – but honest about the hard work that goes into farming the historic estate.
In the heart of the Cotswolds, you might recgonise the Sherborne Park Estate as home to BBC's Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch this year. The BBC have chosen the estate due to the wide diversity of wildlife found here, as well as the expertise of our rangers, tenant farmers and local partners.
Follow Jolyon as he blogs about daily life at Home Farm, his favourite wildlife on the estate and how he is preparing for the rest of the year.
21 Mar 18
Stepping into spring
24 Aug 17
Looking forward to autumn
Early summer seems like a holiday compared to autumn. Autumn is the big rush before winter. Hopefully we will have finished harvesting and will be making good progress with planting. I enjoy the fresher mornings in the autumn with mist in the valleys often turning into glorious days. The cooler nights help too, much nicer for sleeping! In autumn it’s not just us that are battling against time, it’s also very busy for the wildlife on the farm. My daughter and I enjoy watching them prepare for winter hibernation as several species start to group together for protection. A winter of hibernation sounds pretty ideal doesn’t it?
15 Aug 17
Late summer wildlife
Wildlife starts to show itself again on the farm at this time of year. Being lucky enough to spend long days out in the fields, you get to see a lot of wildlife that tends to be elusive in the early summer. Red kites and buzzards making use of the recently exposed fields, roe deer and their young, pheasants and their newly hatched chicks and barn and little owls hunting, to list just a few I’ve seen so far. I think the little owl has to be my favourite, certainly at this time of year. They have this mischievous look about them. Sometimes I find myself being watched by one from a tree while I travel up and down the fields in the combine.