Seasonal highlights at Swan Barn Farm

Four traditional apple varieties at Swan Barn Farm orchard

Enjoy a walk in the woodland and pasture at any time of year at Swan Barn Farm. Watch the landscape change throughout the season and take a look at our seasonal highlights.

Spring awakening


Spring is the time when everything starts to come alive again. Watch out for orange-tip butterflies around the delicate pink of the lady's smock flowers, the first lambs enjoying the early sun and the first woodland flowers like wood anemone. Hedges start to bud and leaf and the dawn chorus of a chiffchaff, rich blackbird and strident great tit all puncture the air on still mornings.

Orange Tip Butterfly
Orange Tip Butterfly
Orange Tip Butterfly


Summer scents


As the sun rises higher in the sky and the days really start to warm up the meadows become rich in insect life. Below the cool green dappled canopy and along the winding stream dragonflies hawk up and down the river in search of food. The sweet scent of dog rose fills the air as it winds through the hedges and the insistent questioning call of the of the stock dove drifts down from the trees.

The stunning emperor dragonfly
Emperor dragonfly
The stunning emperor dragonfly


Autumn colours


This fruitful season is the time when chestnut, beech, oak and thorn all put on their mantels and light up the paths in a crackling auburn glow. Beautiful native apples in our orchard provide a seasonal fruitfulness ripe for nocturnal badgers and tipsy red admirals who gorge on fallen fruit. Watch out for small mammals hiding their ripe autumn bounty to tide them over in the cold winter months.

Boughs laden with apples for another bumper harvest
Boughs laden with apples
Boughs laden with apples for another bumper harvest


Winter frosts


Winter is the time to enjoy homemade sloe gin made in autumn from the dusky purple berries of the blackthorn. Why not enjoy walks made firm of foot under the bright night frosts. This is the time the team will start checking for brown hairstreak butterfly eggs, scrutinising eyes searching in the nooks and crannies of the bare hedgerow twigs. Traditional coppicing starts in earnest in the woodlands, with fogged breath, the sound of the saw and the crack of a fire all drifting on the still crisp air. If snow appears there are some fantastic slopes to provide winter fun for children and adults alike.

Sloes in September, ripe for the picking
Sloes growing in September
Sloes in September, ripe for the picking