My Wild Life
Early mornings are part of the territory when it comes to running a dairy and I still love to hear the dawn chorus.
The quieter times of the day are also good for seeing deer, foxes and various other wildlife.
The space around our home in Kemerton has always been a place in which I’ve been able to unwind from the pressures of work: whatever happens, we have to get the milk onto people’s doorsteps the next day.
Our garden contains several trees and is quite a natural space, with all sorts of wild flowers, including cow parsley and cow slips, and a lot of bluebells, all of which are quite apt for somebody who works closely with farmers!
It’s not a place that could be described as ‘manicured’, and it’s a haven for wildlife. One of the highlights is that spotted flycatchers are nesting in the garden, and we see woodpeckers, jays and owls. On one occasion a young deer came trotting through the gate, and we often hear foxes making funny noises, although I’m not quite so keen on the rabbits eating my vegetables or the damage caused by grey squirrels.
My wife, Gill, and I have an annual competition as to who is first to hear the cuckoo. She’s heard it first this year when she was hanging out the washing.
I love pottering around the garden, the bottom of which almost feels as though you’re in heaven.
We live near the Kemerton Lake Nature Reserve, which was created by Adrian Darby OBE, a former chairman of the RSPB, Plantlife International and the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee, and managed by the Kemerton Conservation Trust, with which I’m involved.
The lake attracts a number of birds and wildfowl and it’s a great place for orchids and other wild flowers. It lies close to public footpaths, so it’s easily accessible, and there are bird hides from which people can look across the lake.
The trust is also active in the area surrounding Bredon Hill, which is a Special Area of Conservation due to its richness in flora and fauna.
Away from Kemerton, Gill and I enjoy visiting Westonbirt Arboretum and love having picnics near Broadway Tower, from which it’s possible to enjoy fantastic views. I also enjoy heading for Guiting Power and driving through the fords at Kineton, just as Adam Henson does on Countryfile.