Our beautiful Little Cocklands field, biodiversity at it's best.
Somerset, the land of the summer people, where all the fields are beautifully green.....well take a closer look. You'll have to agree that not all fields are green! One of ours, down beside Watery Lane, is our wildflower meadow, bursting with colour. In June and July every year this field is sheer joy, ever changing, and a hub of frenzied activity. When you walk through the meadow you see the amazing numbers of insects and butterflies that are feasting on the flowers. Loads of little crickets jumping from plant to plant, so many varieties of bees and flies and the gorgeous colours of different butterflies enjoying the nectar.
We began to compile a list of all the wildflowers we could identify and were amazed by the sheer quantity. Oxeye Daisy, Black Knapweed, Chicory, Common Yarrow, Speedwell, Mayweed, Yellow Rattle, Tufted Vetch, Meadowsweet, Selfheal, Clovers, Wild Carrot, Buttercups to name but a few. In researching their identities, we learnt a little of the origins of their names. Oxeye Daisy apparently remined the Ancient Greeks of the eyes of their oxen. Marsh Woundwort was used to dress wounds in the Middle Ages because of its soft downy leaves. Bird's-foot-trefoil, popularly known as Eggs and Bacon because of it colour, has seedpods which are straight, in a head resembling the claws of a bird's foot - hence the name. Check out the photo below.
If you walk around the field, you may be lucky enough to spot any number of animals enjoying the area. A family of foxes lives nearby and I've been treated to the sight of youngsters frolicking around the edges. There are plenty of bunnies and having seen a Roe deer on the margins a couple of times I'm convinced her fawn is hiding somewhere in there. The birds are also loving the meadow, a large flock of goldfinches is a common sight as are the swallows who come most evenings and fly overhead catching their supper.
In the corner of the meadow is a beautiful pond, also brimming with activity. This is where the Moorhens reared their young and now there are damsel and dragon flies along with countless other species getting on with their lives. This is one of my favourite spots on the farm. A wonderful quiet haven to sit and ponder, to observe close up all that is beautiful and to make new discoveries in our biodiverse little corner of Somerset. It's also a great place for a picnic as there is a large grassy area, a bench and a fallen tree to sit on. Next time you stay, head down here and enjoy quietly observing nature at its best.