Bask in nature as you wander the fields and woods or listen to cuckoos singing and bumble bees lazily buzzing. Lie under an ancient oak tree or allow mountain water to gush over you…
Our aim is to increase wildlife above and below ground and to restore the soil, hydrology and ecosystem functioning of the land.
We have a small herd of rare breed Shetland Cattle that are helping with the restoration, including providing dung pats for dung beetles and insects for birds and bats. We hope to soon hand-milk them.
The plan is to establish a mosaic of habitats from orchards, meadows, scrub, woodlands, hedgerows and scrapes.
Some of the habitats include ‘natural regeneration’, whereby nature takes the helm and trees, scrub and tussocky grasses.. or other unexpected plants turn up.
We are also planting large areas of the farm with native woodland, sourcing seeds on the farm and locally.
It’s hard not to mention chickens… a lot! Our small flock are an important part of our lives and are cherished, often turning up in the most unusual of places…
You are welcome to a cuddle a chook. Our two children will often be on hand to help out.
Geese and ducks are also part of the flock, but please don’t ‘pet’ the geese, as they are rather feisty!
Children are welcome to stay. The fields, woodlands and streams are a perfect playground.
They can practice cycling up and down the track, or see how much wildlife they can spot.
Adults must supervise children, as there are multiple hazards on the farm. From water bodies, gorges, unpredictable animals, to stinging nettles and farm machinery.
We are members of Pasture for Life which means our cattle and pony are only fed what they would have naturally eaten as the wild aurochs and equids that once roamed our island. So no soya grown from deforested land in South America. Only grass, herbs, shrubs, hay and the odd handful of organic lucerne nuts to keep them friendly. We are improving our meadows to increase the floristic diversity to benefit wildlife, this will also benefit our livestock, increasing the spectrum of minerals and vitamins they intake and allowing them to self medicate. Allowing scrub to grow up and other natural regeneration, planting hedgerows and trees will similarly create wildlife habitat, benefiting our livestock’s diets and providing shelter from flies and the weather.
We are also members of Northwoods Rewilding Network as our chief priority is to improve the farm for wildlife and restore functioning ecosystems.
We do not use fertilisers, pesticides, lime or any chemicals on the land or on our livestock. We aim to become certified organic through the Soil Association.
“Auchgoyle is set in a beautiful and diverse landscape, full of biodiversity only dreamt of in other parts of the British isles. A short cycle takes you to unspoilt empty beaches, open moorland, vistas of Arran and quiet woodland. During my stay I saw eagles, red and roe deer and signs of pine martins. Katharine and Dave’s madly enthusiastic love of nature and ability to interpret all around them is deeply infectious.“
Andy Gray, West Devon