I did a turn for my favourite local farmer yesterday on Open Farm Sunday.
Duncan Farrington, of the delicious Mellow Yellow rapeseed oil (and the even more delicious Mellow Yellow garlic mayonnaise) had an event just down the road. I spent the day, in the sunshine, talking to people about birds, as I have done a few surveys of Duncan’s farm over the years.
Lots of people, local people, wanted to talk about Red Kites, and all, with only one exception, were very enthusiastic about them, loved seeing them, and wanted to know a little more about them. The exception was a farm worker who thought there were too many of them these days.
I talked about Turtle Doves too, as there had been a pair of Turtle Doves on Duncan’s farm the first year I had visited it (c10 years ago?) but searches last year, and this year, have failed to locate the bird through its ‘turrrrrr-turrrrr’ song. Duncan’s farm gets a mention in both Fighting for Birds and A Message from Martha by the way.
On a couple of recent visits to listen for Turtle Doves I have seen Linnets, Yellow Wagtails, lots of Yellowhammers and a range of other farmland birds on the farm – it’s rather better for all of them than my BBS square only a very few miles distant. And it’s one of the many places I have heard Cuckoo this year.
Duncan is a LEAF farmer – not a perfect system but a group of farmers who are doing their bit for wildlife, sustainability and the environment at a noticeably higher level than the general crowd of farmers. That’s why Duncan gets my support.
Why don’t you try some of his Mellow Yellow garlic mayonnaise – it really is delicious!