We continued our 60th anniversary celebrations this month with a fantastic event at Bolshayne Meadow, near Colyton. A delightful summer safari took place, guiding participants through the enchanting depths of a magnificent wetland meadow.
The leisurely-paced walk allowed everyone to pause and appreciate the beauty of wildflowers like orchids, yellow rattle, scabious, and other traditional wet meadow blossoms. These wildflowers serve as crucial sources of pollen and nectar for insects, making them invaluable to our ecosystem.
For our younger participants, bug hunts were organised, and children were armed with sweep nets and bug pots to explore and observe our essential pollinators up close.
The vibrant display of colors inspired the group on their return to the barn, where they had the chance to create artworks alongside artist Rosie Stiling from Double Elephant Print Workshops. It was a wonderful opportunity to channel the awe-inspiring landscape into artistic keepsakes.
Special thanks to John Walker, dedicated farmer at Bolshayne, who has been nurturing wildlife on his farm for over four decades.
This meadow almost became a potato field, but work stopped when a chorus of croaking frogs were heard. Shortly after, the site was then designated an SSSI – Site of Special Scientific Interest – being one of the best examples of a wet fen meadow in Devon.
Leading the walk were local botanist Jan Uden and Ruth Worsley, the wildlife engagement officer from East Devon AONB. Their expertise and passion added to the enjoyment of the event, ensuring that everyone had a memorable experience immersed in the natural wonders of the AONB.