Abbey Home Farm are caretakers of 215 acres of mixed woodland and we are passionate
about protecting and sustaining this natural resource to the best of our ability .
Our 4 main goals , all of equal importance , are as follows .
Protection of biodiversity .
Carbon storage and soil protection .
A sustainable supply of timber and woodland produce .
Public enjoyment and education .
Woodland management is a not for profit farm enterprise but we manage to cover our costs
by running a small scale firewood round and occasional sales of timber .
The considerable number of hours involved in hands on management is not costed !
Any woodland queries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Abbey Home Farm Takes A Step Back
On October 1st 2020 we decided to take approx 6 1/2 acres of Vern field out of production and let Mother Nature take over.
We have followed recent Rewilding debates with interest and as ever are keen to boost biodiversity on the farm so here we go!
We chose the northernmost end of Vern as it has historically been challenging ground for growing cereals - shaded by mature woodland ,
browsed by deer and rabbits and popular with docks and thistles .
After John had combined the wheat it was cultivated once which broke up the stubble and left a rough seedbed . Bordered on 3 sides by woodland, the old railway line and roadside trees it will not be short of seed sources .
The new field has also reverted to its original name of Wiggold Downs .
Autumn 2020 has been a prolific year for acorns (oak mast year ) and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss so Will collected approx 2000 from the adjoining Wiggold wood and dibbed them into the the ground across the field . Of that 2000 perhaps 1000 (optimistic ?) could be viable seed and a further 50% may be lost to frost, slugs and rot over the winter. 500 spring seedlings will then need to survive deer, rabbits, voles, grey squirrels and drought ….. Out of an original 2000 perhaps 1% may reach maturity .
It’s now time to let natural processes take over and we look forward to showing school groups and farm visitors what develops when agriculture takes a step back .
PS While planting the acorns Will picked up several dozen Neolithic flints, including scrapers and a projectile point - evidence of the first farmers on the land 5-6,000 years ago. (Wiggold Downs is only 2 fields away from the Sisters Long Barrow )
from Farm Partner Will, out and about on the farm
greater spotted woodpecker hammers on the tin roof of the workshop early morning alarm call for the neighbours . spring in the air spring in the step smiles about .
green woodpeckers yaffling away . found a pheasant nest among the brambles in yellow school wood - one egg only - dont know if its been deserted or just laid .
wood anemones abound around the pond at wiggold . white violets in the hedgerow . the time of the white flowers . saw a great crested newt surface for air in the new pond - wow exciting ! loads of toad spawn in deer’s choice as well as common newts , no sign of the frog spawn wonder what’s eaten it ?