We have more exciting updates from the farm and gardens as the seasons move from beautiful Spring into stunning Summer!
We witnessed a dramatic incident in the Kestrel Next Box on 28th May when, at dawn, the brooding female kestrel ventured out of the nest box and a marauding Jackdaw, intent on stealing her eggs, came in. Our female Kestrel returned to catch him red-handed and a ferocious battle ensued as she fought to save her precious eggs.
Although smaller, the Kestrel spreadeagled the Jackdaw on his back and proceeded to attack him in a dramatic attempt to protect her eggs. Though the Jackdaw was overpowered, his long beak kept her at bay and a relentless battle continued for three hours. In the end our owner Philip having witnessed the battle via the live stream camera decided to intervene. Climbing a tall ladder up to the nest box he managed to successfully extract the Jackdaw. Although our female Kestrel left the box she was back brooding within ten minutes and thankfully her eggs were still intact.
Incredibly we have a chick just hatched yesterday, 9th June and a second one today! The Kestrel Mum feeding her chicks caught prey. We expected the hatch date to be 6th June and so we were getting concerned that the eggs might fail to hatch if they had been left to cool down for too long while the Kestrel defended her nest from the Jackdaw. We are thrilled to see that nature has performed it’s miracle of life once again!
Our Barn Owls are keeping us on tenterhooks too. They are closely bonded and the male has been hunting and feeding and mating with his partner but no eggs have been laid as yet. Although time is passing Barn Owl chicks can be born as late as August so we remain hopeful. Everything has looked promising as our Barn Owls seem to be so at home and not in the least concerned by our daily wedding activity!
Our Wildflower meadows are looking beautiful. The meadows and headlands around the smallholding have a succession of wildflowers from early spring onwards. Primroses, Cowslips, Cow Parsley, Ox Eye Daisies, Poppies, Chamomile, Cornflowers, Corncockle, Marigolds and more. In June they the wildflowers reach their stunning peak. The best places to see the Cornflowers for the next eight weeks are around the White Pergola beyond the Summer House pond, and behind the big pond in the wildflower meadow. We would just ask visitors to keep to the grassed pathways and avoid treading on the flowers themselves to make sure the flowers stay looking their best for all our couples and guests to enjoy.
We have just harvested petals from our home grown roses which will be dried and used as confetti for our wedding couples. Last year we had 120 roses plants and we have planted an additional 120 this year so hopefully over the next few summers we will have a bumper crop of home grown rose petals for our confetti. Our home grown confetti is just one of the many eco friendly, sustainable initiatives we have here at South Farm and will help to reduce the carbon footprint of your South Farm Wedding!
Our beautiful Wedding Cake Tree by the summer house is looking it’s very best this month. Named because it looks as though it has tiers like many of the stunning wedding cakes we see ay South Farm Weddings. It shines beautifully in the bright evening sun and is positioned looking across the Bridge to the rose pergolas in the wildflower meadow beyond. If you head quietly through the gardens and over the bridge you might catch a glimpse of the Moorhens on the summerhouse pond.
As we move through from Spring to Summer we will keep you updated on our South Farm Wildlife Watch and on more exciting developments as they happen!
Our beautiful farm wedding venue is not only a wonderful habitat for wildlife but is also the perfect backdrop for your countryside wedding day. We’re proud of our eco-friendly initiatives. We’ll be sharing more from the farm and our sustainable wedding venue soon and we move through into Summer we will keep you updated on our Wildlife Watch and more exciting developments as they happen!