There are times when leaving areas to nature just looks scruffy. It can give the impression we don’t care, or worse don’t know what we are doing! Every now and then something happens, sometimes something quite small that makes it all worthwhile. In July we saw black and white butterflies that we had never seen before. They were on thistles in a patch of meadow that has been completely left alone. Having to look them up in a book we found that they are Marbled White butterflies. We were so pleased to read that they like “unmanaged grassland”. At last! Something is benefitting from our rewilding ideas.
Farmers sometimes leave the margins of their fields for wildlife. At Grandchamp we leave whole fields, but we do sometimes mow around the edges, just to show that it has been deliberately left alone not that we cannot be bothered! It also makes us feel less guilty that we could be spreading weeds onto neighbouring properties.
In September we saw a new species in the very same spot! A Clouded Yellow this time. Apparently they like vetch and clover so our meadow is perfect for them.
The donkeys will enjoy browsing on this land later in the year. It is nicer not to mow here as we know there are hare hiding in the long grass. Hare hide their young in grass nests above ground so mowing now after leaving the meadow for so long could be a terrible disaster for them. The donkeys don’t mind long grass and enjoy all the tasty herbs and weeds along the way.