Browse down the pages here to see a selection of photographs that we have taken over the years at the farm.
Hopefully these photos will help to add to the "Flavour of the Farm" and show you something of what we are about here: so much more goes on here than just vegetable production! Wildife "production" is fundamental to what we do (if only we could make a living from it. Now there's a thought.....). So is "Landscape Farming". So much so that Linscombe Farm has held the prestigous Devon Wildlife Trust Gold Award since its inception in the middle part of the last decade.
Over the winter of 2011/12 we, at last, realised our somewhat ambitious plan of creating some new ponds at Bidwell. We dug a good sized pond - mostly for irrigation - when we arrived at Linscombe farm in 1996 but soon realised Ponds are a magnet for wildlife: otters, snakes, moorhens, dragonflies and even an entire housemartin colony soon made themselves at home. The full list of new wildlife is huge. We were so pleased that we dug several more; leaving the ponds was perhaps one of the hardest things when we came to Bidwell in 2006. Sadly, one of the best of the Linscombe ponds has now been completely drained and some of the others will probably not survive; wildlife needs care and management if it is to thrive in our man-made environments. If only it would stop raining maybe we could even use some of the water to irrigate our crops.......
The site of the new Bidwell ponds were almost certainly ponds in historic times, although old maps show that they were withy (willow) beds by the 19th Century. We have removed the silt and used this to form new hedgebanks around the farm These have already been planted up with thousands of hedge and tree plants. The corresponding increase in wildife has already been dramatic although we will not see the best of it for some 5 years or so if our previous experience is repeated. It always astonishes us just how much wildlife we can happily share our countryside with if we make the effort - it is just a shame that it doesn't "pay", or at least not in the sort of hard cash that the bank will accept. If more people showed more commitment to local, organic food then the countryside would look very different and many of the threatened and declining species would soon come back. Just as the three most important things controlling the value and desirability of a house is controlled by "location, location, location" so the quality and quantity of wildlife is controlled by "habitat, habitat, habitat".
Our work may not pay us directly but it has been recognised by being awarded the Devon Wildlife Trusts Gold Award every year since it was started.
Frogs and toads abound (ha ha) in our polytunnels and help hugely in the never ending defensive against the slug armies.
Grass snakes have joined in - apparently on the side of the slugs as they eat the toads and frogs but not the slugs! We don't mind though as they show what a great balance can be created in the very artificial protected habitat that thrives under the protection of the polythene.
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