30 June 1995

Banking on beetles

SOUTH Shropshire FWC was not going to miss the opportunity of joining in the celebrations at Sutton Mill Farm, Claverley, and at the same time raising £200 for Macmillan Nurses.

FWC member Janet Cotham and her industrious family were marking the achievement of her son, Richard, winner of the 1994 Cyanamid Agriculture UK arable farm wildlife and landscape competition, with a series of open days.

Lunch was served to the FWC members in a huge barn and then we had the pleasure of going on a farm walk to admire the way various sites on this farm have been improved to help flora and fauna. Much was learned about the management of trees and the draining of the ground and everything was explained so well by Richard as he waited patiently for some of us – not as young – to stagger up the hills and down the dales.

I was particularly fascinated by the beetle banks that he has created on the hillside. They are not only a haven for plants and wildlife but the beetles bore holes help solve the erosion of earth problem, Richard explained.

By the time we returned to the farmhouse we were all ready for a cup of tea but the sight of the immaculate garden made me want to dash home and cut all my lawn edges! JH