Sunnybanks Farm

"To start off by thinking that, yes, we are here on the land and we can encourage wildlife and not diminish it, seems like a simple but good way forward."

Our Bluebell Wood YurtSunnybanks is a smallholding of 35 acres stretching from the top of the hill to the sheltered banks of the river Camel below.The holding supports a handful of cows, a grey Shire horse called Moose who is used to pull logs out of the woods, and an assortment of ducks, chickens, cats and dogs.

Keeping pasture not only provides us with meat from the cows it supports, it also provides habitats for voles, mice and insects, essential food for buzzards, kestrels, owls, foxes and other wildlife. The dung from cows is used by house martins as mortar for their nests and  encourages flies and midges, which in turn become food for bats, young swallows and other birds.

The heathland (locally known as brake) for so long treated as having no value is seen now as a valuable habitat in its own right supporting one of the very rare varieties of pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly.  The cows graze the brake in winter trampling down the old bracken opening up paths, encouraging wild violets to grow, and so providing the primary food source of the emerging caterpillars of these beautiful butterflies.

The woodland in the valley apart from being home to too many grey squirrels is a mixed deciduous woodland of mostly oak, ash, beech, wild cherry, alder, hazel, thorn and elder. Red and roe deer and a family of badgers visit it often.

The wood is being maintained principally as a wildlife habitat but some of the trees are pruned so that one day some useful timber can be extracted for home use. In 1995 a plague of squirrels decimated the young trees. They have now been coppiced, pollarded and replanted and the regrowth has provided an excellent habitat.

We grow a variety of vegetables, soft fruit, and herbs  are slowly planting Cornish apple trees and other fruit trees around the farm. The polytunnel  extends our range of produce.

If you are interested in buying local produce please ask us about it.

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