West Country Wool and the Natural World
New Mills Farm is situated within UNESCO's North Devon Biosphere reserve, which includes many special landscapes and wildlife areas. As nature lovers ourselves we try and encourage as much flora and fauna as we can, although, it must be said, the midges can be a little tiresome at times! By carefully managed grazing we are increasing the plant diversity of our pastures, which will hopefully attract more invertebrates and their predator species. This page shows a few photos we've taken of some of the life we share our farm with.
Dark Bush Cricket
A common cricket found in rough grassland and hedgerows
A food plant for Common Blue butterfly larva.
Love the scent of Meadowsweet
The caterpillars of this moth feed on blackthorn and hawthorn
Not everyone is a fan of these critters but they keep us amused at times
These dung beetles play a vital role helping to clean up after livestock
These flower in the river from April till August
A lovely patch of foxgloves
Mullein Moth Caterpillars
When these caterpillars pupate they can remain buried under the soil for several years before emerging as moths
Common Centaury and Bird's-foot Trefoil
Bumblebee on Bird's-foot Trefoil
A dainty flower, easily overlooked - not sure which type this one is
Usually a summer migrant they do also hibernate here
After electro-fishing the fish are anaesthetised, measured and then returned to the river
Foxgloves and ox-eye daisies
A little bird with powerful song
We leave old carpet on a sunny bank and the slow worms love it.
This duck was looked after since it was a tiny duckling, eventually going off to join the wild ducks on the river
Comma and Small Tortoiseshell
The caterpillars of both these species feed on nettles
Bumblebee and honeybee sharing a knapweed flower
Over 50 species of bird seen on or flying above the farm.
Survey carried out on the farm in May 2018 recorded around 11 species of bat.
2019 Environment Agency survey on small stretch of river on the farm recorded trout, lamprey, eel and bullhead. Salmon are also seen.
Slowworms, newts, frogs and toads are also to be found under anything left lying around outside for any period of time.