16/11/2015

The farmland around the village of Selborne was alive with action this weekend

This blog post originally appeared on Peter's 'Fresh from the Field' blog on 16th November 2015.

The Selborne Landscape Partnership – a group of farmers based around the Hampshire community of Selborne was in action over the weekend!

Pt1The Selborne Landscape Partnership group - ready for for either hedge laying or Harvest mouse nest hunting!

You may well have heard of this village, as it was put firmly on the map because many, many moons ago the famous naturalist, Gilbert White, was born here and eventually wrote his book in 1789 “The Natural History of Selborne”, which chronicled the local wildlife and day to day life of this picturesque part of England.

This group of farmers has come together to see if they can collectively manage the land that surrounds Selborne in a more “joined up way”. This particular weekend was a chance for local farmers and volunteers to come and learn all about the old tradition of “hedge-laying”.

Rob Nicholls, a countryside Ranger with the South Downs National Park in conjunction with farmer, Kate Faulkner, did a superb job of arranging the event by bringing in an expert tutor, laying on lunch and of course providing a suitable hedge!

An enthusiastic assortment of folk turned up to learn this fine art and I think you will agree that the finished article is something to be mightily proud of!

Meanwhile, another group had also turned up to hunt for Harvest mouse nests around Kate’s farm as we are keen to learn more about this tiny mammal and find out how its population might have changed since Gilbert White’s day. The volunteers had a briefing in the barn, before setting off to hunt the field margins to see what they could find.

This is just one of a number of days nest hunting that will be organised over the next few weeks and I will let you know through this Blog how they all got on!

It was wonderful to see so much activity on the farm. I'm sure this is a group that is going places and I will make sure that you are the first to hear about future happenings!

Here are a few more photos of the action:

Pt2
Harvest mouse briefing in progress

Pt3
The hunt in progress!

Pt4
Meanwhile - elsewhere on the farm

Pt5
All starting to look good!

Pt6
The finished article - what a superb job!

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