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The Results Are In! – City to Farm

As you all know, A group of up to 10 adventurous cyclists took on the 250 mile challenge from Battersea in London to Widecombe on the Moor (Dartmoor) between 25-29 August 2019. The aim was to raise £20,000 for two …

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Journey Log – City to Farm 2019

Journey Log – City to Farm 2019

A group of up to 10 adventurous cyclists took on the 250 mile challenge from Battersea in London to Widecombe on the Moor (Dartmoor) between 25-29 August 2019. The aim was to raise £20,000 for two related charities: East Shallowford …

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East Shallowford Farm – Open Day!

East Shallowford Farm – Open Day!

Feel welcome to join us on Saturday 14th September 2019 from 10.00am  – 6.00pm and learn more about the opportunities we can provide. Shallowford is a place of learning and building experiences that opens doors to many who have no …

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City to Farm 2019 – Help Us Meet Our Target

City to Farm 2019 – Help Us Meet Our Target

10 riders will be cycling from Providence House to East Shallowford Farm between 25-29th August 2019. We are raising funds to help continue the vital work of these 2 amazing charities. Please give generously by clicking here. Or by clicking the …

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Wonderful Summer

Wonderful Summer

As the schools planned for their end of year activities, Shallowford provided the magic that would carry them through the summer and beyond. To different age groups, Shallowford provides different things. However, the magic tends to fall into one of …

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Marsh Fritillaries June 2018

Early in June a group visited Shallowford to photograph the rare Marsh Fritillary butterfly in regards to promote and sell wildlife friendly food, highlighting rare or at risk creatures which include the Marsh Fritillary.

“We had a fantastic day filming marsh fritillaries early in June.  The weather was perfect and there must have been 50+ marsh fritillaries flying around the meadows, visiting flowers and mating.  We also saw a few small pearl bordered fritillaries too, which was a bonus…

“What an amazing place East Shallowford is – a complete rare butterfly paradise!”

Former BBC Natural History Unit film maker Tim Martin has been at Shallowford filming and photographing critically endangered marsh fritillary butterflies for a new wildlife friendly food scheme that will be launching next year, and he found that here at least this little butterfly, with its exquisitely patterned orange and brown wings, is thriving.

East Shallowford Farm is home one of Britain’s most precious natural treasures: rhos pasture, and all the rare plants and animals it supports. These damp meadows are incredibly inspiring places, and they remind you just how diverse and brimming with life a British meadow can be.  And for a lifelong naturalist and butterfly enthusiast like me spending a couple of sunny days at Shallowford was an absolute treat.  I came here in early June, with cameraman Mike Hutchinson, to film and photograph marsh fritillaries because they are key to a scheme I’m setting up to promote wildlife friendly food in the UK.  Rhos pastures need to be grazed for this butterfly’s food plant, devils bit scabious, to thrive.  And only by the right animals – either cattle or (as in the case of Shallowford) horses. Sheep graze the plants too low and don’t churn the soil sufficiently.  Marsh fritillaries have declined massively across the UK over the last 50 years, but in the few remaining areas where they are found, charity Butterfly Conservation is working closely with farmers to make sure their habitat is managed so that the butterflies can start to recover. Clearly this work is paying off because Shallowford’s pastures were absolutely buzzing with bugs of all kinds, including dozens of marsh fritillaries, and a few of the equally threatened small pearl bordered fritillary.

Looking after these butterflies means ensuring that farmers are looked after too, and that they are recognised and rewarded for the tremendous work they do managing this rare habitat. That’s where our butterfly beef comes in.  By selling beef from rhos pastures and marketing it as benefitting rare butterflies we will be raising awareness of the plight of our rarest farmland wildlife, and by paying farmers a better price we will incentivise farmers to care for endangered species like the marsh fritillary.

We are in the process of setting up and funding the social enterprise that will run the scheme, and we aim to have the butterfly beef on sale online early next year, as part of a growing range of foods from farmers that go the extra mile to protect rare plants and animals on their land.  Anyone wanting to hear more about the scheme can contact me on timwmartin@mac.com.

 

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The Shallowford Trust – A charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England & Wales
Registered office: East Shallowford Farm, Widecombe in the Moor, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 7PW
Charity number: 1105186 Company no: 4430825