The Lastest

Looking ahead – the Cycle Ride is coming up!!!

Looking ahead – the Cycle Ride is coming up!!!

It is going to be a very busy year for the team with many more groups coming to enjoy the farm, learn from the animals and immerse themselves in the wild spaces around us. Please do keep an eye on …

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Mums and Daughters enjoy the farm

Ten of them came and spent a wonderful few days of quality time with each other. As well as working with the animals and walking on the moors, there were many deep discussions around relationships and the meaning of True …

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Wonderful Work Party

A select few came once again and blessed us all here at the farm with energy, enthusiasm and muscle power! As always the list of tasks was long but they stuck at it and produced plenty of fire wood stacked …

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Let it Snow, let it snow

For 5 days at the end of January we hunkered down and enjoyed that wonderful silence that comes with the snow. It was so beautiful, so quiet and so annoying!!! It must be my age – love it for a …

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Praise the Lord for New Beginnings

It is difficult to believe that the decision shared with the Trustees last September is about to be fulfilled.It is all very surreal, with only a few weeks left here at Shallowford after 5 exciting years. It is a decision …

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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


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God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:25

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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