Saturday, 19 October 2013

Clinton Devon Estate - the perfect host!

A good mix of people attended the course 
 I ran a course on farmland wildlife last week in a beautiful part of south Devon, on the Clinton Devon Estate, which is not far from Budleigh Salterton. Sometimes when running a course, but certainly not always, everything slots neatly into place, so that I too can actually enjoy the day. This was one of those days!

You would not believe the unforeseen things that can exercise the mind when running these events, even though you think you have covered everything twice over! I could give you many examples, but for the time being how about this one. A number of years ago I organised a “farm walk” to see and discuss how best to manage for wildlife on the farm. It stated all the usual stuff on the invite – bring suitable footwear and wet weather clothing as this was an outside event etc. So, I was quite surprised to see a chap struggling out a car with his whole leg in plaster and being handed crutches, having apparently broken his ankle just the week before!! I quickly changed the well planned route so that he could follow around behind the walking group, in a four wheel-drive vehicle.
The event at Clinton Devon however was definitely at the other end of the scale. The inside part of the course was held in the very plush board room and the estate staff could not have been more helpful. The afternoon session was held out on the farm, in a most glorious part of Devonshire countryside and the weather was sunny and warm. What’s more there were lots of excellent habitats to look at and discuss.
We also had a great mixture of people attending – Farmers, Keepers, RSPB and National Trust amongst others. I find it very rewarding when you see this mix of folk talking together and in most cases finding out that they actually have much in common – tremendous!
So a big “thank you” to the Clinton Devon estate for hosting this enjoyable day and for helping me to keep any potential gremlins at bay!
A wonderful "weedy" stubble - perfect for a wide range of wildlife!

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