The Bevis Trust

For Wildlife Management

  • Red Squirrel

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | June 15, 2020

    Some years ago we were contacted by the Cistercian monks who own 600 acre Caldey Island off the Welsh coast. Once farmed, it was now falling into desuetude and the few monks still there were getting elderly. We first arranged to rid the island of Brown Rats (Rattus norvegicus) by systematic poisoning over two winters using pest control contractors. Then, through the…
  • Otterly wonderful

    By The Bevis Trust In , | June 25, 2019

    The sun never has to try very hard to lure me away from a desk and computer screen, and Thursday was no different.   All day it teased, dancing between ominous clouds but when it finally showed promise to stay a while, I happily pressed ‘save’ and closed the lid on my laptop. Eyeing the Himalayan…
  • Beaver watching

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , | June 4, 2019

    With the long summer evenings we have quite a few visitors coming to see the beavers. Currently the beavers emerge around 20.15, but sometimes earlier than this. While most people get to see them, some don’t realise that you have to sit still, without speaking and just watching quietly. Beavers hear and smell very well…
  • Climate change on the farm

    By The Bevis Trust In , | June 2, 2019

    The recent protests and awareness of climate change are what the Bevis Trust is all about. How can we somehow reconcile the needs of producing food for an ever-expanding human population while at the same time reducing carbon emissions and improving biodiversity? It’s all very well talking about it. How to actually do it? Here…
  • Otters

    By The Bevis Trust In , | April 30, 2019

    In theory it’s lovely to have otters on the lake, like this one caught on camera last night. The reality is that they have cleaned out all the fish and if this one stays much longer it will kill all the young goslings, ducklings, moorhens and dabchicks. In years when an otter takes up residence…
  • Caldey Red Squirrels

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | April 28, 2019

    I did an interview with Jemima Childs last week for her university project. Jemima is the daughter of Ben who manages Caldey Island. Great news to hear that our Red Squirrel colony that we started two years ago has now reached about 30 individuals. Some of them are getting tame enough for visitors to see…
  • Beaver update

    By The Bevis Trust In , | April 26, 2019

    After three years of answering increasingly silly questions from Natural Resources Wales about our Beaver re-introduction programme we have withdrawn the application. We spent £6,000 providing the veterinary Disease Risk Assessment which has been passed by the Chief Veterinary Officer but then NRW wanted us to undertake water quality surveys of the entire river catchment…
  • Beavers in Wales

    By The Bevis Trust In , | April 25, 2019

    Bryony Coles, formerly Professor of Prehistory at the University of Exeter has just published an interesting book: Avanke, Bever, Castor: the story of Beavers in Wales. She examines the evidence for the presence of Beavers since the last Ice Age, as sub-fossil remains, in place names and myths, and in the written records since Geraldus…
  • DEFRA and General Licences

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | April 24, 2019

    DEFRA has rescinded the General Licence to control a number of pest species such as crows, following a legal challenge by a pressure group ‘Wild Justice’. Now DEFRA are busy sorting out a new legal route which no doubt will entail more red tape and a wider disregard of the law in the countryside. Crows…
  • Ponds and Trees

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | April 24, 2019

    We have had a manic year at the Bevis Trust. During the summer drought Steve managed to get the heavy digger into places that are normally too soft to support the machine. The ponds that he managed to open out need a lot of replanting and this work will continue for a season or two…
  • Water Rail

    By The Bevis Trust In , | November 12, 2018

    It was lovely to collect in the wildlife cameras this morning and find that we had been visited over the weekend by a water rail. We have picked up one before on camera so hopefully it means we have a resident. The cameras are currently set to find out which beavers are doing what. We…
  • Storm Callum

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | October 16, 2018

    Callum certainly made his presence known over the weekend with many branches and trees down locally. At Ricketts Mill water was the issue. The rivers came up with alarming speed and flooded much of the area around the lakes. This of course put pressure on the fences but Neil and his team had built them…
  • More New Ponds

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , | August 21, 2018

    With the help of Steve and his digger we have made a couple of new ponds this summer and they are now starting to fill. It will be some time before they are naturalised and it’s a fascinating process to watch. To speed nature along a little we have sown some pond-edge wildflower mixes and…
  • Spring Update

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , | May 8, 2018

    It has been manic on the farm for weeks. The tree planting was completed in time, with 18,000 mixed hardwoods gone in. We cut a new track across this north bank and while it is raw is a good time to get new plants established. So we have transplanted bluebells, primroses and snowdrops from other…
  • Beavers

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | April 4, 2018

    We have changed the clocks and now the evenings are much lighter. This means that we can again see beavers in the evenings. It’s still a little early yet but in the next week or so visitors should be able to get a good hour or more of sightings. The hide is ready to go…
  • White Storks

    By The Bevis Trust In , | March 27, 2018

    Although the white stork is doing pretty well in Europe (but it’s part of a very small group doing well, many more are in dire straights) it has been absent from Britain since 1416. Moves are now afoot to get the white stork breeding in Britain again and we have been lucky enough to be…
  • Cold Weather

    By The Bevis Trust In | March 11, 2018

    Here in West Wales we were late getting the snow and quick to lose it. No so good for sledging and making snowmen but it has been great for bird spotting. Over the past few weeks the farm has become a haven for many species we see either rarely or fleetingly. Redwings and fieldfares have…
  • Scottish Beaver Consultation

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | February 14, 2018

    The Scottish Government are consulting on beavers in Scotland: Have your say.  
  • Tree Planting

    By The Bevis Trust In , | February 6, 2018

    We are currently plating about 16 acres of deciduous woodland as part of the carbon woodland creation scheme. We were very keen for the woodland to be planted in a random pattern rather than in lines or waves. Random planting makes it much harder for the planters to achieve the correct stocking rate but the…
  • Beavers: An American View

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | February 5, 2018

    A good podcast about beavers making a comeback in America:
  • Changing Times

    By The Bevis Trust In | January 8, 2018

    Michael Gove’s speech at the Oxford Farming Conference this week gives a clearer picture of where things are heading in in the farming scene. While he proposes to continue Single Farm Payments until Brexit, the transition will move away from area payments towards environmental benefits for the public good. Of course we have seen…
  • Winter

    By The Bevis Trust In | December 21, 2017

    It is a quiet time of year for the beavers. They do not actually hibernate and in mild weather are active every night. In the autumn they collected plenty of willows and buried them in the bottom of their ponds so that they can access them even if the surface is sealed with ice. They’ve…
  • Spring is Here!

    By The Bevis Trust In | November 10, 2017

    An early spring in West Wales….
  • Great Oaks From Little Acorns Grow.

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , | October 31, 2017

    It’s been a good mast year for acorns and we’ve collected plenty. We are planting up about 7 hectares (17.3ac) of the steep north facing banks. Bracken is rapidly taking over on these banks and with Azulox being phased out, it is almost impossible to control it. The banks are too steep for a tractor…
  • Squirrels!

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , | September 15, 2017

    We were asked by the Caldey Island Estate some time ago if we could help them achieve a long held ambition for free living red squirrels on the island. It’s been a long haul and the first job was to eradicate the rats. Quotes were gathered and funding sought and 18 months ago West Wales Pest…
  • Moonshadow

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | July 11, 2017

    My dog woke me at inordinately early this morning.   I sleepily let her out and couldn’t help but notice the full moon lighting the yard, and the rush of cool, sweet air meeting my face as the door opened. I went back to bed and relished the warm wrap of my duvet.    Sisal’s bark disappeared…
  • Beavers

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , , , | July 10, 2017

    Nick has done a guest post on our friend Jim Barrington’s blog:
  • A Visitors View

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , , | July 5, 2017

    One of our lovely beaver watching guests has written about her experience on her blog. You can read it here:     
  • Sitting Tenants

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , , | July 4, 2017

    The young swallows have left the nest in the beaver hide and are sitting on the beams, plucking up courage for that first sally into the air. We were a bit worried that they wouldn’t manage to get any youngsters off this year.  
  • Beaver Study Days

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , , | June 30, 2017

    We’ve had two beaver study days this week hosted by the Bevis Trust and Alicia Leow-Dyke from Wildlife Trusts Wales. On Tuesday we had 11 staff from Natural Resources Wales, two from Welsh Government and ten from local councils. On Wednesday we had 20 representatives from a variety of NGOs and Universities. It was a…
  • Water Rail

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , , | June 19, 2017

    Sion has been busy camera trapping and has come across a species only seen here once before, many years ago – the water rail. We can only hope that the wetland habitats we are creating with the help of the beavers are bringing these shy and elusive birds to the farm. Drew
  • A Busy Time

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , , , , | June 12, 2017

    It’s been manic on the farm recently. This prolonged wet and windy weather has made silage making a gamble and Eirian just got the last lot in at two in the morning before the heavens opened yet again. Many big tree branches, heavy with wet leaves, have been blown down in the strong winds. The…
  • Beaver Watching – Online Booking

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , , | May 26, 2017

    We now have an on-line system for booking and paying for beaver watching experiences. Just follow the link… 
  • A Little Piece of Upland

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , , , | May 11, 2017

    Here on the farm we have a tiny vestigial piece of upland, it’s tucked away on a bank alongside a farm track and is so tiny you’d barely notice it. There are a few tufts of heather, some rowans and a fair sprinkling of blaeberries. It’s wonderful to see the tiny berries starting to appear…
  • May Day on the Farm.

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , , | May 5, 2017

    Spring has been slow, which is how we like it. Birds are nesting everywhere. The wrens in the Bevis Shed are nesting in the motor of the sawmill so we cannot mill any planks. An immaculate pair of bullfinches are busy shredding fruit buds in the orchard, which is not so good. I watched at…
  • Beaver Watching

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , , | April 19, 2017

    Nick has built a lovely new bench down at Skinny Dipping pond. It gives a gorgeous view of the pond and the valley. In the next couple of weeks beavers will start to become very active in the later daylight hours, usually from around 19.00. It’s the time we love the best, just sitting, watching…
  • Predator Control

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , | April 10, 2017

    I’ve just returned from New Zealand where there has been a major crisis in wildlife management ever since mammalian predators were introduced in Victorian times. Rats, stoats, weasels, ferrets, cats, hedgehogs, possums, rabbits, hares, pigs, goats and deer all either predate native wildlife or wreck the habitat. Efforts have been made to control their numbers,…
  • Devon Beavers

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , , | March 29, 2017

    Devon Wildlife Trust have put together a wonderful document about beavers and their place in the environment. Click the picture to visit Devon Wildlife Trust and read the report or we do have a limited number of paper copies in the office.
  • In Like a Lion…

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , | March 20, 2017

    …out like a lamb, or so they say about March. We are almost into the last week of the month and it’s still feeling very lion-like and the forecast is only set to get colder and wetter through the week. It’s making the reinstatement work very difficult at Ricketts Mill. A few dry days last…
  • New Ponds and Frogs

    By The Bevis Trust In , , , | March 13, 2017

    Really gratifying to see new tadpoles hatching in one of the ponds we have recently made. Toads are doing well here too but it’s saddening to see how many are being killed on the road every night. The herons too are taking their toll. They kill them but then find them unpalatable so it’s a…
  • And So It Begins…

    By The Bevis Trust In | March 13, 2017

    Another healthy crop of Himalayan balsam is germinating. At this time of year you can really see the effects of its powerful seed projection mechanism. The old stalks are still clearly visible and the newly germinated seedlings can be spotted up to 4 metres away. Its rate of spread is quite terrifying.   Drew
  • Frogs and Beavers

    By The Bevis Trust In | February 21, 2017

    What a remarkable evening! I went down to count the beavers in the Skinny Dipping pond enclosure last night to find them all there and very busy but I also found that the water was alive with frogs. Once the noise from the quad had drifted away the frog chorus started in earnest and their…
  • Spring!

    By The Bevis Trust In | February 17, 2017

    I know it’s an every day sort of thing but I have to admit that this morning I was transported for a few minutes! I went down to the far end on the far to check on the tack sheep – they seem to get stuck in brambles for a pastime, when I stopped the…
  • Visits and Events

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | February 16, 2017

    Yesterday we hosted a group of interested folks from both NRW and Carmarthen Council. Organised by Craig at JCR Planning, it was a great opportunity to talk to people about the work we are doing at Ricketts Mill and the broader beaver project. Over the past couple of weeks we have also attended the PONT…
  • The Good Guys

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | February 1, 2017

    Western Power Distribution – what can I say? Their amazing guys have been working to get the old power lines down today in appalling conditions. A real heroic effort. And what a difference it’s made. Already the view is much improved but much more importantly, wildfowl and other birds visiting the lakes are now much…
  • Natural Resources Policy

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | January 23, 2017

    Last week Jo and I attended the Natural Resources Policy Consultation Engagement Event in Cardiff. The title is certainly a mouthful and it was with some trepidation that we traveled to the capital, fearing perhaps some jargon laden attempt at schmoozing the environmental ‘stakeholders’. We could not have been more wrong, yes, of course there was a…
  • Progress Down at t’Mill

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | January 18, 2017

    We have been making great progress down at Ricketts Mill. Steve has been pulling back the banks of the former trout lake to create shallow areas and we have been planting some of these with reeds. Reed planting is on hold for a while because of avian flu. We are planting up the exposed earth…
  • Establishing Wetlands

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | December 16, 2016

    We have been very busy down at Ricketts Mill. The plan is to turn the old trout farm into a focal point for the Trust’s activities where students and land managers can come to get first-hand experience of management techniques. The existing lake was built for trout fishing and drops sheer at the banks to…
  • A Plea for Tree Seeds

    By The Bevis Trust In | December 13, 2016

    Did you keep any acorns? Scots Pine cones? Hazel nuts? Any other native tree seeds? Would you like them to go to a good home? The Bevis Trust would love you to send us your tree seeds so that we can plant them in our tree nursery and use the (hopefully) resultant saplings to plant…
  • Looking Back

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | December 12, 2016

    The summer seems so far away now. Daylight seems so brief and the mist lingers all day. However, my day was brightened immensely when a DVD containing lots of wonderful photographs from our friend David Woodfall arrived. He spent many happy hours in the summer photographing the top pond beavers and their kits. Seeing all…
  • Frosty Days

    By The Bevis Trust In , | December 1, 2016

    It’s been a busy time with the beavers. We worked flat out to get the new beaver fence ready at the new enclosure, trapped a family of five and got them in, only to find that one of the adults found a weak place in the new fence and escaped. To make matters worse, three…
  • Momentous News!

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | November 24, 2016

    It has just been announced that the beaver is now recognised as a native species in Scotland! The implications for the rest of the UK have yet to be seen but this can only be a positive step for the Welsh and English beaver reintroduction projects. Read more about it here
  • Beavering Away

    By The Bevis Trust In , | November 8, 2016

    October has been dry and we have had a lovely Indian summer. Yesterday there were still dragonflies on the ponds. We have been very busy on the farm making the most of it while it lasts. Pete, James and Linda finished the fiddly bits of fencing down at Skinny Dipping Pond that has now become…
  • Owl Update

    By The Bevis Trust In , | October 3, 2016

    Like a child leaving home our visiting barn owl has moved on with mixed feelings from the staff. His recovery was very rapid thanks to the expert care of our aviculturalists and as we had a spell of settled weather looming we thought that getting him back out to his home territory was the best…
  • Slurry Pits

    By The Bevis Trust In , | October 2, 2016

    A neighbour delivered a Barn Owl here on Thursday. He had found it floundering in his slurry pit. It was exhausted and caked in slurry. We tube fed it with finely ground up mouse that we give the baby falcons, and with electrolytes to provide fluids. Then we left it in a dark warm box…
  • The End of Summer

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | September 18, 2016

    We are still at the farm in Northumberland where we are having a lovely Indian summer, with morning mist in the valleys burning off to reveal bright sunlit landscapes. We have been working with the falcons, flying them every day at robotic prey birds and learning more and more about their development and flying skills…
  • Baseline Survey

    By The Bevis Trust In , | September 6, 2016

    Due to the success of our breeding beavers this year we thought it only fair to give them a little more space. We are creating a new pen for them, it will be approximately 1ha in size and will give the occupants access to willow, a pond, streams, bog and thick vegetation. Alicia, the Welsh…
  • Lynx in Kielder

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | August 18, 2016

    Last week I attended a public consultation meeting hosted by the Lynx Trust for local people in the Kielder area. We have managed a 200 acre farm that abuts directly onto the Kielder forest area for 25 years. The meeting was a classic example of how not to go about reintroducing a tricky species like…
  • Never Work With Animals…

    By The Bevis Trust In | August 12, 2016

    …so the saying goes. It was proved wrong last night. We were delighted to have a visit from a group of wildlife and countryside professionals with the specific focus on seeing the beavers. Always a little nervous when folks are keen to see something so it was with some trepidation that Jo and I led…
  • Beavers

    By The Bevis Trust In | August 4, 2016

    Just a lovely photo of one of our beavers by Alicia…
  • Visitors and Invaders

    By The Bevis Trust In | August 3, 2016

    While I was trying (unsuccessfully) to catch a fish for my dinner down at Ricketts Mill last night I was joined by a much more adept fisher. A huge dog otter slipped quietly into the lake and spend some time hunting. I didn’t see the result but I’m pretty sure he might have something to…
  • Beavers on the Lake

    By The Bevis Trust In , | August 1, 2016

    Although we have seen beavers taking willow branches into the lodge on the lake since early May, we have yet to see the kits. Drew was out late the other night and caught images with the thermal imaging scope, but he could not be sure if they were beavers or water voles. Are water voles…
  • Rewilding and More

    By The Bevis Trust In , | July 21, 2016

    Last week Jo and I attended a meeting at the Knepp Estate down in West Sussex. There, the owners Charlie Burrell and Izzie Tree have devoted their 3,500 acre estate to an ambitious re-wilding project.We took the opportunity to have a walk around some of the estate.   Later that evening I enjoyed staying in their…
  • Bluebells

    By The Bevis Trust In , | July 15, 2016

    Call me a sentimental old fool if you like, but I do think that no woodland is complete without some bluebells! When we plant new woods we need to think of all the herbs and shrubs as well as the trees and it is always a delight in spring to see the bluebells. Sometimes I…
  • A Busy Evening

    By The Bevis Trust In , | July 13, 2016

    A very busy evening on the lake last night. The goslings, now all pretty much fully feathered, were practicing their flying skills to a huge cacophony from their parents. The nest in the new hide has yielded its first chicks – at least three hungry wee swallows. The little yellow diamond shaped open beaks were…
  • Grey Squirrels

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | July 12, 2016

    If anyone doubts the damage that grey squirrels can do in a young woodland here is an oak I came across. They have effectively killed this poor thing and many others in the wood. Oak, ash and beech have all been targets. Drew
  • Fledgelings

    By The Bevis Trust In , | July 11, 2016

    This is a time of year full of hope, tinged with sadness. All the young animals are leaving their nests and burrows, but they are so vulnerable, and many don’t make it. Evolution has planned ahead and compensated by creating bigger broods, but even so the attrition rate can be horrendous. There have been lots…
  • Another Beaver Film

    By The Bevis Trust In , | July 6, 2016

    Here’s a little film Nick shot of a beaver grooming. It’s a treat to watch how much effort she goes to to keep her fur in prime condition. Interesting fact of the day: beavers have a split claw which is a special adaptation for grooming.
  • First Pictures!

    By The Bevis Trust In , | June 30, 2016

    The beaver kits are emerging. Nick managed to film some of their activity last night…
  • Another Beaver Family.

    By The Bevis Trust In , | June 27, 2016

    We’ve been trying to find out what is happening with the beavers on the middle pond. Drew has put up a couple of camera traps and I have been seeing them use a burrow up at the deep end of the pond. The problem is that their pond backs up into a narrow heavily wooded…
  • Beavers

    By The Bevis Trust In , | June 24, 2016

    We are pretty confident that the top and lake beavers now have kits but we are not sure about the middle beavers. Last night I spent a little time observing the pen and didn’t spot any kits but I did manage to get close to this chap. I sneaked up to the fence and he…
  • Glorious

    By The Bevis Trust In | June 23, 2016

    It’s a glorious misty morning here in Carmarthenshire today, with the promise of a bright sunny day to follow. I couldn’t resist an early morning quad ride round the farm, more rabbits than I’ve seen for years bobbed away at my approach and bejeweled cobwebs hung everywhere. It was quite magical. The greylag goslings are…
  • The New Hide

    By The Bevis Trust In , | June 20, 2016

    Just realised we haven’t shown you a picture of the new hide! Well, here it is in all it’s glory. You have to see it ‘in person’ to really appreciate Nick’s work with the door and handle….it’s gorgeous!  
  • First Beaver Kits Emerge!

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | June 19, 2016

    Last night was a busy time at the top beaver pond. First I couldn’t get into the hide because a kingfisher had taken it over as a hunting perch. After a while he moved further up the pond and I managed to sneak in. I watched him all around me for about half an hour.…
  • Exploring

    By The Bevis Trust In , | June 17, 2016

    We are spending time exploring down at Ricketts Mill. Every visit turns up a new delight. From the many hundreds of tiny frogs to the burgeoning plant life. Over the next few months we’ll be making some important changes and we’ll keep you updated via the blog. The initial plan will be to soften the…
  • Bevis Trust purchases Rickets Mill

    By The Bevis Trust In , | June 14, 2016

    After about six years of negotiations, the Bevis Trust has now purchased Rickets Mill, a 14 acre trout farm adjoining the west end of the farm. This is the first property actually in the name of the Bevis Trust, the intention being that the entire farm will eventually be taken over by the Trust. The…
  • Yet another new species!

    By The Bevis Trust In , | June 14, 2016

    We accidentally ran over a weasel today with a quad bike on the track below Tula’s Wood. We have never seen a weasel on the farm before. Because we have reduced the grazing pressure on all the north banks, there is a lot more rough grass and this is thick underneath so that voles can…
  • Another Species

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | June 6, 2016

    We have another species to add to our growing list. This morning Nick was delighted to come across a slow worm basking near the main drive. We have relocated him to a slightly less risky spot!
  • The Year Moves On

    By The Bevis Trust In , , | May 29, 2016

    Lots of neighbours are on the silage now. The pattern of farming is changing each year. Two of our neighbours have died and their land is let to another neighbour who has committed big time to dairying and built new sheds. So contractors are whizzing round the lanes in massive tractors taking the cut grass…
  • Ticks

    By The Bevis Trust In , | May 24, 2016

    As the tick season gets underway it never hurts to remind that tick-borne diseases can be particularly nasty (I speak through experience) and anything you can do to minimise your expose to ticks is a good thing. Have a look at for useful information about ticks and how to deal with them. Ticks don’t care…
  • Progress

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 20, 2016

    The beaver hide is coming along nicely… A turf roof and waney-edged larch boards should go on in the next few days.
  • New Woodlands

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 19, 2016

    We have some steep north facing slopes on the farm that are gradually being taken over by encroaching bracken. Azulox has been phased out for spraying bracken and the slopes are too steep for machinery. Even with heavy grazing or hoof pressure there is no realistic cost-efficient way of controlling the bracken and we are…
  • Willow casts a critical eye over the new hide

    By The Bevis Trust In , | May 17, 2016

    Willow casts a critical eye over the new hide.
  • Litter

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 16, 2016

    5 minutes on the road side, probably in a distance of less than 100m yielded half a feed bag full of cans, bottles and food wrappers. We are 6 miles out of town, one can only assume that it takes 6 miles to eat a hamburger and drink an energy drink as the detritus always…
  • Eggs!

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 16, 2016

    At this time of year all the birds are busy nesting. The males are singing their hearts out proclaiming their territories and everyone is busy building nests and incubating eggs. Yesterday some geese took off heading towards the lake, and one of them shed a tiny white fluffy feather. As the feather drifted down, a…
  • Busy Beavers…

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 13, 2016

    My lurking in the bushes might be paying off. Last night just on dusk I was down by the lake watching a water vole when a beaver swam past towing a spray of fresh green willow leaves. Just then a pair of mallards flushed noisily from the far bank and alarmed her. With a quick…
  • Hide Building

    By The Bevis Trust In , | May 12, 2016

    We are busy planking up some of the larch that Nick planted over 30 years ago. It’s great to be able to use our home grown timber on projects such as the new hide.    
  • Rewilding and More

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 10, 2016

    I attended a conference titled ‘Re-wilding Dorset’ last week. I stayed overnight with Bevis Trust Trustee Kate Hall, whose husband Tim is Farm Manager on the Cranbourne Estate. This estate formerly had a shoot based on farmed gamebirds but recently Lord Cranbourne has decided to switch solely to wild indigenous Grey Partridges. Whatever one’s views…
  • Beavers

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 9, 2016

    I’m spending far too much time lurking in the bushes by the water with my field-glasses hoping to see a female exposing her nipples. Hang on! It’s not what you’re thinking (those days are well over). The thing is, beavers have their kits about now but for six weeks or so they keep them safely…
  • A New Beaver Hide

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 9, 2016

    Today has seen the start of the new beaver hide on the lake. The uprights are in place and tomorrow we should get the floor in.
  • Moorhens

    By The Bevis Trust In , | May 7, 2016

    She’s been laying an egg a day, should be a good brood this year. Let’s hope the legions of egg thieves can keep their paws and beaks to themselves.
  • Oak Before Ash…

    By The Bevis Trust In , | May 6, 2016

    …in for a splash. Ash before oak, in for a soak. So the old rhyme goes. After the wettest winter anyone can remember perhaps we are due a dry summer. We can only hope that we will continue to enjoy ash trees here but we are already seeing signs of ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, formerly…
  • Geese

    By The Bevis Trust In , | May 5, 2016

    We now have five tubby little greylag goslings paddling around on the lake. It’s great to see their numbers growing year on year despite the preponderance of Canadas. The beaver fence has made a huge difference to their survivability, foxes now cannot approach with quite as much ease. Drew
  • Farm Payments and More

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 3, 2016

    We’ve just completed our Single Farm Payment application. Some people think farmers are rolling in it, and who knows, maybe the barley barons in the east are doing very well. Here in Wales, the story is very different. About 15 years or so ago, the farm payments switched from headage payments (paying per head of…
  • Habitat Creation

    By The Bevis Trust In | May 3, 2016

    Over the weekend we saw the first dipper on the farm. This engaging little bird was not on our species list and the fact that it has now appeared can most likely be due to the beavers creating the type of habitat favoured by the dipper. We have also had a whimbrel passing through recently, though…
  • April

    By The Bevis Trust In , | April 28, 2016

    30 April 2016 I like April, it’s like a strip tease in reverse. The farm is down to its bare bones after the winter, everything is visible. And then we get a few sunny days and the trees put on their first delicate leaves, like gossamer underwear, with sunlight dappling through them. We lamb in…
  • The Bevis Trust

    By The Bevis Trust In | April 25, 2016

    It’s taken several years to get this far with the Bevis Trust. Finally we have created a ‘starter pack’ of Trustees and registered a Not for Profit Company and opened a bank account for the Company (which took a mere three months). What has taken the time has been developing the vision of where we…