Tag Archives: Mayfield

30 Days Wild 2016 – Days 25 & 26

We’ve had two really good wild days this weekend.

Yesterday we went to Mayfield Lavender, an organic lavender farm really close to us. I wasn’t sure how much lavender would be flowering at the moment as it is still quite early in the season, so was pleasantly surprised when we arrived to see how much purple there was already. We parked in a local park and walked through the meadow and woodland to get there – it is a really nice walk – and then spent over an hour walking among the lavender. In order to keep the organic status of the lavender the owners of the farm use a great method to control the pest species, the Rosemary beetle.. they ask the local children to collect the beetles in jam jars and then reward them with a sweet! My three love collecting the beetles, spotting all the other insects and I always find we are much calmer after being there for any time. That wonderful smell! Yesterday we collected hundreds of beetles (so if you are local then please go and help out too!), we saw lots of cuckoo spit and froghoppers, a couple of grasshoppers and crickets, flies, bees, ladybirds, and bugs and beetles.

12And today, as well as playing in the garden all the time we’ve been at home, we took a walk to our local ecology centre this afternoon and had, in Jasmine’s words, a brilliant time! On the way there Ben spotted a June Bug (Summer Chafer beetle) and whilst at the ecology centre we saw butterflies, moths, newts and slow worms galore, two toads, a couple of grasshoppers and plenty of small insects. The spot of the day was the largest Slow worm we think we’ve ever seen! It was easily over a foot long! Jasmine confidently picked it up and held it safely so we could all get a good look at it.. she is amazing that girl! She now, of course, wants to go back as soon as possible to look for it again and has told Gordon that, in future she is to be in charge of picking up the slow worms because she is better than him!1 2TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_25 TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_26


The perils of being a bug hunter

Yesterday morning was tag team parenting by me and Gordon. I went out for my morning walk before anyone else was awake but as soon as I got back Gordon had to take the car to the garage. When he got back home I went straight out to have my eyes tested and do a bit of shopping! So the kids played Lego and Meccano (judging by the toys on the floor when I got home!)

After lunch we decided to go out to Mayfield Lavender again. Its such a lovely place to visit, and being only 10 minutes away means we can drop in when we only have a couple of hours but fancy going out somewhere.

As a last minute idea, Gordon grabbed his little camera and we told the kids that once we got there they could each take a 15 minute turn with it, taking pictures of whatever they wanted, They have been asking to do this ever since we put it on our #30DaysWild list, so they were thrilled we finally remembered (even if we were 14 days late!).

It was a little cloudy, but still hot yesterday and the lavender field was full of bees, butterflies and other insects. Ben took first turn with the camera and Jasmine seemed intent on playing with any bees she found on the floor.

Ben’s pictures are brilliant, especially when you consider that he had never really taken any photos before! He thought about each photo and saw lots of interesting things to capture. This is just a selection..

ben1ben2And there were also these too, which while they are a little blurry they do serve as a reminder of the day and what happened a bit later (keep reading!)….

ben3Jasmine had her turn next and as expected, she took lots of photos of insects too. She sees beauty in things others would not and looking through her photos always makes me smile!J1J2She also took several photo of the rest of us, and some general ones of the field and surrounding area.J3Out of all three kids, Thomas probably took the most photos with other people in. He did take photos of bees and insects like the others but he also framed us quite nicely in several too.T1T2I love that last one of the bee in flight!

As the afternoon had gone on Jasmine was still picking bees up, trying to carry them round or stroke them! I warned her and warned her that if she wasn’t very careful she would get stung and she repeated assured me she was being careful and the bees didn’t mind. Well, most of the bees didn’t mind but then, just as we were thinking about leaving, she¬†picked up one last bee and got stung on her finger ūüôĀ There was screaming and crying (and she tried to blame me even though I was about 10 feet away from her!) and it did swell up, but luckily she didn’t have any more of a reaction that that and by the time we walked back down the field to see if they had any first aid in the little shop it was already feeling better! The lovely ladies put some lavender oil on it and all the kids got a sweet, and that all seemed to help too.

Once back at home we put the TV on and asked her to have some quiet time to recover because later on that evening she was going climbing with her Brownie pack and climbing with a swollen finger could be tricky! Luckily, the swelling did go down pretty quickly and she had a brilliant time climbing and has asked to go again!

Today has been an altogether less eventful day! This morning I bought myself a new Kindle in the Amazon Prime Day deals ūüôā My old Kindle packed up a few weeks ago and I was resigned to waiting until my birthday in September before I could afford a new one so when I saw it was only ¬£39.99 today I jumped at the chance to get one now! The boys played Lego upstairs and Jasmine did some drawing, copying a picture from the Beast Quest annual we got at the car boot sale on Sunday.drawingThis afternoon the kids went to forest school and Gordon and I went for a walk around Nonsuch Park. We didn’t get back home until late as forest school finished late and then we had to go to the Chinese supermarket to buy some things for dinner, so it was just TV when we got home. After dinner was a hair cut for Thomas, tidying up for Jasmine and then Ninjago on TV before bed, We also started reading the first Beast Quest book. Thomas has shown an interest in them so I am hoping that if I start reading them he will take over at some point!



Lavender, Beetles and Butterflies

We are extremely lucky where we live that there are so many wonderful places to visit within just a few miles, for anything from an hour to a whole day. One of the most beautiful places at this time of year is only a couple of miles down the road.


Mayfield Lavender is a 25 acre family run organic lavender farm open every day to the public from 1st June to 30th Spetember. It is free to visit and this year has the added attraction (for us, not them sadly) of bug hunting. They are suffering from a plague of Rosemary beetles and are asking visitors to help remove them by collecting them in little pots as they walk round the field.

We met up with our home education group on Wednesday and walked over to the lavender field for the first time this year. The sight you are greeted with as you approach is just stunning. A field of purple; it is beautiful.


We collected our pots and walked in to the lavender. The kids all got stuck in, hunting for the beetles and as predicted Jasmine was excellent at spotting them! Thomas disappeared off further along the field with the bigger boys but the field is so open we could see him all the time so it was nice to give him this freedom. Jasmine and Ben were too busy bug hunting to bother with much else and we struggled to keep them moving as they were on a mission to collect as  many beetles as possible!

Mayfield3 Mayfield5Mayfield4It wasn’t just rosemary beetles that we found during the afternoon. There were lots of bees and butterflies flying around the lavender, and there were almost as many soldier beetles as rosemary beetles! We also saw quite a few ladybirds and ladybird larvae and after listening to the sound of grasshoppers and trying to pinpoint one we finally managed and Jasmine caught it.

Mayfield 9 Mayfield 10Mayfield 14 Mayfield6 Mayfield7 Mayfield8After a while we all headed over to some shade under a tree and rested for a while. The kids continued playing and bug hunting, and spent some time comparing how many beetles they had each found!

I really tried to get a couple of good shots of the kids in the lavender too but they weren’t playing ball at all! It was too hot, too bright, too sunny and other such reasons why they could stand still and look at the camera! I did manage to get a couple of ok-ish pictures but I think it is a perfect reason to go back soon and try again!

Mayfield 13 Mayfield 12 Mayfield 11We ended the afternoon by handing our bug catch over to the ladies in the shop and all the kids got a little sweet as a reward! It was a perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon with friends.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Another day, another lavender field

After a very lazy morning this morning we met up with friends at another local lavender field this afternoon.

Mayfield Lavender is a family run lavender farm about 10 minutes from our house. It is free to visit and you can walk through the lavender, soaking up the amazing smell and view. There is a shop and cafe, where you can relax with an ice cream or purchase lavender products, gifts and plants.

Today we walked round the fields, well actually the adults walked round the fields while the kids ran, wrestled and chased each other round! They hid amongst the plants, spotted bees by the hundreds, saw many different butterflies, played Fruit Salad and Duck, Duck, Goose and had a wonderful time.

It is a lovely place to visit and we will definitely be going back soon.

Mayfield Lavender