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This week Simon Beard, representing Hawk & Owl at the Shapwick Moor Reserve, met with Julie Merrett of Natural England and Holly & Bev Whitcombe. [Pictured]

Close to the Barbera Handley Hide on the reserve there are a few interesting signs of buildings that have been reclaimed by the land over time. A fascinating afternoon was spent hearing Bev speak about her memories of what once stood. 

Bevs' grandparents occupied a farmhouse on the site of the hide. Over the afternoon we located where various farm buildings would have been. The anecdotes Bev shared were about visits to this ancient farm, which boasted 5 cows, hayricks, and milk being taken to the station at Westhay.

Possibly the most charming moment of all was the discovery of the ancient Walnut tree that Bev talked about - as the childhood swing! 

Bev is kindly trying to locate some old family pictures of her times at the farm to share with us. We can’t wait to see what the site once looked like!

We are hopeful that later in the year the opportunity of a joint heritage project from both Hawk & Owl Trust and Natural England will commence. The aim is to expose the outlines of the old farm buildings,  highlighting and preserving the social history of the site for the future.


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