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Discovering the wildlife in our conservation area

We invited Ben Pulletz, 21-year-old award-winning wildlife photographer, to Myrtle Farm. We’ve been blown away by the images that he’s taken for us showcasing just some of the many tiny, and not so tiny, creatures he spotted in our conservation area, and in one of our apple orchards overlooking the mill.

We’ve been captivated by the detail he’s captured in these shots.

The conservation area, that runs alongside the Strawberry Line cycle and footpath alongside our mill, has been specially created by Thatchers with advice from Avon Wildlife Trust. Around an acre in size, and planted at the start of 2022, it’s already making a real contribution to the local environment and the biodiversity of the area.

Two areas of coppice woodland border a central grassland plateau where native species such as hawthorn and hazel, English oak and field maple, together with grasses and nectar-rich wildflowers are already feeing at home. This planting helps create sheltered micro-habitats, and aids the important retention of a dark corridor for bats and other wildlife.

With 500 acres of our own Somerset apple orchard, such as the one Ben visited, we already provide a home to a diverse habitat. Myrtle Farm has recorded 13 species of bat, as well as birds which are on the BOCC (Birds of Conservation Concern) Red and Amber lists, including house sparrow and redwing, grey wagtail and mistle thrush. It is hoped that the new conservation area will gradually become a familiar home to many of these species, with the trees and plants selected especially to create a protected and foraging-rich haven.

We look forward to welcoming Ben back to Myrtle Farm to capture on film more of this diverse habitat.

If you’d like to know more about Ben, you can find him at

@feathersandhills @benpulletz

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Thatchers Cider Company Ltd, Myrtle Farm, Sandford, Somerset, BS25 5RA