Wild Lethytep

Transforming a farm into a Cornish Wildlife Haven

What does Lethytep Farm do for nature?

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Lethytep in Penadlake is one of Cornwall’s top wildlife gardens. Located in a sheltered valley at Penadlake near Lanreath, Lostwithiel, Lethytep is a wonderful example of a working farm that has transformed into a wildlife haven.

This 52 acre site, with woodland, meadows, lakes and paths, has plenty to interest the keenest naturalist and gardener. Meandering paths lead along a grass meadow, through the woods and then out on to a wetland area of wildflowers, orchids, which attract dragonflies and butterflies.

Landowner Phillip Hambly has not used sprays or modern fertilisers and prefers traditional methods of farming. He has added a lake and sensitively managed the fields, woodlands and hedges. Around 100 species of bird have been spotted at Lethytep, and thousands of orchids can be found in the fields along with traditional wildflowers – agrimony, cat’s ear, ragged robin, meadowsweet, plantain, yellow rattle, ox eye daisy, and many more. The land is alive with insects, moths, butterflies and dragonflies, while ducks, moorhens, coots and grebes nest amongst the reeds.

Philip is always keen to show visitors around his beautiful garden, point out the various wildlife locations and explain why he started the project.

“Keeping cattle and sheep for nearly fifty years gave us an insight into modern farming methods and we have seen first hand how the prolific use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides had taken a terrible toll on wildlife”.

“That experience kindled our interest in more sustainable ways of behaving as stewards of the countryside. Our response has been to develop wildflower meadows, wetlands, lakes and woodland at Lethytep as managed wildlife habitats”

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