In the early summer we let grassland plants flower and seed. Besides giving us more and more wild flowers and insects, the long grass is habitat for small mammals to breed and cover for foxes and roe deer. The field mice and voles encourage owls and buzzards. The barn owl, the circling buzzards and the darting sparrowhawks discourage berry-eating birds from venturing into the open vineyard, helping to protect the ripening grapes.

We trim the hedges rarely - about every 5 years - to encourage wild fruit, helping to support insect life and keep the songbirds happy but away from the grapes in the autumn. We love the blackbirds, thrushes and pigeons but they love grapes. The long, wild grasses and the fruiting hedges keep them away without noisy bird scarers, and make the vineyard a wildlife oasis. Here are some photos to give a flavour...

We let the grass grow on till late summer in the nature area but from July to October we mow the alleys, because the growing vines need air circulation to keep the mildews away. But we are decreasing our use of chemicals. We’ve stopped spraying under the vines - we never did spray the alleys -  and strim under the vines. We are also successfully reducing our need for fungicide on the vines by careful canopy control, and by close observation, removing any mildew-affected shoots at the first sign.


We try to work with nature to promote biodiversity and control predation