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Two new arrivals are making fast friends at Totnes Rare Breeds this summer. Benjie the Bengal Eagle Owl and Digger the Burrowing Owl are proving extremely popular with visitors.

Benjie is being taught how to fly to a glove, and thrives on the attention. He is getting very good at swooping above visitors’ heads in the Hedgehog Hospital, and will soon be ready to try outside, where there are more distractions.

Digger is less in the limelight, as so far he seems, unsurprisingly, to prefer burrowing under his blanket to more ostentatious activities. His two yellow eyes shining out are irresistible!

Totnes Rare Breeds has been working in collaboration with Network Rail in the interests of local wildlife. Months of planning bore fruit on 30 June when Jacquie and Barrie Tolley were formally granted a licence to access and maintain a small wooded area adjacent to the farm. The piece of land, which lies between the Rare Breeds site and the mainline, has remained untouched since the railway first extended to Totnes in 1847. It is hoped that it may be home to unusual species of flora and fauna, and that it may be nurtured to provide a haven for such wildlife in the future. It should provide exciting opportunities for field studies, and potentially work with local colleges and universities.


A green and pleasant haven

From Left to Right: Community Rail Executive Mike Franklin; Barrie and Jacquie Tolley; volunteers Steve and Dave

Here are some children having a lovely time at our farm. Mother, Tanya Stilwell, sent us some pictures to prove it!


Here is one of Jenny's pictures of:

A seriously scary bird

and beautiful owl eyes.