This year has been fascinating as it’s the first year we have not had animals grazing at Lofftwen. As we work out our future grazing strategy, an essential element of good ecological management (plus a farm isn’t really a farm without some animals!), the natural cycle of wildflowers and grasses has been able to progress throughout the seasons unhindered from the constant gnashing of hungry teeth. This has given us a chance to see what is out there, and we were particularly delighted to spot a healthy sprinkling of Whorled Caraway, a signature plant of the diminishing damp 'rhos' (rough) pasture habitat of mid-Wales. Another consequence of this natural cycle has been a very visible increase in the number and diversity of insects on the farm. As one of our neighbours said whilst walking her dog through the farm “I’ve never seen so many butterflies!”. This, of course, made us feel very happy, and taken together are indicators perhaps that Lofftwen’s ecology is already starting to improve significantly.