I have been out and about lately around Hay-on-Wye shooting for Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages again which has taken me to some really beautiful spots! The other day I was above Talgarth at Maggie’s Barn, a sweet converted barn that is nestled in the hills. The owners, Bill and Sylvia couldn’t be nicer either. Bill an avid botanist and collector of seeds having created his own arboretum, lake with trout (and maybe salmon in the stream) and grasslands which all provide a wonderful habitat for song birds and wildlife.
(Photography: Lucy Gold, A few shots of the interiors of Maggie’s Barn)
After our shoot Bill offered to give us a guided tour of the grounds which are in one of the most dramatic landscapes I think we have been to. Set on the hill overlooking the Wye Valley, the mountains behind provide shelter and the best backdrop for the lake with its own nesting wild geese and the silence of nature to surround you.
Bill, is full of knowledge and will tell you everything he knows if you ask him. Tom and I had a lot of fun walking around the arboretum as he told stories of how he came across different plant species, the hundreds of daffodils he grows for Alzheimer’s research and were amazed at his ability to name every plant. There is even an ancient apple that has been named after him! An avid fisherman, he has taught his daughters and grand daughters to fish and gives fly fishing lessons to those keen to learn.
As well as all this, he knows what birds will nest where, and their nests, their grounds have around 100 nest boxes and while we were exploring the garden, we came across this Dunnock nest with its beautiful, turquoise blue eggs like little gems!
(Photography: Lucy Gold)
The sun was shining and it was lovely to be able to finish our shoot with such an interesting man.