The last year-and-a-bit has shown the benefits that spending time in nature can have on our mental and physical health. From pottering about in our gardens, exploring local parks, or venturing further afield – when restrictions allowed – getting out and about among the diverse natural treasures and wonderful wildlife of our nation has proved to be an uplifting and liberating experience for many of us.
Here in Devon, where Lyme Bay Winery is based, we are fortunate to have two National Parks, wonderful and varied coastlines to the north and south, five AONBs, and some 50 Nature Reserves managed by Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT). However, despite the vital work of their guardians, the natural environment and wildlife are under immense and growing threat here in Devon, as they are across the UK and globally – which prompted us to sign the Winery up as a corporate sponsor of Devon Wildlife Trust.
“We are thrilled to be working more closely with DWT to help safeguard the wild beauty and natural environment of Devon through several initiatives over the coming months and years”, says Lyme Bay Managing Director James Lambert. “Not only that, but our involvement also gives our staff the chance to get even closer to nature through team days and volunteer activities with DWT. We want to help support Devon Wildlife Trust to ensure everyone, and everything has a future to thrive in.”
Bring beavers back
Although the perilous state of the planet’s ecosystems might feel like something that only governments and multinational corporations have any real chance of addressing, we firmly believe that you don’t have to be an expert to make a difference, and every one of us has a vital role to play.
For example, here in Devon, it’s been almost a year since the Government decided that wild beavers could not only stay on the River Otter but move into neighbouring rivers as well. DWT’s beaver conservation staff are monitoring where in Devon beavers have been spotted as the population grows, and their work has shown that these natural engineers can provide an impressive range of services, from storing climate-changing carbon to flood alleviation.
As a result, the Government has opened a public consultation to gather opinions about the reintroduction of beavers in England and the management of the species in the wild. If you’d like to share your thoughts on this matter, the consultation closes on 17 November, and you can click here to have your say.
Protecting our ecosystems
Safeguarding local ecologies is something that’s close to our hearts. Lyme Bay Winery was founded on Cider and Fruit Wine using produce from the orchards and hedgerows of the area, and we continue to use nature as an inspiration for our range of award-winning traditional drinks.
One such example is our Nettle Wine, made from nettles picked in April to capture the new growth. It is dry, light, and crisp with the summery character of nettle and hints of melon and grapefruit. Old fashioned and delicious, this one is great served chilled as an aperitif or with seafood, chicken, and salads.
If you’ve never tried anything stronger than an elderflower cordial, then may we also recommend our Elderflower Wine. From late May onwards our team heads out on sunny afternoons to collect the beautiful elderflowers from the hedgerows at a time their pollen is at its optimum and they are at their most pungent. An off-dry wine with a refreshing floral bouquet, our Elderflower Wine makes a perfect, chilled lunchtime wine, and is the proud holder of a Gold Great Taste Award.
For a fruitier take on the output from the ancient elder plant, our Elderberry Fruit Wine is a robust, off-dry red wine that is rich in colour and flavour. This wine is superb as an after-dinner drink served at room temperature with a full-flavoured hard cheese or, alternatively, alongside red meats and casseroles.
Stock up on our natural delights
If all of this talk of local produce has whet your appetite to try a new tipple or two, our wonderful Winery shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, and on Sunday from 11 am until 3 pm. You can also order drinks from us online and take advantage of our regular monthly discounts. Delivery is free for orders over £150 and if you order by 2 pm we endeavour to deliver within the next two working days.
In the meantime do keep in touch with us via our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. This month we’d love to see your nature pics, as we say farewell to summer and head into the misty autumn months.