Violet Oil Beetles
We are particularly excited to be a vibrant home to a population of Violet Oil Beetles. The Violet Oil Beetle (Meloe violaceus) is listed as a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and considered under threat. They love munching our daffodils, and the larvae climb into Lesser Celandine or Dandelion flowers in order to hitch a ride on a visiting solitary bee. They then alight back at the bees nest, feed up on eggs and nectar before emerging as adults.
The land at Kelly Mill extends to 15 acres consisting of wildflower meadows, wetlands, hedgerows, stream and biodynamic vegetable garden. An absence of the use of chemicals and intensive farming methods on the land has preserved it as a wildlife haven of great diversity. Our use of biodynamic husbandry is the most organic, environmentally friendly form of land management.
We were also delighted to be visited on a number of evenings by a Tanner Beetle (Prionus coriarius). This large beetle is classed as a 'nationally notable A' species, meaning that it is nationally scarce. Our visitor was the only one of its kind to be recorded in West Devon in 2016. Fingers crossed for its return this year.
Kelly Mill is located in beautiful rural West Devon in an enviable location just a few miles from Cornwall, and equidistant from the coastlines to the North and South. Nestled on the edge of the Tamar Valley - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Kelly Mill sits between Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, each being a short drive away and providing the most exceptional landscapes for hiking and horse riding.