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  • Will


Updated: Sep 12, 2021

During a break staying in Monmouthshire at Old-Lands, a delightful old family estate, I was amazed by the amount of beautiful wildlife. I thought I'd capture some of the beasties in watercolour.

The Old-Lands Story

Old-Lands is a unique place to stay. The main house is still the home of the Bosanquet family that have lived there for 200 years. They have 3 beautiful holiday cottages that can be booked all year round. There is a heavenly lake and boat house, a farm shop that sells the seasonal organic produce from the walled garden (you can take a basket and pick your salad for free) and 200 acres to roam!

I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful creative friend who somehow knows all the best places to go! She invited me to stay a while back and I fell in love with the place. I've stayed in Stable Court (a self-contained apartment in the west wing of the main house) both times as it is truly wonderful.

"Sam Bosanquet, our resident naturalist grew up at Old-Lands and learnt his natural history in lost hours as a boy wandering through the fields learning the names of all that he stumbled across"

It's no surprise that Sam, himself a well respected naturalist who has written several books about his particular specialism, moss, comes from a long line of ecologists and naturalists. The focus of the family shows in the way that the stunning grounds are managed - and most strikingly - the amount of diverse wildlife you'll encounter during your stay!

Cockchaffer Beetle

This beautiful little beastie came to visit us in our kitchen in Stable Court! It's colours and distinctive fan-like antennae make the beetle quite the looker!

More paintings to come

I took a series of (pretty poor) photographs of the other beetles and moths that I saw during my stay that I look forward to painting in the future. I'll share them here and on my Instagram page.

How To book at Old-lands

Old-Lands have a beautiful website where you can book your stay They are understandably often fully booked so it's also a good idea (and utter delight) to follow them on Instagram where they mention any dates that become available due to cancelations. The photography is stunning (I'll include some below).

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