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!
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 old-lands.co.uk. 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. www.instagram.com/oldlands The photography is stunning (I'll include some below).