What a magical place! We were stunned when we arrived - Peycibeau completely exceeded our expectations
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or call Julia Tomkins
+44 7973 561 012

wildlife

Flora & Fauna

One of the joys of spending a holiday at Peycibeau is the host of wonderful wildlife there is to discover here right on your doorstep.

As well as the woods of forest oaks that surround the property and the grassy meadows - home to numerous species of wild flowers and fungi - the grounds boast some majestic trees - notably two giant oaks, some ancient chestnut trees, tall cypress trees, and of course many walnut trees typical of the region. All of this together forms the natural habitat for many wild animals, birds and insects.

Although there was a farm dwelling on the site for many years, the house as it exists today was commissioned to be built by an English lady around 1964. Because she had a great fondness for animals (keeping dogs, cats, hens, peacocks and so the story goes, even a pet toucan which she rescued from a sailor in Bordeaux!) the original owner designated the Peycibeau Estate "Chasse Privé", a status which still remains in place today, meaning the local "Chasse" (the Hunt) is not allowed to come onto our land. For this reason the wild deer (les biches) have made it their home, and you will often see them grazing in the park, or munching on fallen apples or the acorns beneath the giant oak tree in front of the house. The best time to catch sight of the deer, sometimes as many as eight or ten of them, is at dawn or dusk.

Moles and rabbits are in abundance, and there are also wild boar (Sanglier) living in the surrounding woods - these you very rarely encounter, but they do venture onto the land at night, sometimes making a terrible mess of the grounds, digging up the soft earth with their snouts in search of grubs ... If only we could catch and tame one to dig for truffles...!

On a culinary note, our well-stocked herb garden is right outside the kitchen door. We have a mirabelle plum tree, a lemon tree and often grow tomatoes. Our walnut harvest normally lasts through the year, and if the climate is just right you can go mushroom foraging and find some of the best cèpe mushrooms around.

At peaceful Peycibeau, the sight and more particularly the sound of the bird life all around is just marvellous. The buzzards and red kites are probably the most spectacular - when the farmer is cutting the hay in the field, as many as a dozen of them will be swirling overhead waiting for any unsuspecting field mice to scamper. At other times, they will fly spectacularly from one tree to another as you come up the drive to the house. Varieties of woodpeckers, especially the green woodpecker, are easy to spot, and last year we had a family of hoopoes nesting here. You will hear cuckoos during the day and owls at night, and of course lots of whistling bats swirling around outside the house at dusk.

There are large snails, and lizards are always sunning themselves on the warm stones of the house and garden. It is impossible not to be fascinated by some of the insect life to be discovered, perhaps the most mesmerizing are the hummingbird hawk moths often seen buzzing around the lavender.

And of course the animals everyone loves to see scampering from tree to tree are the red squirrels - there are lots of them because of course they love the walnuts. ...... fortunately there are enough to go around!

Contact Julia Tomkins by telephone - +44 7973 561 012 enquiries@peycibeau.com
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