Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lots of Birds

This year has we have had an abundance of Sparrows and Swallows, also Housemartins have nested under the thatched roof above the holiday cottage door. Our Swallows have hatched young twice this year in all the old buildings, but soon they will be leaving us and an eerie silence will descend and then I know winter will be on its way.

Monday, July 18, 2016

New Fence

A couple of weeks ago when the ducks were in the cottage orchard we had a fox attack one sunny afternoon. I had fed the ducks at lunchtime by the pond and in the afternoon when I went to get them out of the orchard one of the Trout Indian Runner ducks was missing. I searched everywhere, there were no feathers or any sign of attack, but I came to the conclusion she must have been taken by a fox. The most vulnerable part of the orchard is the hedge along the road, so we have invested in a new small mesh fence and we have also improved the electric fencing which is along the river. In time the hedge will grow through the mesh. I just hope that we can now keep the ducks safe.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I have always fed the birds with peanuts and seed, but this year I started having problems with squirrels coming into the garden and eating all the food, so I thought I would invest in some squirrel proof feeders. I think this photo demostrates how they are not a deterent to the young squirrels.

Monday, May 9, 2016

New Rock Garden

I have been deliberating for some time on what to do with a small overgrown flowerbed in the garden. It had a very large Hypericom Hidcote shrub growing in it, which had a holly bush and brambles growing through it, and it also obscured a view up the garden. I also have the problem of one lawn being raised higher than the other, therefore making it difficult to merge the two. I have decided to have a raised bed built with local stone created between the two lawns and I will plant it with rock garden plants, which should enjoy being in the sun all day during the summer. Here is a photo of the area cleared of the shrub, a pampas grass and some ferns ready for us to start the work.

Mallards in the Garden

Last summer we had a female Mallard raise her ducklings in our garden. She did start off with four, but one died and when they were all quite big we had a Fox get into the garden and kill one of the ducklings, which prompted us to move them all across the road to our neighbours very large pond or small lake as quickly as possible before the Fox returned for the rest.
Well you can imagine my surprise when Mrs Mallard returned this spring and three weeks ago I suddenly saw her and seven ducklings strutting around the garden. Sadly the weakest one died and then suddenly overnight two disappeared. I can only assume a Crow, Rook or perhaps a Sparrowhawk swooped into the garden and took them. So today we are down to four. My plan is to move them to my neighbours garden on the May Bank Holiday weekend when I think they will be big enough to cope and I do not want to leave it any longer in case we have another Fox attack.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Exmoor & North Devon Walking Festival

This years North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival is now taking bookings for the guided walks. The festival runs from Saturday 30th April to Saturday 7th May 2016 inc.

Please go to to view all the walks and to book. You can book online on the website or by phone on 01271 863001. The brochure can be viewed at which also shows the outlets that I have distributed it to. Or you can email or telephone for a copy (see below).

Bryan Cath
Festival Co-ordinator
01271 883131 or

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ready for Easter

After a disater just before Christmas last year when we discovered that the radiator in one of the upstairs bedrooms had been slightly leaking and consequently brought the ceiling down into the lounge, fortunately missing the settee below, we are now ready to open for 2016. The ceiling is repaired and looking very good and we now have a new carpet in the lounge and also the bedroom above. This all happened when there was the awful flooding in Cumbria, but our problem seemed very minor.