Friday, November 21, 2008

The Wall starts to go up

At the end of September we started on building the new wall. The centre of the wall is being built out of blocks and each side of the wall will be faced with the stone from the old wall. The concrete footings was laid thankfully in good weather and then allowed to go off before Russell could start laying all the blocks. This has only been laid to a height which he can comfortably work to until one circuit has be completed. Russell will then need to bring in a tower block so that he can reach the top of the wall.

We are now half way through November and he has almost completed the first part of the stone walling which is inside the future outdoor school. Half of the drainage in the outdoor school has been laid, but this cannot be completed until Russell has finished working on the inside of the wall which will probably be after Christmas.

We are planning to have a door installed in the corner of the school with steps on the outside which will take you down to the stream. The photo shows Russell working on part of the wall beside the opening for the future door which shows the upright to the left of the photo.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Wall Comes Down

We have now got the go ahead from Exmoor National Park to start to take the wall down and rebuild it 10 metres further back so that the riding arena can be the full 40 x 20 metres with a grass surround so that we don't have to ride right up to the wall. We have found a local stone wall builder, Russell Liversidge from Timberscombe who will be starting on the project in two weeks time. The foundations for the replacement wall need to be built first before Russell can erect the scaffolding to start rebuilding the wall. We are planning for block work to go up in the centre of the wall and the stone will be faced on the outside. The plan is to faceup the wall on the inside of the arena so that the riding arena can be built and then Russell will come back in 2009 to finish off the outside of the wall. The first phase of the project is likely take three months, which should take Russell up to Christmas. We just need the rain to stop and dry up so that we are not working in a muddy bog.

Riding Arena in the Walled Garden

Well for us August has been a wash out, I guess the same as the rest of the country which has meant delays to starting our outdoor projects. However, we did have some good dry and sunny days at the beginning of the month which allowed Derek to remove all the top soil in the walled garden and then start to level the area ready for the outdoor school to be used for horse exercising. Some of the soil is going to be used on the restoration of an Exmoor bank in one of the fields and the rest we will stock pile as it is such good soil.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Baby Birds

We have had a lot of birdnests this year around the farm with Blackbirds nesting above the main door in the new barn and also the old hayloft. Sparrows are in the ivy by the pond and in the roof of the old stables and Swallows are inside the the old stables. All the baby birds have now left their nests but the swallows are still coming back at night to sleep on the rafters in the old stables.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The new bale wrapper

We have started our haymaking and so far we have made hay in half of the 10 acre field with the other half currently drying and if the weather stays kind we hope to bale on Monday, the last day of June.
This year we are attempting to make small bale haylage for the horses and we have bought a McHale bale wrapper. Our first attempt today went fairly well, although we have decided the grass is still too moist and we are leaving the rest of the grass until tomorrow. The baler is also using rather more plastic wrapper than it should per bale, so some adjustments will be necessary.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bridge over the stream

We have finally finished work on the orchard, although we haven't been able to plant all the fruit trees but they will be coming in the autumn. We have also completed the connecting bridge from the holiday cottage garden over the small stream so guests are able to let their dogs run free and also children can play in the orchard. We have bought an old metal swing from a neighbour but it needs the feet repairing and a new seat before we can put it in the orchard. The grass is growing well and it shouldn't be long before the new grass seed catches up with the rest of the lawned area.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A foal for Moo Moo

Moo Moo presented us with a beautiful filly at 3.00pm on Thursday 15th May. It was an amazing experience to witness the birth of her foal and it only took 12 minutes from when the front feet emerged to the foal being born. I have named her Marika.
Luckily I was just putting the donkeys out for the afternoon as I had brought them all in that morning because it was raining hard and quite cold and Moo and the donkeys had been shaking. I was just passing the stable where she had been standing in for the morning when I suddenly realised she had laid down on the concrete. I quickly got her up and then realised she was giving birth. Fortunately the stable next to her had a good thick bed already laid down for another horse who is coming to stay for a week with its owner. I took her into it and although a bit small it was the best place. If you would like to see some photographs taken just after the birth then go to Marika

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Orchard

Now the warm weather has arrived the new grass is really growing in the orchard and this weekend was spent planting shrubs and fruit trees which were bought from Wibble Farm and Nurseries near Taunton. They were very helpful and gave good advice. I was't able to buy the plum and apple trees, but have ordered them for collection in the autumn. We just need the gate to the orchard to be swung and then it will be dog proof for our guests.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Baby Ducks Arrive

My neighbour Maxine Garner kindly agreed to incubate some Indian Runner duck eggs. I gave her six eggs. Maxine has had a lot of experience hatching chicken and quail eggs in an incubator so I was hopeful we would get at least one duckling. Maxine explained all the problems that went with incubating the duck eggs such as getting the humidity and temperature to be just right as if there was a mother duck to sit on them. Then during Tuesday evening this week the first egg hatched so Maxine then put the incubator in her bedroom and in the early hours of the morning another hatched. When Maxine woke in the morning all the eggs hatched except one which had died and so there were 5 duckings! It wasn't long before their legs were straight and they had learnt to drink and eat.... aren't animals amazing! Now they are with me indoors and will be for a few weeks until they are weaned off their heat lamp and ready to go on outside.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Erin stands guard on the Bridge

Erin spent today asleep in the spring sunshire on the bridge over the stream behind the old kennels and what will be our animal annex. She stood guard all day and wouldn't let her two offspring Gay and Gordon onto the bridge!

The Walled Garden

The picture shows the back of the medieval barn which is at one end of the walled garden. The previous owners used to keep pigs in the walled garden and a few old apples trees. We have pruned the ivy on the top of two of the walls before the birds start nesting as we are planning to construct an equine sand school within the walled garden. However we now have to wait for permission from the council before we can start building as they have to approve an archealogical survey within the walled garden. They will be looking for any artifacts as Burrow was built on a medieval settlement. There is evidence from a later date of old concrete circle which may have housed an engine that would have been driven by horsepower.

The Indian Runner Ducks

We have just collected two ducks and one drake from Jacquie at Brandel Rare Breed Poultry near Wellington in Somerset.
The picture shows the ducks on their first day out after spending a week inside to get them used to their surroundings. Hopefully once they are more settled and less nervous we will be able to introduce them to the pond in the courtyard, but in the meantime they have to make do with a plastic bowl for washing!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Barn is Finished

PFG has now completed the barn and all the tractors, horsebox and JCB are safely installed inside. The weather has been dry and cold recently which has meant that work outside the barn has started. Two new manholes for the water off the roof and the yard have been built and we are just waiting for the piles of earth to dry out a bit more before the Exmoor bank can be built and the driveway infront of the barn can be completed. A bit more tidying up to be done yet before the top surface on the road can be laid, but we are getting there!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Barn goes up

PFG Fabrication have started putting up the barn despite the wet and windy weather. They had to pump out water from the holes that had been dug for the steel uprights before they could start. The roof is now complete and the guttering has been added. The sides which will be wooden boarding will take longer to put on and once that is completed a concrete floor will be laid.

All the tractors and other equipment are currently outside getting very wet and hopefully we will soon be able to get them all inside.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Another New Roof!

The new slate roof on the Animal Annex is now complete and because it looks so good we have decided to replace the roof on the Pigmy goat house and the future duck house.
Work has started on stripping off the old roof and replacing the timbers before we can re-slate.
In the centre of the photo is Derek's black cat DC who is helping supervise the work.