Friday, December 19, 2014

Update to Kitchen

This winter we are updating the kitchen work surface in the cottage. The old surface was made up of tiles, a few were cracked and the kitchen was looking rather tired. The top has now been taken away and also the wall tiles, but we have not yet decided on what type of work surface to replace the old one. I think it is off to a few kitchen shops to have a look and get some ideas.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Charity Horse Ride

This year we organised a charity horse ride on 21st September starting from Burrow to commemorate the Brooke's 80th Anniversary. The rider' route took in Grabbist Hill, through the Bratton Estate by kind permission of Hon Roland Lytton and some who were on the 15mile route continued on to North Hill, then back via Tivington. We particularly wanted to go through the Bratton Estate as in 1914/15 mules for WW1 were kept there to rest and recuperate after their journey from the USA to Avonmouth docks and then on the Minehead via the West Somerset Railway. To remember the mules we had four members from the British Mule Society come and stay with their mules and take part in the ride. It was an amazingly warm and beautiful sunny day and at the end riders were treated to tea & cakes. A sum of £900 was raised for the charity.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gordon & Bessie attack the Fence!

I have finally found the culprits! We have had to replace the plastic electric fencing posts with wooden posts, because we keep finding them strewn around the field with the electric tape flapping about all over the place.
We now know that Gordon likes to head butt the posts! Hopefully the wooden posts will stop him destroying all the fencing. However at the same time Bessie has been helpfully winding the fencing tape around her horns and then either breaking it or dragging it around the field. Not too sure how we are going to stop her doing this.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gwen becomes a foster Mum

The old Exmoor Horn sheep Gwen has kindly become a foster Mum to a lost lamb. Two weeks ago a friend stopped by to say she had picked up a lamb in the road and although she had contacted all the farmers around the area no one said they had lost any sheep. I agreed to take the lamb off her hands who was baaing a lot for his mum, so I put him in a small paddock with Gwen who I knew would be kind. He took to her straight away and follows her everywhere.
I contacted the dreaded DEFRA to find out what the legal position was if I ended up keeping the lamb and after being passed from pillar to post I found a very helpful lady who told me the procedure. So if no one claims the lamb (who we have named Gareth) we will keep him.

Main House Lounge

We've finally started renovating the lounge in the main house. We have to replace the wooden floorboards, joists and skirting boards which were all rotten the same as the cottage lounge.
The joists had completely disintergrated and very wet. They had originally been laid straight onto the mud and earth, so that probably explains why I kept getting slugs appearing on the carpet, which incidently is also rotten! Walking from the hall to the kitchen is rather precarious at the moment as you have to walk a plank across the lounge and however I try I always seem to wobble. Hopefully this will not taken months and months and perhaps if I am lucky it may be finished for Christmas... have I spoken too soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Baby Ducklings

Over the last few months we have lost three of our Indian Runner ducks. This left us with two drakes and two ducks, so we decided to buy some ducklings. We visited Moonridge Farm near Crediton in Devon and bought five female ducks. One was eight days old and the others three days old. The colours are fawn, apricot and trout. Moonridge has an amazing array of poultry and waterfowl and is definitely worth a visit. The ducklings are currently being kept in part of the dog kennel at night and during the day they are in a rabbit hutch. In a couple of weeks when they have more feathers we will give them a bigger run and introduce a water bowl for them to splash around.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Two Happy Cats!

A couple of months ago our neighbours moved to Wiltshire, but they were unable to take their two cats as they were staying in rented accommodation. They knew that the ginger cat often came over to our farm and many of our guests will have seen him around the yard, indeed one family told us he had been into the cottage and their little girl had been playing with him. We now warn all guests without dogs to make sure he doesn't try and move in! Our neighbours asked us if we would consider taking both cats, we were a bit worried at first because we had never seen their black cat, but of course we said yes. It took a while for the black cat to settle in, but he is now very a happy and he has been enjoying investigating the farm along with the ginger cat. Their names are Gordon and Rommy.

Work on the Lawn

After digging up one the flowerbeds last autumn and finding homes for most of the plants, some I gave away and some I threw away, we are now in the middle of laying the turf. I have enlarged two flowerbeds to may room for all the plants that I wanted to keep. I think the house garden will be a lot easier to manage, as I just don't have the time for all the weeding!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Video on Exmoor

Exmoor National Park has commissioned an amazing 11 minute video and also on You Tube show casing Exmoor. The new Pavilion National Park Centre at Lynmouth is showing the video in the AV theatre to hopefully inspire vistors to discover Exmoor for themselves. It has some aerial footage which looks stunning on a big screen. If you can't visit Lynmouth then take a look at You Tube -

Delay to opening cottage this season

We have had to delay opening the cottage by one week as work on the new bathroom was behind schedule due to various hiccups! Yesterday Parks Furnishing of Minehead came to lay the new stairs and landing carpet which we bought a year ago. It now matches the carpet in the lounge. It took two chaps all morning due to the winding stairs and several levels of steps, but it looks amazing and I hope my returning guests notice the difference. Cottage now on target to open for our first guests on 4th April.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Extension to the Coleridge Way

For those of you who know the Coleridge Way and love walking on Exmoor you will be pleased to hear that an extra 14 miles is going to be added from Porlock to Lynmouth, as reported in the West Somerset Freepress 21st February.
Way marked with the distinctive quill signature produced by Exmoor National Park's field services team, the extension will head through Worthy Woods and pass Ash Farm where Coleridge once stayed, before dropping down into the Doone Valley and on to Watersmeet and Lynmouth. The route is due to be ready summer 2014.
Originally opened in 2005, the Coleridge Way walking route links sites and locations associated with the romantic poet Samual Taylor Coleridge during his time in Somerset.
From Lynmouth an additional spur follows the South West Coast Path into the Valley of the Rocks and Poets Corner. The total route will be 50 miles long and more information will be found at