The New Year starts as we mean to go on at Wheatland Farm! Getting out there and looking after the Devon countryside. Today’s job was clearing ‘brash’ from near Honeysuckle Lodge …Continue reading “Conservation work starts again”
Season’s greetings to one and all – we hope you’re having a great break whether you’re staying at Wheatland Farm or anywhere else! We’ve already said goodby to one set of guests, and hello to the New Year visitors. Such a lovely time to get generations together from around the country for a family gathering. Of course, a winter walk or two, and even a trip to the beach (To admire the pebbles? Not to swim, surely…) is essential, and what Wheatland Farm Christmas would be complete without a moment of contemplation at ‘the big tree‘ at Eggesford.
A Glorious Devon Day! Sometimes November is truly stunning. If only we could guaruntee fabulous days all month. And today is the eleventh of the eleventh, Armistice Day 100 years on from the end of WW1. Continue reading “A Glorious Day to Remember”
November, not our favourite month, but at least the birds come to Wheatland Farm’s bird feeders. Goldfinch are frequent visitors and today marsh tit and coal tit joined the more common blue and great tits. Even better than that, woodcock are back on Popehouse Moor SSSI (in Devon we only see them in winter). Continue reading “Winter birds are back…”
It’s Wheatland Farm’s first proper frost of the autumn. Here are a few snaps. Continue reading “First properly frosty morning!”
During storm Callum, the phragmites at the main wildlife pond got a bit knocked about. They’re still standing – and one benefit is that the reed buntings are easier to spot now. Continue reading “Reed buntings at the wildlife pond”
Ivy provides a crucial source of nectar in the autumn months. The ivy cloaking our main barn at Wheatland Farm is literally buzzing on sunny days, with bees, butterflies and more.
If you sit still, southern hawker dragonflies at the edge of the Wheatland Farm wildlife pond might come and buzz you! Maggie was trying out a new mobile phone camera when Ian took this clip. Continue reading “Wildlife up close and personal!”
Sometimes you only see things for a few seconds, but they are still fabulous – like this kestrel pausing on the wires before dropping down in front of Balebarn Lodge at Wheatland Farm. The bird’s flight control far outpaces our camera control, but all the same, you get a glimpse. Awesome! Continue reading “Kestrel hunting in front of Balebarn Lodge”
In Hatherleigh, maybe for those famous brownies and coffee? Don’t forget to check out the Hatherleigh Pottery, in its charming courtyard. You’ll find lovely hand thrown ceramics and a friendly welcome. You might come away with a treat! Continue reading “Don’t miss the Pottery if you’re in Hatherleigh”
It’s a bumper year for apples at Wheatland Farm – we have so many some of the branches are breaking off the trees. So we spent a day pressing some for juice and possibly cider (or that bit could go horribly wrong – we should know by early 2019!). Continue reading “Apple pressing for juice and cider”
This cutie was spotted just inside the barn door, possibly investigating the wood pile. But surely it’s a bit early in the year for hedgehogs to be looking for hibernation sites? Maybe it was just hunting slugs or checking out it’s own version of ‘eco lodge availability‘ in good time! Continue reading “Hedgehogs in the wood pile?”
One of the eco lodge wildlife cameras picked up this classic badger shot a few nights ago. We know they are about, but only sometimes glimpse Badgers.
But then again it’s not a good time of year for badgers in Devon – for those of you following these things, we think we are just outside this year’s badger cull zone – by a hair. Continue reading “Badger spotted on the wildlife camera”
[Maggie] It’s our annual big night out! But it’s on Dartmoor rather than at Wheatland Farm. This is my summer treat – finding a dry day and night to trek out into the middle of Dartmoor with just a bivvy bag and dinner. Continue reading “Wild Camping on Dartmoor – a ‘doable adventure’”
House martins aren’t all that common here, though they nest up at Fiona’s Farm Shop (only half a mile away). But today there were masses feeding over the fields. Their aerobatics were just uncredible – this clip doesn’t really do them justice. It’s a wonder anyone got a clean lodge, given the birds’ mesmeric display. If you’ve arrived today, keep a look out for them and enjoy! Continue reading “A fleeting wildlife treat – house martins hunting over the lodge field”
Ian found this gorgeously warty toad in a log destined for the wood burner. So we shook him/her out into the long grass. Not before taking a couple of snaps though. Continue reading “Toad in the hole!”
[Maggie] I’ve been trying not to overwhelming these pages with dragonflies, but now it’s time for a catch up. Continue reading “A dragonfly update for the lodges”
This pretty little weasel was scurrying around the back door of the farmhouse. It was lovely to catch a glimpse, and even better to get a picture. Continue reading “A weasel at the back door”
Exeter’s Haldon Forest Park makes a great day out for all. Those with lots of energy can go mountain biking on a good number of graded trails. For the less active there’s the butterfly walk (part of the Forest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its wildlife), the cafe, or even Segways to hire! Continue reading “Mountain biking at Haldon Forest”
Sometimes a duller day makes it easier to approach butterflies, like this stunning male common blue, resting on grass in the lodge field.
We’ve been digging some scrapes that will become mini reed beds – these will help us turn the eco lodge hot tub water to a wildlife advantage! Continue reading “Digging some scrapes to treat hot tub water and boost wildlife”
What an awesome creature! Scale the whole thing up and put that ‘horn’ on the front and you’d have a formidable weapon of war. Continue reading “Not a reverse rhino, but a dark bush cricket”
The Big Butterfly Count is back on! It runs from today, 20 July until 12 August. Here’s our first counts for 2018: Continue reading “Big Butterfly Counts start again”
Well done RSPB for the compostable bag on our magazine! That’s much easier to recycle than the previous bag, even if we did take those to the supermarket recycling point.
One question though – is it food safe for re-use before it reaches the compost caddy?
It’s the first week of July, and already there are new butterflies on the wing at Wheatland Farm. And they’re all looking pretty orange. Continue reading “July butterflies – commas, small skippers and silver washed fritillaries”
#30DaysWild No. 30. Last day of June, and a sunny day, so a perfect opportunity to revive the ‘go out for drinks – to the middle of a Devon field’ traditional Saturday evening activity. Euan had to take his orange juice in an old nutella jar with lid, so it didn’t spill while on the quad bike!
This time last year: Which way now?
#30DaysWild No. 29 This rabbit thinks we can’t see it if it can’t (well sort of can’t) see us… But apparently that’s almost true in a funny way. Researchers are saying even the UK’s common species of mammals are under-recorded, making it hard to know how they are faring. So we need to know more, and everyone can help Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 29 If I can’t see you then you can’t see me”