A Glorious Day to Remember

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”

The bat survey is back

The second Wheatland Farm bat survey is back. We’re definitely up to 9 species, and possibly more. So keep your eyes peeled. We’re pretty sure bats roost in the roofs of some of the eco lodges (don’t worry, they won’t come in!). Continue reading “The bat survey is back”

Winter birds are back…

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…”

Reed buntings at the wildlife pond

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”

Wildlife up close and personal!

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!”

Kestrel hunting in front of Balebarn Lodge

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”

Don’t miss the Pottery if you’re in Hatherleigh

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”

Apple pressing for juice and cider

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”

Hedgehogs in the wood pile?

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?”

Badger spotted on the wildlife camera

 

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”

Wild Camping on Dartmoor – a ‘doable adventure’

[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’”

A fleeting wildlife treat – house martins hunting over the lodge field

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”

Mountain biking at Haldon Forest

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”

Digging some scrapes to treat hot tub water and boost wildlife

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”

Thanks RSPB. Can I put my sarnies in it too?

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?

July butterflies – commas, small skippers and silver washed fritillaries

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 Sundowners in the turbine field

#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 If I can’t see you then you can’t see me

#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”

#30DaysWild No. 28 ‘Never seen so many butterflies…’

On today’s wildlife walk one of our lovely guests, staying at Honeysuckle Lodge, said she’d never seen so many butterflies outside of a butterfly farm. That’s a good thing to hear! The fields are a-flutter at the moment that’s for sure. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 28 ‘Never seen so many butterflies…’”

#30DaysWild No. 27 You spin me round round baby right round…

#30DaysWild No. 27 We’ve refilled the bird feeders, and this Great Spotted Woodpecker is back. But the clip shows it having a ride, as well as a snack. We have to have the strings long to deter the squirrels but surely this must take your concentration away from pecking?? Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 27 You spin me round round baby right round…”

Your stay raises money for wildlife – Thanks!

#30DaysWild No. 26. We want to say a big big thanks to all you lovely guests who pay for your stay at Wheatland Farm by BACS – the lower banking charge means we can give £5 to the Devon Wildlife Trust for every booking paid that way. Continue reading “Your stay raises money for wildlife – Thanks!”