Kestrel box for the eco lodges

Kestrel nest box with perch at Wheatland Farm, Devon

We’ve put a new kestrel box in the field below Balebarn Eco Lodge at Wheatland Farm. Wouldn’t it be nice to watch a breeding pair hunting over the meadow! There should be a good view from Balebarn’s veranda, or even from inside the lodge.

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Pledge For Nature Award Winner

A Pledge for Nature award for Wheatland Farm's Devon Eco Lodges

Lovely news, Wheatland Farm’s Devon Eco Lodges have received a Pledge For Nature Award from the North Devon Biosphere Reserve.

And we’re not the only local winners either – Winkleigh’s Biodiversity Group won a community award and local organiser Kim Melhuish was chosen as a Community Champion. Big cheers all round.

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Early flowers at our Devon Eco Lodges

Snowdrop near the hot tub at Beech Lodge, Wheatland Farm's Devon Eco Lodges

Despite the month, early flowers are poking through at Wheatland Farm’s Devon Eco Lodges. Not lots, admittedly, but the snowdrops and daffodils say it is almost spring.

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Over a thousand bat calls recorded near the eco lodges

Ian is putting up a bat detector near Wheatland Farm's wildlife pond

Our 2020 bat survey results are back. We had just 6 different types this time. But the equipment recorded well over 1000 calls. Of those, more than 900 were myotis sp, a group that might include several similar species.

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Wheatland Farm’s Corona Virus Statement 13 November 2020

Nuthatch Eco Lodge, left, and Beech Eco Lodge, right, at Wheatland Farm, Devon

Updated 13 November 2020

Staying At Wheatland Farm Eco Lodges

We look forward to welcoming you again at Wheatland Farm’s Devon Eco Lodges. We’re continuing our ‘covid secure’ measures, and have clarified our refunds policy. See you soon!

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Cows leave Wheatland Farm’s Devon Eco Lodges for the winter

Shows a 'selfie' of George and Elgin the cow at Wheatland Farm, Devon

Today we walked the cows back up the lane to Higher Punchardon Farm, as the conservation grazing here at Wheatland Farm is finished for 2020. But not before George got a few selfies with Elgin…

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Wheatland Farm’s Corona Virus Statement 13 July 2020

Nuthatch Eco Lodge, left, and Beech Eco Lodge, right, at Wheatland Farm, Devon

updated 13 July 2020

Staying At Wheatland Farm Eco Lodges

We look forward to welcoming you again at Wheatland Farm’s Devon Eco Lodges. We’ve made booking easier, final payment due dates later, and refunds better.

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#30DaysWild No. 30. Contemplating the weeds

Fox and cub flowers and selfheal - colourful 'weeds' we appreciate at Wheatland Farm

It’s the last day of this year’s #30DaysWild, and it should time time for #TheTimeIsNow mass lobby of MPs. That may well be so, but sadly our MP Geoffrey Cox is ‘too busy’ to hear our thoughts on climate and biodiversity crises…

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#30DaysWild 29: A bicycle re-made for two

Shows a tandem bike at Wheatland Farm's workshop, undergoing repairs

For #30DaysWild we’re renovating the tandem, and other bikes guests at the eco lodges can borrow this summer… and noting down some ideas for really local Devon excursions you can try (once the handlebars are back on).

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#30DaysWild 28: The Mini Ponds

Shows foxgloves on the mound dug out for a mini pond by Beech Lodge at Wheatland Farm

Back in July 2018 we dug some new mini ponds at Wheatland Farm – one to take the waste Hot Tub water from Beech Lodge, some just to provide some new habitat. This time last year for #30DaysWild we were looking at their progress, and we thought we’d do the same again in 2020.

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#30DaysWild 27: Biological Recording

Kim amidst flowers on Popehouse Moor SSSI at Wheatland Farm, Devon

For #30DaysWild today we’re housekeeping in both senses, catching up on Wheatland Farm’s biological recording but also getting the eco lodges ready for the July reopening.

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#30DaysWild 26: Al fresco scones

Shows a teenage boy, sat in the orchard at Wheatland Farm, holding out a plate of scones

The last Friday in June is National Cream Tea Day, apparently. Some things are really important, and deserve a national celebration… All we need to to is make it a bit wild so it works as our Random Act of Wildness for the day.

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#30DaysWild 25: Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Shows stationary hummingbird hawkmoth at Wheatland Farm

We only see one or two hummingbird hawkmoths a year at Wheatland Farm’s eco lodges, so it was nice to spot one close enough to photograph. Having said that, to understand why they’re so striking you really need to see them flying – they are easily mistaken for a tiny humming bird.

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#30DaysWild 22: Silver Washed Fritillary Butterfly

Shows a silver washed fritillary butterfly basking on willow herb at Wheatland Farm, Devon

We were delighted to find a Silver Washed Fritillary Butterfly on the brambles at Wheatland Farm today – it was our wild moment for #30DaysWild No. 22.

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#30DaysWild: 20 Cows Return To Wheatland Farm

Shows an old fashioned Devon tractor pulling a trailer through a wooded lane

For today’s #30DaysWild we welcomed the cows back to Wheatland Farm for their summer grazing on our Devon culm grassland and Popehouse Moor Site of Special Scientific Interest.

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#30DaysWild 18: Identifying moths

Shows speckled yellow moth on bramble at Wheatland Farm

On a wet day, our wild action is just to look up some moths we’ve recently spotted around the eco lodges, like this ‘speckled yellow’, above. These are moths we happened upon, but we’d also like to do some moth trapping over the summer with guests.

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#30DaysWild 17 Tending Our Living Wall

Trimming the living wall at Otter Cottage, Wheatland Farm, Devon

Ian has been tending our ‘green living wall’ – the ivy cladding the outside of Otter Cottage. Every so often we have to keep it out of the eaves and away from the barge boards, requiring long ladders and makeshift PPE.

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#30DaysWild 15: A Local 6km Run

Shows a woodland in Hollocombe

#30DaysWild 15: Ian went running, starting from the eco lodges and heading down into Hollocombe. He has mapped out a simple 6km route with a section through the woods along a bridle path. Going down the road into Hollocombe and back up again gives it a bit of a gradient in it, but maybe that’s an excuse to have a bit of a walk…

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