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!”

#30DaysWild No. 25 A Walk on the Wild Side

#30DaysWild No. 25. June – one of the best times to see the wildflowers here at Wheatland Farm. Of course, Popehouse Moor SSSI is glorious, but the rest of the farm is pretty good too. This is the path around the wildlife pond Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 25 A Walk on the Wild Side”

#30DaysWild No. 24 Picking Wild Strawberries

It’s a small seasonal treat – not quite as luscious as a punnet of English hothouse strawberries, but all the more tasty for being a bit scarce. Wild strawberries grow around the farmyard, and especially outside Otter Cottage. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 24 Picking Wild Strawberries”

#30DaysWild No. 23. Counting hirundines (aka bike to the pub for a pint)

It was a lovely evening for a cycle ride and a spot of bird watching! We invited George along but he declined. Maybe we weren’t quite specific enough about the wildlife location. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 23. Counting hirundines (aka bike to the pub for a pint)”

#30DaysWild No. 22 Four spot chaser

#30DaysWild No. 22. We couldn’t resist another dragonfly picture from the Wheatland Farm wildlife pond. This one is a four spot chaser. That’s another species to add to the growing list. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 22 Four spot chaser”

#30DaysWild No. 19 Small Copper

#30DaysWild No. 19 Well, since it’s National Insect Week, let’s continue the theme. A bit prettier than yesterday’s caterpillars – this is a small copper buttterfly resting on dry grass on Popehouse Moor SSSI. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 19 Small Copper”

#30DaysWild No. 18 Caterpillars take over at the wildlife pond!

Something is munching the yellow flag leaves at the wildlife pond in front of Balebarn Lodge, and it looks like it’s iris sawfly caterpillars, Rhadinoceraea micans. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 18 Caterpillars take over at the wildlife pond!”

#30DaysWild No. 17 Badgers in the early morning

You’ll have to get up early to see this guy – videoed on the wildlife camera a few days ago (we’ve just brought it in). But one of last week’s guests in Honeysuckle Lodge did spot a badger down by the wildlife pond one evening, so it’s worth keeping your eyes open. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 17 Badgers in the early morning”

#30DaysWild No. 16 Planting teasels to attract goldfinches

#30DaysWild No. 16: We’re planting out weed seedlings – these are teasels that popped up in a flower pot. They’ll be more use in the lodge field where they should grow big, flower, and then attract winter goldfinches, which are such a treat to watch. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 16 Planting teasels to attract goldfinches”

#30DaysWild No. 15 ‘Stuck in a holding pattern’

#30DaysWild No. 15. Think the skies are busy over Heathrow? Try the airspace at Wheatland Farm! We think these are hoverflies of some kind. Watch the clip to see their amzaing flying skills. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 15 ‘Stuck in a holding pattern’”