The Hunt were back again today (30 March 2018). They met at Kingsland, the next farm along to Wheatland Farm.
Just the other day, Eggesford Hunt chairman Hugh Trerise was on BBC Spotlight, claiming the Eggesford Hunt only hunt trails laid by the huntsmen. So how come, 5 minutes after they set off, 20 or so hounds were following trails through Popehouse Moor Site of Special Scientific Interest, crossing Lower Newland Moor, and then eventually running in and out of the garden at Little Routh (our neighbours)? Continue reading “Eggesford Hunt on Popehouse Moor Again”
Belstone Tor, just outside the Dartmoor village of Belstone, is one of the easiest Tors to ‘bag’. It’ll give you feel for the wild nature of Northern Dartmoor. OK, it’s not often snowy, as it is in this image, but it’s fabulous at any time of year, and in clear weather you get an amazing view of North Devon. If you’ve got binoculars with you you might pick out the turbine at Wheatland Farm Eco Lodges. Continue reading “Belstone Tor: A Taste Of The Wild North Moor”
It’s a yucky job, but it has to be done occassionally. We’re rennovating the green cones. All credit where it’s due, that’s Ian doing the heavy digging. Our five green biodigesters and 2 wormeries take all the food waste from the guest accommodation at Wheatland Farm, and they work hard! Continue reading “Time to renovate the green cones”
If you’re looking for a treat, the Cafe du Ville in Hatherleigh should be high on your list. They serve the best coffee we’ve found anywhere in Devon, and the cake is high up the ranking too. Continue reading “Cafe du Ville in Hatherleigh – fab for coffee”
The George Inn in Hatherleigh is another lovely local pub, serving traditional pub food attentively made. Continue reading “The George Inn in Hatherleigh”
Starlings aren’t just around at dusk – they’re feeding in the fields by day. In this clip you can see how beautiful they are close up, and how they search for grubs and caterpillars in the grassland. Continue reading “Starlings feeding in the sunshine”
Starlings – one of the delights of a Devon winter! Often we see them passing south in mini flocks towards evening. Sometimes they will mass in the trees behind the orchard, sometimes in the trees behind the eco lodges. And sometimes, all of a sudden, they’ll leave again, as this video shows. Continue reading “Thousands of starlings pay a brief visit”
We went for a boundary walk this morning, to keep an eye on fences etc and were treated to some lovely views of this fox near the magic pond. Continue reading “Today’s wildlife snaps – a lovely fox in the woods”
Yes, we have harvest mice on Wheatland Farm – a survey confirms. Following on from Maggie’s recent harvest mouse training day we’ve been looking, and found 3 nests to report to the Devon survey. Continue reading “Harvest mice – finding the evidence”
It’s here – a fab kayak to add to the paddle boat and board on the wildlife pond. And it’s made out of recycled plastic. We’d been meaning to get another boat, and got the idea from BBC Spotlight. Continue reading “Recycled plastic kayak for the wildlife pond”
Is the countryside still heaving with harvest mice? You know the type – the cute ones from children’s picture books, usually seen curling a tail around an ear of corn with poppies in the background. Well, it’s not like it used to be that’s for sure. In the old days apparently sheaves of corn could shake with mice when taken in. But modern farming isn’t so mouse friendly. So how widespread are these tiny charismatic mice now?
Continue reading “Harvest mouse survey training, looking for nests”
Not quite Japanese-style blossom (maybe that will come later) but the hazel catkins on Popehouse Moor are bursting open so spring must be on the horizon.
Continue reading “A bit early for a blossom festival…”
Sometimes you just have to get out there and enjoy winter! Frosty mornings can be some of the best.
Continue reading “Winter morning pictures”
Spring must be coming! We have masses of frogspawn in the lodge field seasonal pond. This pond is usually the first to get frogspawn, and we’ve not spotted it in the others yet. Continue reading “Frogspawn in January”
We wanted to thank everyone for their support over the issue of the Eggesford Hounds chasing fox trails across Wheatland Farm on 13th January 2018. Continue reading “Eggesford Hunt and their illegally out of control dogs”
Mowing, bramble bashing, path clearing, tree felling… Continue reading “Conservation tasks in November 2017”
November has it’s own charms, amidst the inevitable greyer skies. The Goldfinches are back on the teasel heads and on the lemon balm seeds. Nuthatches, Tree Creepers and parties of Long Tailed Tits, are easy to spot around Honeysuckle and Nuthatch Lodge. This Bluetit is living in Ian’s workshop (and accidentally flew into him, hence the dazed look – it recovered though), while the Kestrel can often be seen from Balebarn, sitting on the wires. Continue reading “November wildlife”
October weather isn’t always kind. Sometimes, you just have to get out there… George had been biking at Heywood (4 miles from the lodges). Looks like he brought half of it back.
Look at this beast we found in the long grass – it’s an Elephant Hawkmoth caterpillar. Those ‘eye spots’ are supposed to scare off predators apparently. Continue reading “Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar”
The cows are making busy munching through the grass and flowers on Popehouse Moor, our Site of Special Scientific Interest. If you sit still in the grass they come and see what you’re about….
Continue reading “Happy curious cows!”
This year’s Big Butterfly Count is coming to a close – though you can still post sightings until the end of the month.
All you have to do is enjoy a cup of tea for 15 mins and count what you see – the maximum number of each species you can see at any one time. Continue reading “Butterfly counts”
Remember the bat detector? Well, the results are back. We have at least 6 and maybe 9 different species of bats flying near the eco lodges: Continue reading “A bit batty”
George spotted this moth in Exeter when he was practicing parkour in the Cathedral and Quay car park. He snapped it on his phone. We weren’t going to bother looking it up, convinced it was bound to be called a zebra moth. But hey – a quick look in the book showed we were wrong. Continue reading “Zebra or a tiger?”
We’re just back from this summer’s Dartmoor adventure – a walk across the North Moor with an overnight in the middle. Maggie did it with George when he was ten, so now it’s Euan’s turn. We picked a slightly longer route this time, and didn’t do ourselves any favours with the terrain, which was hard going for fairly long stretches. But we made it! Continue reading “Dartmoor: Okehampton to Two Bridges”
Coming to a holiday cottage near you! We’ve been given a couple of second hand trick bikes and ‘off road’ type scooters – thanks Jack’s Dad! Ian is fixing them up to go in the eco lodge bike shed. They’ll be ready to use this summer holiday. Looking forward to seeing everyone having fun!
Fingle Bridge woods makes a lovely walk with a great pub for lunch or a snack. It’s about 19 miles from the eco lodges and combines well with Castle Drogo. In fact, the National Trust’s Castle Drogo land goes all the way to Fingle Bridge, and meets up with Woodland Trust land. It’s now under joint management. Continue reading “A walk at Fingle Bridge”
It’s always greyer inside than out, even when it rains. Today’s bike ride was primarily to gain preemptive absolution for Friday night snacks and drinks – but it was worth it. There was a sparrow hawk sitting on a wall, meadow sweet in the hedges, and deer in the far corner of a field. #30DaysWild No. 30 – and that’s it for this year.