Cafe du Ville in Hatherleigh – fab for coffee

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”

Starlings feeding in the sunshine

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”

Thousands of starlings pay a brief visit

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”

Today’s wildlife snaps – a lovely fox in the woods

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”

Harvest mice – finding the evidence

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”

Recycled plastic kayak for the wildlife pond

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”

Harvest mouse survey training, looking for nests

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”

Frogspawn in January


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”

Eggesford Hunt and their illegally out of control dogs

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”

November wildlife

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”

Happy curious cows!

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!”

Butterfly counts

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”

Zebra or a tiger?

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?”

Dartmoor: Okehampton to Two Bridges

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”

Trick Bikes and Scooters Join The Fleet

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!

A walk at Fingle Bridge

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”

Which way now? 30 Days Wild No. 30

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.

Ringlets in the meadow: 30 Days Wild No. 27

#30DaysWild No. 27. Ringlets are everywhere at the moment – it’s butterfly city out there. It’s one of the main reasons we leave so much long grass (well, that and because it cuts down on the mowing). Continue reading “Ringlets in the meadow: 30 Days Wild No. 27”

Wildish hedge trimming: 30 Days Wild No. 26

#30DaysWild Random act of wildness No. 26. Ian has been wielding the hedge trimmer in a wildish but not entirely random way – trimming back vegetation under and alongside the line of the electric fence. It’s so we can get the cows back onto Popehouse Moor. Continue reading “Wildish hedge trimming: 30 Days Wild No. 26”