Paddle a boat or board on the pond

Guests at Wheatland Farm’s Devon eco lodges can borrow a boat or board to paddle on the big wildlife pond. Afterall, we know we’ve got it right when you stay on the farm to have fun.

The wildlife pond below Balebarn Eco Lodge is perfect for a calm moment of reflection… but maybe you’d rather make a splash? In spring, summer and through most of the autumn months we usually have a boat or paddle board available for you to use.

In keeping with Wheatland Farm’s sustainability ethos, the boats and boards are second hand or upcycled. For example, the boards are old learner wind surfer boards rather than modern blow up SUPs. If you’ve got your own SUP you can try it out here at Wheatland Farm, or we can tell you about local Devon water ways and beaches.

Of course, there are some basic safety rules for using the boats (and swimming in the pond, whether or not that last bit was intentional…)

Borrowing boats and swimming in the pond at Wheatland Farm

  • You use the Wheatland Farm ponds, boats and boards at your own risk.
  • Don’t go out of your depth unless you’re a competent swimmer. The wildlife pond is shallow on the side nearest Balebarn Eco Lodge – but it’s much deeper on the far side near the pontoons and the life ring.
  • Remember the water will be cold – usually much colder than you’d find at a Devon beach, especially in early spring and autumn. Even if it feels warm at the edge or the surface, it may be much colder further out.
  • Everyone using the boats/boards must have had the safety briefing first.
  • Everyone using the boats/boards must be able to swim 50m unaided, or be wearing a buoyancy aid and be properly supervised by a competent and responsible adult. We have some children’s buoyancy aids you can borrow, but not adult sizes.
  • Children swimming, boating, or just playing near the water must be supervised at all times. Accompanying adults are responsible for children’s safety.
  • No ‘battles’ or pranks please – they are not such fun if they get out of hand.
  • Don’t use the boats if you have been drinking alcohol or are under the influence of any drugs, prescription or otherwise.
  • Tell us about any damage, whether or not you caused it.
  • We reserve the right to charge for any non-trivial damage however caused.
  • You are welcome to swim, but please expect to encounter Devon’s watery wildlife, weed and some mud!
  • Lock the boats and boards up after use, and return the key. Do not pass it to other eco lodge guests, who may not have had the safety briefing.

If all that whets (wets?!) your appetite for adventure, you might want to consider a day out to Exeter, where you can hire canoes at the quay (Saddles and paddles) or via Kayak Hub, who operate from the canal basin. You can paddle to a local pub, or talk to Kayak Hub about adventures further afield (07788 957223 ). You’ll also find operators in North Devon. Ask Maggie if you want more ideas – she’s big into sea kayaking!