Otters & Owls at Christmas time in Devon

Most of the time this month has been spent feeding silage to the cattle in the barn, and keeping there bedding clean with plenty of lovely golden straw.

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When we clean this out in the spring this will give us lots of manure to spread on the fields as we don’t spread any chemical fertilisers.

It’s lucky we don’t have any cattle outside this year as the weather has continued very wet, although it has been very mild here in south Devon with temperatures in double figures most of the time

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Because of this the wild life has had an easier time than other years, there  seems to be so much to see around the farm and i keep seeing new bird species, such as nuthatch near the ponds and also a glimpse of a barn owl.I know they are around and i am keen to help them so have been in contact with Seb who is a local wild life photographer and conservationist , he is going to make up 6 barn owl boxes for me to erect in the trees around the farm.

At the same time I am going to create hunting habitat for them by leaving areas of grass around the farm to become tufty , under this layer of dead grass is perfect habitat for voles  and mice that barn owls eat.

Also its been good to get seb back to the farm because I have seen signs that the otters have been back again and so he has set up a camera and hopefully we will have some photos to show you soon!

As usual this Christmas I went to Newton Abbot our local market town to buy a turkey, it still has the livestock market in the town and this creates a wonderful atmosphere especially around christmas, when they have the dead poultry sale there are hundreds of turkeys geese and chickens plus many other lots, so many in fact that there were 2 auctioneers going at the same time

I managed to buy a 23lb turkey that was soon polished off over christmas and also ended up with a nice  goose that will go in the freezer for a special occasion.

This year we have decided to have more yurts instead of the bell tents and so another16 foot yurt and an 18 foot yurt have been ordered so work will start soon on making the bases for them to sit on. This combined with trying to split enough wood for the yurt campers is keeping us very busy! Hope to see you soon.

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