How the glamping season ended for us in South Devon

After a long hot summer, with the glamping having gone really well, we once again had to dismantle the yurts and store them ready for the next season.  This doesn’t take long but there always seems to be rain on the horizon at that time of year , which leaves me franticly try to get the canvas inside before the next downpour (they don’t  store well if they are damp! )

Once they were safely packed away my thoughts this year  then turned to the fishing lakes. I had restocked with carp two years ago but to my surprise we had visitors in the form of otters. They are amazing creatures to see in the wild and I consider myself very lucky to have seen them on three separate occasions ,I was hoping that they would only take a few fish and was prepared to except some loses , but over time it became clear that they thought this was there local Tescos!

As a result of having found many half eaten fish around, I took the decision to fence around the lakes to keep the fish safe and then restock again. The real problem is that I really want the otters to keep coming back in the hope that others might have the chance of seeing them (as I write, my  wife has just come home from work and tells me that she has just seen an otter crossing the road as she drove past the lakes)

I have decided to dig another small pond by the stream that flows through here and stock it with some sacrificial fish. hopefully we can keep everyone happy.While clearing pond weeds from the middle lake this autumn I had a real surprise when I found a fresh water clam, it was about 4 inches long and quit heavy, i had no idea that there were such creatures in there – the question is, how on earth did they get in??

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The farm has been busy as usual with the hay and straw all safely stored in the dry, which was quite easy this year thanks to the much dryer summer. The Polled Dorset Sheep lambed in November and have been growing really fast as they are grazing on stubble turnips, these are sown for them in August. They are easy to grow, the sheep love them and are as good for them as lovely spring grass. The problem is that in 2013 it has been a bit wet since December and as a result our sheep seem to have turned pink in colour! This is because of our very red Devon soil that is so fertile.

The calves have now reached 6-7 months old and have been weaned from the South Devon Cows, most of the cows are back in calf and due from February onwards . There are 7 in calf heifers that have not calved before that are due to the Aberdeen Angus Bull, running them with this breed reduces the risk of calving  problems on their first time so fingers crossed.

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The light sussex chickens  are looking really good and are laying an egg a day at the moment, we have introduced them to a lovely cockerel who is a black and copper maran,this breed produces a very dark brown egg ,so there could be some chicks running around soon, thats if we can keep the foxes at bay and hopefully he won’t be to noisy and keep our guests awake!

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In the Torbay area we got hit pretty hard with storms this year, as you can see above the weather was no respecter of age and experience! Still, it is good fuel for the wood burners in the yurts.

We had lots of happy costumers going home telling us how much they had enjoyed their stay and what a great base it is to explore the surrounding area weather by car or on foot, so we are looking forward to another busy season ahead. See you in Easter!

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