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What a beautiful Spring!

Our woodland is finally FULL of Bluebells!
Well.. I didn't know where to start, so I thought I'd just tell you everything all at once, using lots of photo's and very little gibbering... promise : )

Jingo, Shetland ram extraordinaire
We've been lambing, as you know. Thought you'd like to see a few lamby pics. Jingo (above), is the tup of these lambs and he's a bit up himself at the moment. He loves it in the woods. I let him in there every now and again so he can have an explore. The woodland suits him... he suits the woodland.

Now, as this is my first lambing I reserve the right to accidentally be swept off my feet by at least one lamb. This is the lamb. Her name is Nibble.

Nibble still sleeps on her mums back, 4wks old now
Nibble explores our World using her nibble. This is the main reason she managed to captured me. She kept nibbling my welly, my trousers, my hair... then she started a game where she'd jump on to my shoulder then off again, ad infinitum.

Nibble likes a scratch
This has of course now led to the disastrous effect of me being forced to scratch her head. Which sends her into a state of bliss. If I stop she paws me. I am utterly helpless.

In my defence, she does it to my visitors too. None of them have been able to resist the Nibble either.

Pedigree Shetland Black Ram
This little beauty was born yesterday morning.

Shetlands: Moorit mum and wee black ram
 He's coming on well and today I happily, but carefully, removed a really gloopy poo that had stuck to him. Happily because it means he's getting plenty of colostrum. Carefully because it was a giant clag nut stuck fast to his delicate wee bum!

Beautiful Black Shetland Ram
He needs a name for his pedigree certificate. Not come to me yet, any ideas welcome!

Hazel Hurdle
Now to some general news... I made a hazel hurdle. I was supposed to make loads more but life got in the way a bit. I really enjoyed making it and can't wait to get stuck in making loads at the end of the yr!

Exmoor on fire

It was about 8pm on April 17th when Leo and I went round to check on the sheep. We have a view of the moor from the gate and we saw a glow on the horizon. It was about a fraction of what you can see in the picture above. This pic was taken a few hours later. At first we wondered if we should call it in, it didn't look very big, could have been someone having a bonfire. Didn't feel right though and so I dived in the yurt, pulled out my maps and called 999. 

No one else had reported it and I worried I was wrong to have called it in. They took it very seriously though & were on the phone for 15mins with me working it all out. 

The Fire Brigade said that about 8km squared burned that night. An extraordinary sight!
Willows adder bite
Willow got bitten by an adder. It was horrible. The first we noticed something was wrong was when we saw a lump on her face, not massive but definitely there. I investigated it & saw a puncture wound. I though it was a tick bite that had got infected & we took her straight to the vet. The vet shaved her and declared it an adder bite! It's rare that vets hold the anti-venom and so he put her on steroids, anti-inflammatories & anti-biotics.

I drew the blue line around the venom site to keep an eye on it spreading. Adder bites in dogs can be VERY serious indeed. She is fully recovered now, thankfully!

Rocket Stove
Finally we have our rocket stove! Wanted this for ages to replace our little cast iron, single hob ring that runs off a gas bottle. It fires a dream. Yesterday a fried brekkie, today pancakes and of course copious amounts of hot water! All from a handful of twigs. AMAZING bit of kit! We got ours from for £40 and £3pp.

English yew longbow
This, my dear friends, is a work of art. It is a Chris Boyton yew longbow. Leo did the antler nocks, arrow plate and leather handle. I have improved a million fold in using this bow. It fires like a dream, an extension of me already. Each component of the bow has a story, which I will tell in it's own blog post very soon.

Violet Oil beetle
 In the water meadow there are hundreds of Violet oil beetles! I was very lucky to get this picture of two mating. The green gooey stuff between them is poo and the little flies on their backs are feeding on the oil the beetles exude. The female is the giant one on the right. Thanks to Buglife for the extra information on them!

Otter spraint
I'm consistently finding otter spraint in the river now. Still haven't seen one yet!


This giant hairy caterpillar lives in the woods. I would dearly love to know what he's going to be!

I thought he was a bit cute actually... What with those long eyelashes, little tuft of hair and nonchalant chomping away of the grass while I stuck a camera in his face!

Spring foraged salad

I'm feasting on a lot of wild foods at the moment, it's fantastic! I spied a chicken of the woods growing form one of our oaks. Should be troughing on that in the next week or so!

Save Our Woods board meeting
After a long adventure away in Oz, Karen came to stay to catch up on all things
We hatched many plans!

Beautiful Sunsets

So.. this is just a taster of what's been going on down here on the farm. I'll try to be a bit more prolific in my blogging to keep you more up to date!

Now I'm just off to do my nightly rain dance... it takes a few weeks to work sometimes *ahem*

hen xx


  1. Wonderful photos, shame on those who lit the fire it does a lot of damage to the ecology, birds, wildlife and plants.
    Petting young farm animals is all very well, however when they mature do you really want a full sized sheep nudging you at an unguarded moment.
    For I would not like to read of you becoming injured in a years time.

  2. Great hurdle (someday i'd like to make/weave one ...
    Wonderful little sheep babies!!!
    and POOOOR Willow, I'm glad that she's better!


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