We have bats

6th June 2019

I’m sure by now you can see we quite like animals, not just the ones in our paddocks, all animals (except snakes!😱). Quite often we see bats flying around, so Michele asked me to make a bat box, which I did. Recently we had the opportunity to have a ‘bat detector’ for a few days, [More…]

Soprano Pipistrelle

Holiday with Alpacas in Devon ?

21st May 2019

Having alpacas is wonderful! When we first moved down to Devon we needed something (other than me) to keep the grass down. Our first visit to the County fair and the first animals we saw were alapacs, we fell in love. Our alpacas are all boys and all pets. But, it’s not all cuddles as [More…]

Alpacas-devon

Walking the Tarka Trail

20th May 2019

We had a few hours to spare so thought we would take a walk on the Tarka trail. Being so close to the Tarka Trail means we can just hop on at any point and walk a section or two. In the past we have started at the Puffing Billy and headed towards Bideford and [More…]

Walking-the-Tarka-Trail

Sheep Shearing

14th May 2019

Trying to get the right time to get the sheep shearer in is never easy. It’s very easy to rush to the phone at the first sight of the sun, but British weather what it is means it will probably be really cold and wet straight after. The fleece of the sheep actually keeps the [More…]

Greyface Dartmoor-Curly-Sue

Horse Riding on Dartmoor

7th May 2019

A busy few days here at Moorparks, with the Hawk Walk yesterday, then horse riding across Dartmoor and a trip to Dingles will finish the week. Some guests who were visiting us recently asked me where they could go horse riding in the countryside. After many phone calls I found Cholwell Riding Stables on Dartmoor [More…]

Horse riding on Dartmoor

North Devon Hawk Walk

6th May 2019

Last year, at one of the many shows in the area, we visited the stand of Nigel from North Devon Hawk Walks. When someone is standing around holding a Harris Hawk you just have to go and have a look. Michele got to hold the hawk and, as you can see here, she was pretty [More…]

Barn Owl North Devon

Our Barn Owl Camera

27th April 2019

if you keep up to date you will remember that we mad a barn owl box back in February. Here’s the LINK if you don’t remember. Well, we are please to say that after a few false starts with pigeons and a few small birds trying it out we had our first visit form an [More…]

Barn-Owl Camera devon

Smallholding, The perfect life!

21st April 2019

I came across this on one of the many Facebook sites we watch and learn from, just about covers it. “It is one month to the day since we fulfilled our life-long dream and moved to a smallholding. Here are some random observations: The days aren’t long enough. We are constantly shattered. Pip the dog [More…]

Pigs in Smallholding

Collecting our new Swiss Valais Blacknose Sheep

11th April 2019

We are lucky enough to have been able to look after some Swiss Valais sheep belonging to our good friends ‘Woolley Animals’ who live near us. They have been with us for a while now and we (well, mainly me to be honest) have become quite attached to them. Anyone who has visited us will [More…]

Swiss Valais Blacknose Sheep Devon

Beaford village magazine and Website

1st April 2019

And now I can rest! I don’t remember volunteering to produce the local newsletter but I seemed to have ended up with the job. This is the first month I have produced the newsletter (The Bugle) and the first time ever I have tried anything like this. It has to be delivered at the start [More…]

Devon Air Ambulance donation

29th March 2019

The base for Devon air ambulance is about three miles away. We very often see the helicopter fly over our property on the way to an emergency. You may not know that it’s donations which keep the helicopters flying. Our guests receive eggs and logs in the cottages on arrival but can purchase extra if [More…]

Renovating the church bells

5th - 6th March 2019

Life lesson No.1 : Don’t volunteer until you have all the details! After all of the fund raising by the bell ringers of Beaford village, on Tuesday 5th March 2019, the engineer came to start taking out all of the parts for renovation. Work started on the Sunday when volunteers braved the dizzy heights to [More…]

Lambing Greyface Dartmoor sheep in Devon

25th February - 2nd March 2019

Lambing time is now over for us at Moorparks. We had a couple of months of preparing, which included buying all of the equipment, setting up our lambing barn, going on a lambing course and visiting farms for lambing practice and tips. We have books, lots of books now. We have lots of ‘bookmarks’ on [More…]

A little bit of Lambing practice

16th February 2019

When we collected our Greyface Dartmoor girls they had already been with the ram and hopefully expecting. We have recently been on a fantastic lambing course, held at our farm vet, which taught us a great deal. The people we bought them from were kind enough to invite us back to see what happens at [More…]

Making a Barn Owl box

13th February 2019

Quite often when driving around the country lanes we can see a Barn Owl flying along following a hedgeline. In the evenings we can hear them, they are fantastic birds. Making a barn owl box has been on my ‘to do’ list for a long time, along with a great deal of other things. But [More…]

Barn-Owl Camera devon

Smallholder ‘animal sitting’

12th - 14th February 2019

Having animals is fantastic, we love it. But, obviously, it does mean that you have to be there to check them a minimum of a couple of times a day, feed them and sort any bedding, water etc. Usually this isn’t a problem, but when you want to go away for a night or two [More…]

Making a bat box.

11th February 2019

At the moment, at Moorparks, we have 4 bird feeding staions. The feeding stations are located at the front and side of our house (just ouside our windows) and one outside of each holiday cottage. Each station has a number of different feed types to attract different birds. Over the few years we have been [More…]

Bat Box

Smallholders lambing Course

2nd February 2019

Time seems to be racing on as we get close to lambing time. We have had our pet sheep for just over two years now but only recently bought our first Greyface Dartmoor pedigree ewes. The ewes were put with the ram before we picked them up, so we will be expecting our first ‘Moorparks’ [More…]

Torrington Cavaliers Mayflower Bonfire 2020

11th January 2019

Towards the end of the 12th century a ‘large waste called The Common’, now Torrington Commons, was given to the people of Torrington. In 1889 the rights to this land were transferred, by an act of parliament, to an elected Committee of Conservators. They now administer 365 acres of land surrounding the town on all [More…]

A visit to RHS Rosemoor nightglow

24th November 2018

This was our first trip to RHS Garden Rosemoor night glow this year. This is the third year we have been and each one has been better than the last. The lighting starts as soon as you enter the car park, but that is just a taster of what’s to come. This year there is [More…]

We have our new sheep.

12th November 2018

The long wait is now over. Back in August we went to Bath to have a look at some Greyface Dartmoor ewes. At the moment we have two Greyface wethers (castrated male sheep) and have loved their temperament so thought about getting some more. As the Greyface Dartmoor sheep is on the rare breeds list [More…]

Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre

28th October 2018

We only recently found out about Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre from friends. So we were really pleased when they invited us to join them on their visit today. The Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is home to the National Fairground Collection and the Fairground Heritage Trust. It is a facility unique in the UK. There are [More…]

Dingles Fairground Rides 2

Lynton and Lynmouth

28th September 2018

Lynmouth Usually when we decide to go out somewhere we struggle to agree. This times wasn’t so hard as Michele wanted to visit Lynton and I wanted to visit Watersmeet. As they are close we decided on both. It’s been four years since we have been to Lynton and Lynmouth. There are so many places [More…]

Lynton and Lynmouth

Watersmeet House

28th September 2018

Watersmeet House is a Nation Trust property set next to a stunning river gorge and amongst ancient woodlands. We decided (well, Michele decided for us 😟) to walk from Lynmouth to Watersmeet. The gorge runs directly from Lynmouth and the walk follows the river banks for most of the way. There are a couple of [More…]

Watersmeet-Devon-Lynton

Making Silage

24th September 2018

Earlier in the year we took back about eight acres of fields which were being rented out to a neighbouring farmer. We had decided to get some Greyface Dartmoor sheep, we didnt want these in with the ‘pet sheep’ so needed some new paddocks.With some help from a neighbour we fenced off our fields and [More…]

Moorparks-silage-bale

Beaford Autumn Show 2018

15th September 2018

Beaford’s 5th Annual Autumn show is a big date in the Beaford calender. There are about 400 people living in Beaford and most of them came at some time during the day.There are smaller events and competitions leading upto the big day. This year there were scarecrows made from flower pots, summer wreath displays which [More…]

Beaford-Show-produce

Making Apple Juice

7th September 2018

Making Apple Juice We, at Moorparks Holiday Cottages, have a number of apple trees, twelve to be exact so making apple juice or cider was a must. When we moved in we planted six along the fenceline with the alpaca field. The rest were already here and are mature and one old tree. We have [More…]

Our newest apple trees

Sheepdog & Falconry display

5th September 2018

Sheepdog & Falconry display We spent yesterday evening at a Borough Farm Sheepdog and Falconry Displays, Farmyard show in Woolacombe with friends, Cathy and Stuart. This was the last show of the year but is usually on every Wednesday evening from May to September. The show started off with a falconry display and then moved [More…]

Sheepdog & Falconry display

Dartmoor Walk

2nd September 2018

A Dartmoor Walk Michele’s job as a nurse has her travelling around Devon and Cornwall. During the summer months there are some amazing views as there are so many hills around. Dartmoor is a regular route for Michele, but although she drives through it, she doesn’t get much of a chance to see it in [More…]

Dartmoor

Trapped Escape Rooms Okehampton

1st September 2018

Trapped Escape Rooms Scott and Kayleigh, always ones for looking for new things to try, found Trapped Escape rooms in Okehampton and booked an afternnon visit for the four of us.I had no idea what this was or what I was in for, they on the other had were ‘old hands’. With Kayleigh, 100% success [More…]

Trapped Escape Rooms

Go Segway Exeter

30th August 2018

Go Segway Exeter We had our eldest son Scott and his girlfriend Kayleigh with us for a few days. We thought we would try something a little different, so Michele got searching. She found Go Segway Exeter, who are based in Halden forest. It was one of the last days of the summer holidays and [More…]

Go Segway Devon

Devon Air Ambulance

21st December 2017

The base for Devon air ambulance is about three miles away. We very often see the helicopter fly over our property on the way to an emergency. You may not know that it’s donations which keep the helicopters flying. Our guests receive eggs and logs in the cottages on arrival but can purchase extra if [More…]

Devon Life

As time goes on we get a little bit more of Moorparks closer to being completed. There has been changes along the way, new ideas, more animals etc but each month we get closer to the days of ‘just doing the gardening and maintenance’. We hardly went out during our first two years in Devon but there was so much to do and we wanted to get the holiday cottages, Moorparks Barn and Moorparks Cottage, up and running. We are now trying to go to some of the many places to visit, beaches, towns, villages and attractions which surround us.