Exmoor Red Deer in the woods

February – Snowdrops & things to do this Spring in North Devon

Exmoor pony foal in fluffy winter coat

Exmoor pony foal in fluffy winter coat

Hare in grass at Huxtable Farm B&B

Hare in grass at Huxtable Farm B&B

Winter is a special time to see a wide variety of Devon Wildlife from Exmoor Red Deer and the iconic Exmoor ponies in their fluffy winter coats to otters and dolphins in the rivers and sea respectively. Spotting wildlife on the farm during February and March is great too; – The trees don’t have their leaves yet so you can spot the Roe deer and Exmoor Red deer in the woodland, brown hares in the grassy verges, hear & spot lesser spotted woodpeckers and see buzzards and more recently Kites soaring over head.

woodpecker

woodpecker

 

February is a fabulous time to enjoy the beautiful snowdrops of North Devon, littered in the hedgerow at Huxtable Farm B&B , RHS Rosemoor and at Snowdrop Valley (a privately owned remote valley in a hidden part of Exmoor close to Wheddon Cross open to the public 2nd Feb – 3rd March 2019)

Throws by the fire

Throws by the fire

 

We hope everyone is keeping warm during these fresh, crisp, frosty days. Here the wood burners are roaring with wood from the farm – great for warming up next to having come in from outside after taking Bella, the Springer Spaniel, for a farm walk or having fed the sheep.

During February 2019 a range of restaurants on and around Exmoor will be offering outstanding food at an affordable price as part of the Exmoor Food Fest. Customers will be able to eat their way across Exmoor from £10.00 per meal Click on the following link to find out the participating Exmoor Food Fest Restaurants   #ExFF19

Bo - Bottle fed tame lamb

Bo – Bottle fed tame lamb

Our small flock of Jacob sheep are due to produce lambs April – Do come and enjoy this time of year with us when the hibernation period is coming to end and our stunning countryside is waking up.

During April, leading up to Easter, 21st April some of the local attractions have #Easter #Egg hunts and Easter events to enjoy;
April – RHS Rosemoor –  Easter crafts.
Easter fun at National Trust Arlington Court & Cadburys Easter Eggs Hunt.
Quince Honey Farm, The Big Sheep, The Milky Way, NT Arlington Court, RHS Rosemoor, Hartland Abbey and find the Easter chicks at Clovelly!

To help you enjoy what’s going on in North Devon in February and March we have some SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES at Huxtable Farm B&B until 31st March 2019.

Please also have a look at the fantastic variety of events due to take place in North Devon during 2019 by looking at Huxtable Farm B&B’s local Events/Farm Calendar so that you can plan your next stay to coincide with an event that interests you.

Check available dates at Huxtable Farm B&B, West Buckland, Barnstaple, Devon and Exmoor

A few wildlife videos to enjoy

Snowdrops

February-Snowdrops and things to do this year

Bird box

Bird box

Time to enjoy the beautiful snowdrops of North Devon, littered in the hedgerow at Huxtable Farm B&B , RHS Rosemoor and at Snowdrop Valley (a privately owned remote valley in a hidden part of Exmoor close to Whedden Cross open to the public 27th Jan – 25th Feb)

 

The bird boxes are up around the farm again – Looking forward to house this year’s Spring birds.

 

Stream on Devon Wildlife Farm Trail

Stream on Devon Wildlife Farm Trail

This February you can also get a taste of Exmoor by sampling the delicious, local food prepared by some great Exmoor restaurants during ‘The Exmoor Food Festival’ – Eat your way across Exmoor during February 2018! Participating restaurants across the region will offer 2 courses for  £10.00 / 3 courses for £15.00 between 1st and 28th February. Great to stop off at during a walk on Exmoor or after having done Huxtable Farm’s Wildlife Trail

Our flock of sheep are due to start lambing at the end of March and during April – Do come and enjoy this time of year with us.

To help you enjoy what’s going on in North Devon in February and March we have some SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES at Huxtable Farm B&B until 13th March 2018.

Owl box on Wildlife farm trail

Owl box on Wildlife farm trail

Otherwise, please have a look at the fantastic variety of events due to take place in North Devon during 2018 by looking at Huxtable Farm B&B’s local Events/Farm Calendar 

Including some #Easter #Egg hunts to look forward to at all the attractions in the area;
April – RHS Rosemoor –  Easter Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt & Easter crafts.
Easter fun at National Trust Arlington Court & Cadburys Easter Eggs Hunt.
Quince Honey Farm, The Big Sheep, The Milky Way, NT Arlington Court, RHS Rosemoor, Hartland Abbey and find the Easter chicks at Clovelly!

 

 

Bo - Bottle fed tame lamb

Bottle fed tame lamb

leveret

The March Hare

Leveret baby hare at Huxtable farm B&B, Barnstaple

Leveret baby hare at Huxtable farm B&B, Barnstaple

I can’t believe it’s been six years since I hand reared this beautiful hare. I hope it’s him I see on the farm occasionally because we reared him and released him back into the wild once he was acclimatised to feeding himself.

He was found, as a leveret, under some branches Antony was about burn. Having researched how to rear a hare on the internet I read that they can be fed ewes milk. Our ewes were lambing at the time so an extra bit of ewes milk was warmed up when feeding the orphan tame lambs, he took to the bottle well!

Leveret drinking at Huxtable Farm B&B, Devon

Leveret drinking at Huxtable Farm B&B, Devon

Known as the fastest mammal in the UK, the Brown Hare is capable of reaching speeds up to 45mph (72kph), making them able to outrun a predator.

A hare can be distinguished from their close relative the rabbit, by their distinctive long ears with black tips, powerful long hind legs and orange iris in contrast to rabbits eyes which are almost black.

The boxing behaviour that can be seen during March is usually female hares fending off amorous males.

The brown hare used to be a common sight in the British countryside but the population has declined since 1960 , due sadly to various reason such as  changes in agricultural practices & traffic deaths.

Hare in field at Huxtable Farm B&B, West Buckland, Barnstaple Devon,

Hare in field at Huxtable Farm B&B, West Buckland, Barnstaple Devon,

 

Hare at Huxtable Farm B&B Devon

Hare at Huxtable Farm B&B Devon

Exmoor Red Deer in the woods

May – Wildlife walks, gardens to visit and Devon County Show

Leverets, bata & wood anemone at Huxtable Farm B&B, Devon

Leverets, bats & wood anemones at Huxtable Farm B&B, Devon

May – The trees have their new leaves and the days are getting warmer & longer. The swallows are back and starting to build their nests and there is also evidence of other young on the farm –

 

View more of Huxtable Farm B&B’s wildlife video’s by clicking here – https://www.youtube.com/exmoordeer

Just picked this year first rhubarb and soon I’ll be able to plant out the seedlings from the greenhouse too. With so much to do in the garden at this time of year it’s always great to have a break and visit RHS Rosemoor Gardens and see what the experts are doing and get inspiration from the other glorious gardens of North Devon; Castle Hill Gardens (just down the road from Huxtable Farm) is looking good this month with it’s camellias in flower.

May is the month we get a lot of walkers staying over whilst walking the Macmillan Way West or Tarka Trail, both passing the entrance to Huxtable Farm – We always enjoying hearing about their journey so far! Click here for information on walking & cycling in North Devon.

If you enjoy a walk in the countryside, Huxtable Farms Devon Wildlife farm trail has a variety beautiful wild flowers and foliage to enjoy in its variety of habitats; woodland, pasture, pond, bracken slope and hedges.

Bluebells (Pink & White bells), Dandelions & Rhubarb at Huxtable Farm B&B, North Devon

Bluebells (Pink & White bells), Dandelions & Rhubarb at Huxtable Farm B&B, North Devon

 

The Devon County Show, takes place this month on the 19th, 20th & 21st May, near Exeter. With something for everyone from prize winning animals, new vehicles & machinery to beautiful crafts & scrumptious food & drink, this is a great day out for all.

In June you can look forward to;

The South Molton Vintage Rally: 3rd & 4th June : Cars, motorcycles, steam engines, crafts, & demonstrations of rural skills.

Clovelly Seaweed Festival, 12th June : Promoting seaweed for its immense health & nutritional benefits