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

Butterfly

Butterfly Count & Exmoor – South West Coast Path

We’ve done the 2017 Butterfly count , have you? Here’s some of the butterflies we spotted at Huxtable Farm B&B.

butterfly-peacock

Butterfly Peacock

Butterfly Red Admiral

Butterfly Red Admiral

Butterfly Speckled Wood

Butterfly Speckled Wood

Butterfly Meadow Brown

Butterfly Meadow Brown

Butterfly Green Veined White

Butterfly Green Veined White

Butterfly Gatekeeper

Butterfly Gatekeeper

 

It’s National Parks Week from 24th to 30th July and we’re so lucky to have Exmoor National Park just up the road from Huxtable Farm B&B. Exmoor National Park boasts the highest sea cliffs in England and some of the most stunning sea views, making this part of the South West Coast path dramatic and stunning!

Exmoor is home to an amazing variety of habitats & wildlife, including historic Exmoor ponies and Red deer. There’s vast open moorland to deep wooded valleys with rambling rivers & waterfalls e.g. at Watersmeet. There’s so much to explore on Exmoor.

Things to do during July & August in North Devon ; –

RHS Rosemoor Rose Festival has 2000 roses on display now 17th June – 30th July – The largest rose gardens in the South West. Enid Blyton Exhibition of Memorabilia exhibition 15th July – 28th August. Famous Five fun at Rosemoor (childrens activities) 29 July – 3 September Mon – Friday

National Trust Arlington Court – Family ranger days, drop-in family crafts & garden days – PDF of events

Things to do for free at Huxtable Farm B&B

Gardens to visit in North Devon

Beaches to visit in North Devon

Wildlife & Nature of North Devon & Exmoor

North Devon Show 2nd August

Sunflower

July – A bountiful of fruit & roses

July fruit

July fruit

The abundance of fruit (gooseberries, rhubarb, red currants, black currants, loganberries & raspberries) has kept us busy picking fresh fruit for the breakfast table and making a variety of preserve jams also for the breakfast table to enjoy with warm butted toast or croissants.

Raspberry picking

Raspberry picking

 

Raspberry picking

Thank you to my little helps ! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Hampton Court Flower Show Roses

Hampton Court Flower Show Roses

Having been to Hampton Court Flower Show 2017 and loving the roses purchased there,

Hampton Court Flower Show, Monty Don and Joe Swift

Hampton Court Flower Show, Monty Don and Joe Swift

makes me so grateful that we have RHS Rosemoor so close to visit at anytime of year, so special at the moment as it’s RHS Rosemoor’s Rose Festival until 30th July, the roses and their scent are amazing as is the gorgeous ‘Hot garden’.

RHS Rosemoor Gardens, rose festival and hot garden

RHS Rosemoor Gardens, rose festival and hot garden

Mean while here at Huxtable Farm B&B the newly created ‘Wild Flower’ patch is looking lovely and is a great hit with insects and butterflies, as is the wildlife pond too!

Wild Flower patch at Huxtable Farm B&B, North Devon

Wild Flower patch at Huxtable Farm B&B, North Devon

Wildlife pond at Huxtable Farm B&B, West Buckland, Devon

Wildlife pond at Huxtable Farm B&B, West Buckland, Devon

Recently caught on camera, whilst on the Devon Wildlife Farm Trail at Huxtable Farm a ‘Funnel-web spider’ with it’s prey, a grass hopper.

The French Toulouse Goslings are now fully grown

Things to do this July;

RHS Rosemoor Rose Festival has 2000 roses on display now 17th June – 30th July – The largest rose gardens in the South West. Pick up your free Rose Trail Garden Map when you get there.

Lynmouth Raft Race 22nd July

Clovelly Maritime Festival 16th July

Mid Devon Show – National Trust Knighthayes, Tiverton 22nd July 

National Trust Arlington Court – Family ranger days, drop-in family crafts & garden days – PDF of events

Things to do for free at Huxtable Farm B&B

Gardens to visit in North Devon

Beaches to visit in North Devon

Wildlife & Nature of North Devon & Exmoor

North Devon Show 2nd August

Bench with a panoramic view of North Devon

May – Bluebell walks, Gardens, County Show and much more …

Swallows at Huxtable Farm B&B

Swallows at Huxtable Farm B&B

 

 

May – The woodland has this years fresh new leaves, the days are getting warmer & longer, the swallows are back and the bluebells are looking glorious–

Lambing has been good and the lambs are growing well in the fields

Please click HERE to view other video’s taken at Huxtable Farm B&B.

rhubarb in garden

rhubarb in garden

We’ve just enjoyed this years first rhubarb at breakfast and soon I’ll be able to plant out the various 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. Marwood Hill Garden with it’s beautiful wisteria archway.

 

Walking in North Devon during May is very popular staying over night at Huxtable Farm B&B whilst walking the Macmillan Way West or Tarka Trail, both passing the entrance to Huxtable Farm – We always enjoying hearing about everyone’s adventures! Click here for information on walking & cycling in North Devon.

Treasue Trail at Huxtable Farm B&B, North Devon

Treasue Trail at Huxtable Farm B&B, North Devon

If you enjoy a walk in the countryside, Huxtable Farm’s 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. To make it even more interesting we now have a ‘Treasure Trail’ for you to enjoy!

Events taking place during May;

The Devon County Show, takes place this month on the 18th, 19th & 20th 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.

RHS Rosemoor Gardens Plant Heritage Spring Fair 13 – 14th May, Devon Chilli Fiesta 20-21st May & future event – RHS Rosemoor’s first Flower Show 18th -20th August.

21st May 4th & 11th June 2017 – Point to Point at Bratton Down.

Tomatoes, vines & sunflowers in greenhouse

Tomatoes, vines & sunflowers in greenhouse

Fun filled drop in craft and ranger days at National Trust Arlington Court

Bee Keeping experience days at Quince Honey Farm 11th & 13th May

Meet Marshall from Paw Patrol at The Milky Way Adventure Park 28th May

Meet Rex the T-Rex and his baby dinosaurs at The Big Sheep Adventure Park  28th May

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, 4th June : Promoting seaweed for its immense health & nutritional benefits

or just come and enjoy panoramic views from Huxtable Farm B&B!

Enjoying the view South towards Dartmoor

Enjoying the view South towards Dartmoor

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

Easter chicks

Spring is in the air – Catkins, frogs spawn

Frog spawn in Huxtable Farm B&B's pond

Frog spawn in Huxtable Farm B&B’s pond

The wildlife at Huxtable Farm is starting to feel like spring is in the air;

The frogs have been busy laying their spawn in the pond and having seen a beautiful photograph of the delicate little flowers of the Hazel tree at the 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the year I have been keen to photograph the lovely delicate spider like flowers myself here on Huxtable Farm B&B’s Devon Wildlife Trail.

Hazel tee flowers and catkins

Hazel tee flowers and catkins

 

 

Broody hens are sitting on their eggs too!

To help you enjoy what’s going on in North Devon during March we have some SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES at Huxtable Farm B&B until 30th March 2017.

Otherwise, please have a look at the fantastic variety of events due to take place in North Devon during 2017 by looking at Huxtable Farm B&B’s local Events/Farm Calendar

First snow of 2016 winter

First flurry of snow! Lambing to commence about April fools day 2017

Snow on Devon Wildlife Farm Trail & Farm B&B North Devon

Snow on Devon Wildlife Farm Trail & Farm B&B North Devon 

Jacob ram at Barnstaple B&B

Jacob ram at Barnstaple B&B

November 18th 2016 we have our first flurry of snow making us feel a little Christmassy!

Also, the rams have been with the ewes since the 1st November so the ewes should start lambing round about April Fools day in 2017 for the month of April.

 

If you’re looking for some beautiful unique Jacob wool gifts for Christmas we have some beautiful, throws, cushions, scarves and other products made from Huxtable Farm B&B’s Jacob wool, click here to see what’s available.

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