8th June 2018

4 STAR TOP GOLD AWARD from VisitEngland

Wow, really pleased, we've just had an overnight "secret" visit from the Visit England Grading Inspector and we've just been told that we've been given a 4 STAR top GOLD Award today. Fantastic news that we're still maintaining our standards both for food, service, hospitality, comfort and cleanliness. Well done Team Fern Cottage

1st June 2018

BRISTOL METROBUS - 1 mile away from Fern Cottage

The new Bristol Metrobus has just opened 1 mile away from Fern Cottage. You can use the Lyde Green Park and Ride area to park or you can walk if you prefer and leave the car at Fern Cottage. The Metrobus starts at Emersons Green and then crosses the road to the Lyde Green Park and Ride area. It runs every 20 minutes and goes straight into Bristol to the Cabot Circus Shopping Centre and then on to Bristol City Centre (the Harbourside).

At the moment the Metrobus is free of charge until Saturday 9th June. Here's the link to the website.  https://travelwest.info/metrobus. You need to purchase the ticket (when the fee applies after 9th June) at the bus stop, this is to save time when people board the bus.

April 2018


The new Isambard Kingdom Brunel Museum has just opened on the Bristol Harbourside celebrating his life and work through previously unseen artefacts and a journey into the mind of the great engineer.  You can combine a visit to the Brunel Museum along with a visit to the SS Great Britain Ship and the M Shed industrial Museum, and if that wasn't enough to do in a day, there is a lovely hour long walk along the harbourside or plenty of riverboat trips.  The SS Great Britain also issues you with a ticket that you can reuse for up to 12 months.  Bargain!

March 2018


We're pleased to be able to tell you that the Concorde Museum has opened it's doors to the public.  We've already booked our tickets to visit this iconic plane, which will probably never be equalled.

Here's the link to their website to book tickets either on line or by phone    http://aerospacebristol.org 

Then there's plenty more to see, either the SS Great Britain at the Bristol Harbourside and the M Shed industrial museum, or a visit on the Park and Ride into Bath to see the sights, such as The Roman Baths, The Thermae Spa, The Jane Austin Museum, the Fashion Museum, the Royal Crescent, No1 The Crescent Museum, in fact too many things to do to list.

Anyway, book a stay at Fern Cottage and you'll be between Bath and Bristol to get the most of your stay.

January 2018


We are very pleased with our new Garden Summerhouse, which we have nicknamed the "lighthouse" because it is lit by sunlight from very early in the morning until sunset.  Even on a cold February day, the highest temperature I have noticed was 28.4oC, with no heating on at all.  It's such a beautiful room that has 180o views towards Lansdown, Dundry and Wells (in Somerset).  A great place to sit and relax.

GOLD for Fern Cottage March 2016

We are very delighted to announce that we have at long last received 4 Star GOLD Accolade from EnjoyEngland.  This award is presented for exceptional quality of accommodation and customer service and hospitality.

Bath Theatre Royal January 2016

Enjoyed a visit to the Theatre Royal in Bath to see the St Petersburg Ballet Company perform Swan Lake.  I have wanted to see this for many years, but always had something on at the time. It was worth the wait.

Highgrove Royal Gardens, Tetbury - Sept 24th 2015

Yesterday we took (yes another day off) and went to the Royal Gardens at Highgrove.  It took us just 25 minutes to get there - just past the Westonbirt Arboretum (our next planned visit shortly to see the autumn trees).

We had a 2 hour guided tour of the beautiful gardens of HRH The Prince of Wales and it was totally worth it.  The gardens are full of his passion for organic gardening and a sense of peace and beauty.  

I can't wait to go back again next Spring to see the spring bulbs and then I also want to see the wildflower meadow in the Summer months.

We have always gardened organically with the environment in mind, as well as caring about our wildlife, trying to grow as many flowers and plants that attract our wild bees that are now seen to be in danger in the future.

Prince Charles's gardens reinvigorated my passion for gardening organically with nature and accepting that some things don't work and you can get it wrong, but with a bit more thought and planning you can help nature and still have a beautiful garden.

After 19 years of living at Fern Cottage, my garden is still a work in progress, but I feel after yesterday's visit to Highgrove that I am on the right path and that any "quick" fixes are the wrong ones.

Bristol Harbourside Festival July 2015

We had a rare treat this afternoon on 19th July - we went to the Bristol Harbour Festival - what a fantastic afternoon.  So many food stalls of every type of food from many different countries. People sitting in Queens Square were treated to bands playing great music while sitting on the grass.

We then walked around the harbourside looking at the many boats that were moored up.  We took the river taxi to cross over to the other side of the harbour.  We were just about to leave when we noticed something happening in the water.  

It was time for the pyro-naughts to start - being hurled up into the air on their jets of water and then bobbing their heads downwards, sent them spiralling into the water and back out again.

Saturday evening was the spectactular fireworks, which we could see even from our field.

All in all a fantastic afternoon, but next year we have promised ourselves a day at the harbourside festival in July 2016.

19 October 2016  •  ROSE Award from Visit England

On Tuesday 18th October 2016 Sue and Pete at Fern Cottage have been presented with the ROSE Award from VisitEngland for Recognition of Service Excellence. 

This Award is only given to 100 companies each year who are graded by VisitEngland. The judging panel looked for innovation that sets businesses apart and included facilities or services offered to make the customer's stay really special. 

We are delighted to have been chosen to receive this Award, especially following our recent regrading as 4 Star GOLD Bed and Breakfast Accommodation providers. 

This is a fantastic achievement to receive this prestigious ROSE Award from VisitEngland.

20 August 2015  •  Banksy!

Weston Super Mare has just announced this evening that the Dismalworld on the sea front, has just opened with an "alternative" exhibition from Banksy and other well known street artists. Weston super Mare is only 35 minutes drive from us - so well worth a thought-provoking visit!

27 November 2014  •  A lovely time of year!

Having spent a morning at the Bath Christmas markets today I came home feeling quite pleased that I have actually managed to finish buying the Christmas presents for family and friends. It's fun watching the different birds coming back to the garden, such as the flock of goldfinches that circle around our trees each evening just before dusk. We've regularly had at least 6 goldfinches every day, but over the last few days, the large flock keeps circling around and landing in our trees. The great spotted woodpecker is a frequent visitor, but the bullfinches have been absent since late spring. They usually appear around the beginning of December (according to our wildlife diary) so starting to look out for them. The roe deer are in the field next to ours, feeding on the good grass. The chickens are still continuing to lay at least 5 eggs a day, especially as a few of our 18 chickens have now come out of moult, which stops them laying until their new feathers have regrown. Starting to think that already marmalade season is nearly here, but I think I'll enjoy Christmas first. I love sitting in front of the woodburning stove, with the curtains drawn and the candles lit - my idea of heaven!

26 March 2014  •  Currants!

The redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries bushes have all been moved and planted in the polytunnel ready for netting once the berries have formed.  They seem to have settled in quite well - so hoping for another huge crop (like last year).  The redcurrants and blackcurrants are our important crop as we make blackcurrant and rhubarb jam, redcurrant and strawberry jam and also jumbleberry jam.

I've just nearly finished planting the early potatoes, but still trying to clear up the raised beds from winter.  This winter we've had our own vegetables all year, usually with a choice of two vegetables even in the heart of winter.
At the moment I have a glut of purple srouting broccoli (which I don't mind because I love it) leeks and an enormous amount of curly kale.
20 March 2014  •  Spring!

How lovely, everything is bursting out - daffodils, primulas - in fact the garden has a hint of yellow this month.  

Last year, each month burst into another colour - in April the garden turned a beautiful pink, with the "Angelique" tulips (looking more like cottage roses with their beautiful mass of petals).  
May and June changed to blues and pinks with the David Austen roses and lavender.
The goldfinches (a flock of about 13) continue to feed each day outside the guests' dining room and the bullfinches have just started coming back.  
The trees are filled with fieldfares noisily chattering.
I've spent quite a bit of time clearing the pond and re-planting at the rear of the pond.  Luckily Monty Don on Gardeners' World also seems to think it's a good idea to do it now.  I'm glad I've got that right - usually it's more luck than judgement!
08 February 2014  •  Weather!

Just a quick update on the weather here in South Gloucestershire - there are no floods affecting us or the local area of Bath or Bristol. The actual flood area is on the Somerset levels (or otherwise known as the flood planes of Somerset).  

We are actually situated on a hill, but even so, between us and Bath or Bristol, there is no flooding that will affect your time here at Fern Cottage.
24 January 2014  •  Marmalade!

It's that time again - I've spent the last couple of days making more jars of that deliciously pungent Seville orange marmalade.  Personally I prefer making jam as it's so quick, whereas the marmalade takes hours to do from start to bottling.

30 December 2013  •  Ruth Watson Means Business


On the 20th December we were in the Ruth Watson's programme - Ruth Watson Means Business, which I was very proud to be the exemplar business - where Ruth Watson brought a couple from a Tea Room business to see why my scones were so good.  We offer complimentary tea, home made scones, home made jam and organic jersey clotted cream to guests on arrival.  It was great fun to be part of the programme.  
The couple asked whether I'd be interested in making their jam for them -  - I enjoy making it and filling my cupboard full of it, but I do it because I love making jam, I don't want to do it because I have to and I think that's the difference!
08 October 2013  •  Flock of Goldfinches

Over the last few weeks' we have had a flock of about 8 - 9 goldfinches visiting the wild bird feeders (just outside the guests' dining room).

The only problem is the cost of attracting these lovely little birds - they can manage to eat 1/2 a feeder at a time of hulled sunflower hearts, and as we fill up two on the stand and two window feeders, it's costing us a fortune.
Also they're quite scary little things - they seem to be quite ferocious with the other members of their flock.
The bullfinches have disappeared for the moment.  There's also quite a few robins about.
06 August 2013  •  Balloon Fiesta!

Just counted 22 air balloons coming towards us in the distance. The wind this morning was a south westerly, so they usually go over us.

The forecast for this week is good, so we're hoping for a spectacular view of them flying morning and evenings, unless the wind changes direction.
17 July 2013  •  It all goes to pot!!

Well you don't have to be mad to work here, but it certainly helps!! Who else would be making jam in weather like this - but the redcurrants were ripe in the garden and needed picking.  To be honest, it's too hot to be gardening, so at least jam making I get to sit down while I strip the redcurrants off their stalks.  I do have to treat myself to a chocolate icecream from the freezer to keep me going though!

So after picking strawberries from St Aldams Fruit Farm in Pucklechurch village, they're all simmering in two large jam pots, ready to make redcurrant and strawberry jam.
If all goes well, I should have over 20lbs of redcurrant and strawberry jam just from this afternoon's labours, so I feel quite pleased with myself.
13 July 2013  •  Oh Deer!

Yes, you've guessed, the roe deer have got into the vegetable plot and they seem to particularly like beetroot, runner beans, lollo rosso lettuce and french beans!!

It's quite disheartening that after battling with the cold spring weather, winds and now a heatwave, the vegetables were beginning to come on really well.  Anyway, we have loads of courgettes for the vegetarian baked eggs!!  Obviously deer don't like courgettes!
The newly planted bee garden is certainly doing it's job with plenty of happy bees flying around.  The flowers look beautiful, as do the lovely highly scented David Austin roses.
01 July 2013  •  Chairman of VisitEngland to visit Fern Cottage!

How exciting, Baroness Lady Penelope Cobham, the Chairman of VisitEngland is coming to Fern Cottage (Winners of the Highly Commended Award from the VisitEngland Awards in Manchester on 20th May).

Lady Penelope will be visiting us on 8th July with Destination Bristol's Chief Executive John Hirst.
22 June 2013  •  Baby woodpecker!

Yesterday I heard the baby woodpecker (greater spotted) - it's usually sounds like a teddy bear squeak.  

Then I saw it on top of the fountain in the back garden while it's mother was feeding from the nuts outside the guests' dining room. 

The last couple of days' have been very exciting, travellling to Manchester for the prestigious Award Ceremony of the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013.

We are so proud to have received the Highly Commended Award in the Bed and Breakfast of the Year category 2013.  To be in the top 5 bed and breakfast businesses in England is a great honour and has also given us a tremendous boost to our reputation, but also to our morale.    
We were up against some amazing competition as the other bed and breakfasts were all 5 Star GOLD Award businesses.
This evening I was interviewed by the BBC's Radio Bristol programme.  I shall be lying down for the next couple of days in shock!  Sue
21 March 2013  •  Fern Cottage in VisitEngland Awards 2013

We are extremely proud to announce that we have been named as a Finalist in the Bed & Breakfast of the Year category of the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013.


As a finalist Fern Cottage now goes forward to the glittering Awards Ceremony which is being held on 20 May 2013 at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Old Trafford, Manchester.


Fern Cottage will have to wait until then to find out which award we will receive.  All Finalists are guaranteed to receive either a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended Award.


Commenting on the finalists James Berresford, VisitEngland?s Chief Executive said ?I would like to congratulate all those nominated as VisitEngland Awards for Excellence Finalists this year.  We received 320 applications and the quality of submissions was higher than ever.  It is therefore no small achievement for Fern Cottage to become a Finalist and justifiably take credit and pride in earning a coveted place in the top five in their category in England.  I wish everyone all the best for the final in May?.

Fern Cottage in VisitEngland Awards 2013
18 March 2013  •  Chickens in the snow

The chickens have decided that they are not venturing out yet today.  Occasionally you can see a chicken at the pop hole door looking out, but that's it.

Other years' they have ventured out in the snow and we've even had loads of eggs during a very cold winter (about 2 years ago), which given the amount of day light hours and how cold it was, I was very surprised that they could lay so many.
Snow - it's stopped snowing now - the forecast is that the snow is going across the country this weekend, so we are hopeful that it won't last.  We're not supposed to get any more snow tomorrow - but it will be cold.
14 March 2013  •  Farmhouse Breakfast Week 20th - 26th January

We know only too well, how important it is to give guests a healthy, nutritional and satisfying breakfast to give them a good start to the day, whether they're sightseeing, visiting family/friends or off to work.

Farmhouse breakfast week runs from 20th to 26th January to champion the importance of breakfast.  47% of people regularly skip breakfast during the week, so the campaign wants to encourage people to enjoy a healthy breakfast more regularly.

The campaign is run on behalf of arable farmers who grow crops such as wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape.

So why not find out how you can make more of your breakfast with some great ideas

23 February 2013  •  Field of Field Fares

What an amazing sight, a whole flock of field fares in our wildlife field.  I think they were the ones we saw that had landed in our silver birch tree on our drive a couple of weeks' ago.

The wild deer are frequent sights at the moment - because the nearby farmer wasn't able to plant winter wheat because of the awful weather at the end of last year, the deer are grazing in the field next to ours.  They also come into our garden and also in our wildlife field.
29 January 2013  •  Awards


Last night we were very proud to be presented with the Guest Accommodation of the Year Award 2012/2013 from Destination Bristol at a Gala Dinner at the Bristol Marriott City Centre Hotel on Monday 28th January 2013.

There were a total of seventeen awards, many sponsored by supporters of the tourism and hospitality industry, and nearly 200 entries were received.

Kathryn Davis, Commercial Services Manager at Destination Bristol, said:  ?The quality of entries and the final shortlist all represent the best of the best tourism businesses in Bristol. We?re really looking forward to celebrating the contribution that so many local businesses make to the visitor economy which is so vital to the city.?

Winners of many of the categories will go on to represent Bristol in the VisitEngland Awards taking place later this year.

26 January 2013  •  Current weather conditions

The snow has almost disappeared, apart from a little in our field.  All roads are clear.

The forecast for us next week is mild, wet and windy!  Shame it couldn't be cold, dry and sunny!
20 January 2013  •  Local weather conditions

The snow seems to be thawing and the main roads are all clear.  Even some of the minor roads are also clear of snow.  

None of our guests' staying at the moment have experienced travel problems from getting here, to travelling into Bath or Bristol city centres and eating out.
18 January 2013  •  Flock of field fares and other garden birds

There's about 4 inches of snow outside now.  

Just looked out and there's a flock of about 20 field fares in one of the silver birch trees on the driveway.  They're all fluffed up to keep warm.  They usually feed in orchards on the fruit, but obviously with all the snow, they must be struggling to find food.
Outside the guests' dining room window the bird feeders are overflowing with hungry garden birds:  chaffinches, great spotted woodpecker, male and female bullfinches, great tits, bluetits, blackbirds, wagtail, 4 robins, collared doves and wood pigeons.
In fact the lilac tree (where all the feeders are hung from) is alive with birds flitting around trying to feed and keep warm.  The window feeders on the guests' dining room has got birds hopping in and out with some of the birds waiting on the seat below the window and on the grape vine for their turn.
It's going to be a struggle today to keep going with the marmalade making, as you can tell from this that I spend a lot of time just watching the birds.  Luckily we have two large windows in the kitchen, so I can just keep watching what's going on in the garden while I'm doing the marmalade.  65 jars todate!
07 January 2013  •  Marmalade time again! .......

Here we go again - it's time to make the Seville orange marmalade again.  We always use the organic oranges as I think it tastes better as we use so much of the rinds.

It usually takes me a couple of weeks to get through about 25 lbs of oranges which makes about 80/90 jars of that lovely tangy marmalade and it usually lasts for 1 year exactly, ready for the next batch the following year.
I'm just waiting for the call from the fruit market and then my place is definitely in the kitchen.
The trouble is, it takes me about 3 months before I can start eating marmalade again, because having smelt it for about 2 weeks' - it's the last thing I want to eat!
31 December 2012  •  Happy New Year!

To all our guests, whether you're here for sightseeing, business, visiting family/friends we wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Sue and Pete 

We wish all our past guests and future guests a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

20 December 2012  •  BEE FRIENDLY GARDEN

You've probably read all sorts of things about the effect the British weather has been having on our honey bees.  

Back in early spring we had loads of blossom on the fruit trees which I remember saying if they all got pollinated, we would have loads of fruit for jam making.  
However, all of a sudden all the blossom came off the trees and then we started to notice that no fruit was growing where the blossom was.  
Usually each year I make jam from raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, damsons, plums, rhubarb and strawberries.
This year (2012) we had one single solitary plum, and half a dozen damsons. Luckily we had loads of redcurrants and blackcurrants.  So this year, I've only been able to make strawberry and rhubarb jam, redcurrant jam, blackcurrant and rhubarb, not forgetting marmalade back in January.  
So what went wrong?  The cold wet weather prevented the bees from flying at the critical time the blossom needed pollinating.  Just goes to show how important bees are to us.  
This year we've been working on the garden, creating new borders and removing old trees and in their place, we've been planting "bee friendly" plants to encourage more bees to the garden.  
I can't wait to see all the beautiful plants again in the spring, plus all the hundreds of bulbs I've planted coming out in February/March.
08 December 2012  •  Sparrowhawk and heron .....

The sparrowhawk has just flown into the garden, but luckily we hadn't put the bird food out yet, so he didn't get any of our lovely garden birds today.  This year we lost quite a few of our birds to the sparrowhawk - and sadly even one of our male bullfinches.

I've just looked out of the kitchen window towards the bottom of the garden (while I'm cooking breakfast) to see the heron just walking around.  Our wildlife pond is out in our field, so unfortunately nothing for him to eat here.  
It's amazing what's happening in the garden - even at this time of year!
07 December 2012  •  Ash die back and what's happening in our field ...

At the bottom of our garden we have a very large old ash tree.  The news about ash die back is very worrying, as the ash tree forms a lovely sight at the bottom of the garden.  Hopefully because there are not many other ash trees near here there might be some hope that it will survive.  

This morning we had a small flock of field fares in our field looking for food.  
Two foxes ran through the next field (probably after our neighbour's chickens).  It just serves as a reminder that they are about and makes us check our electric fencing to make sure we don't lose any more ducks or chickens.
I could also see 4 roe deer sitting in the hedge in our neighbours field enjoying the morning's sunshine.  
Two green woodpeckers are also visiting our wildlife field - they are usually around most of the year, but such a pretty sight. 
04 December 2012  •  What's in the garden.....

Each day more and more garden birds are returning to feed just outside the guests' dining room window as their natural food in hedges and fields disappear for winter.  

Over the last couple of days we've seen, bullfinch, chaffinch, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, blackbird, wren, dunnock, black cap, goldfinch, goldcrest, robin, magpie, rook, crow, long tailed tit, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, pied wagtail, jackdaw, song thrush, wood pigeon and collared dove.
Whats in the garden.....
02 December 2012  •  Garden Birds.....

After such an awful summer we had such a large number of baby birds that didn't make it - it seemed quite cruel that these lovely fluffy little things hadn't grown their new waterproof feathers to get them through the cold wet days.  This year I think we lost about 6 baby birds.

However, after not seeing the Bullfinches for a few months, one of the male Bullfinches has reappeared over the last couple of days, along with a black cap and the great spotted woodpecker.
I think now the shortage of hedge berries and orchard fruits have forced the birds back to our garden for their extensive breakfast menu of :  nuts, wild bird food, niger seeds and hulled sunflower seeds.   
It's good to see them returning again - the garden has been quite quiet these last couple of months, but now the colder weather has returned and their natural food is in decline, it is lovely to see them on the feeders and on the window boxes.
Garden Birds.....
29 November 2012  •  Bath Christmas Markets

Bath Christmas Markets opened for business last Thursday 22nd November and run until Sunday 9th December.  

The Lansdown Park and Ride is very convenient to Fern Cottage, taking only 10 minutes to get to.  Park up and a 6 - 8 minute bus ride will take you straight into the very centre of Bath.  At this very busy time of year, it's a welcome relief not to have to try and find parking in this One Way City.  
The last bus out of Bath is at 9.30 pm to coincide with the Christmas Markets (usually the last bus is at 8.30 pm)  It operates on a Sunday while the Christmas Markets are on.  
We also recommend our guests use this service at any other time of year.
Bath Christmas Markets
24 July 2012  •  Jam Making
My jam cupboard is well stocked with strawberry and rhubarb, blackcurrant and rhubarb and jumbleberry jam (mixed berries: gooseberries, strawberries, redcurrants and white currants).
The taste of the jams are really delicious, being picked in the morning and made into jam by the afternoon.  Our blackcurrants and redcurrants have done extremely well considering the awful weather we have had this summer.
We have been working on a couple of projects in the garden, but have been delayed in doing these borders because of the rain.  Now of course it's too hot to be digging. 
The baby great spotted woodpecker is visiting the nuts outside the guests' breakfast room.  We have sadly lost about 5 baby birds this year due to the weather - they have just got too cold and wet to keep warm. 
Jam Making
30 April 2012  •  Where does the time go?
Where did those two years' go from July 2010 to now? We've been so busy that I've just forgotten to do the diary, so here's a quick update of what's been happening at Fern Cottage.
Over the last couple of years' the wild roe deer have been getting into our field and last year they started coming into the garden.  They wreaked havoc in the garden, pulling all the pansies out of the pots.  I decided to buy some trailing geraniums for the pots as I thought because of the smell and obvious taste, that the deer wouldn't like them and at ?2.99 per geranium I felt they were safe.  How wrong could I be, they ate every one! 
We're just starting to do a rose bed in the centre island of the back garden and I have 12 roses I want to plant, but as I know from past experience that deer love eating roses as well, I'm going to have to make the back garden deer proof.  I have just bought 4 different varieties of David Austen's old fashioned country style roses, so the scent from this rose bed should be amazing.
Our son decided he couldn't keep the 10 chickens he had (he is Head of Science) as he has so much work on at the moment, so with the 10 chickens we already keep, we have enough eggs to keep even Sainsbury's going! 
We have bought rare breed chickens - exchequer leghorns, gold campine, silver campine as well as plymouth rock, light sussex, cream legbars and copper morans.  All the eggs are such amazing colours ranging from blue to chocolate brown, white, cream and beige and look almost like smarties when they're in an egg box.  All our guests say the taste is absolutely fantastic as well as the amazing bright orange colour - the omelettes look as if they have been dyed.
A couple of weeks' ago the fox got one of our khaki campbell ducks - we've still got 3 indian runner ducks and one khaki campbell left, but the two little khaki campbells were sisters and for a little while the remaining duck just sat on her own.  Now she's sitting with the other 3 indian runners.
The fox returns every day and I've got within 10 feet of her, shouting and waving my arms to scare her away - so we're being very vigilant about putting the ducks and chickens away before it gets dusky.
While I was walking around the garden I heard a really strange noise and on looking into the hedge at the bottom of the garden by the decking, I saw a baby fox cub in one of the old rabbit holes.  It looked so cute and for a while I forgot that this was going to be an even bigger problem than just having it's mother returning each day, she now had at least one fox cub to feed.
The wild mallard ducks have arrived back at Fern Cottage and the males are escorting the female in each day to feed.  Although now she must be sitting on her eggs, because she's only coming sometimes late afternoon.
Where does the time go?
16 July 2010  •  Barn Owl Update

The barn owl continues to fly overhead at dusk hunting in the forestry land opposite.  It seems to have its flight path just over our wildlife field and house.

Guests have been enjoying watching the bullfinches feeding from the window feeders on the dining room window while enjoying their breakfasts.  We have seen at least 6 bullfinches most mornings now.

The green woodpecker has been visiting the ash tree at the bottom of the garden with her two babies.

We have also discovered we have a garden warbler who visits the lilac tree outside the dining room window and has been seen by quite a few guests.

Jam making is in full swing at the moment - I've just finished making 60 jars of strawberry and rhubarb jam and over the next couple of days will be making the blackcurrant and rhubarb jam (a firm favourite with our guests).  The blackbirds ate every single redcurrant this year before we could pick them, but don't seem to bother with blackcurrants, so we have loads ready to make into jam.

My vegetables have been hit quite badly with the extreme temperatures we had the last couple of weeks.  I had quite a few young plants that couldn't survive it and my summer purple sprouting broccoli just bolted. 

14 May 2010  •  Ducklings
Everything is happening at the moment.  The wild mallard female duck has just had her baby ducklings on our wildlife pond.  Usually she only stays one day with them on the pond and then they all disappear.  This year is a first, they have stayed ever since they were born a week ago.  We counted 10 ducklings, but there are now only 9. 
The blackbirds have had a large number of babies this year.  This morning the baby Great Spotted Woodpecker was eating the nuts outside the guests' dining room.
A couple of baby bullfinches have also been seen, but all the other birds are still hatching their eggs, as the great tits and blue tits haven't been around for a while.
Hares can be seen in the wheat field at the bottom of the garden, along with the wild deer.
Our Khaki Campbell ducklings are doing really well and we have just bought 3 Indian Runner ducks to join them.  Pete has just made a beautiful duck house for them to give them plenty of space.
The Indian Runner ducks are laying already as I bought them at point of lay
Visit England Rose Award 2016 Visit England award for excellence 2013 Enjoy England award for excellence 2008 4 star farmhouse accommodation Enjoy England Gold award Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence