Family camping near Glastonbury, Wells and Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK

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    Well 4 lambs actually.

    Today we brought the lambs along from Barrow Farm to graze at Greenacres for the summer. They have a nice new shelter, plenty of lush grass to munch and the chickens to keep them amused (not to mention campers!).

    Mary and our girls have been bottle-feeding them for the past 6 weeks at the farm, along with several others. The little woolly jumpers are now big enough to bring outside without fear of predators, although we have an electric fence in place to help keep them safe. Two of the lambs were orphaned when their mothers died, the others triplets that the ewes were unable to feed. Bottle feeding will continue for a while yet, although now just twice a day.

    I'm sure that their antics will keep us all amused in the months ahead.




    Spring In Our Steps



    Just 2 weeks in to the 2010 season and already the weather has been playing tricks. We opened at Easter to a fanfare of howling winds and torrential rain, more akin to November than the first flourish of spring. Our numbers were down on last year’s glorious Easter, but a few hardy souls made the best of it. First campers of the year were Jason and Claire Bradbury and their 3 boys, Greenacres regulars. According to our girls Claire is an awesome marshmallow toaster, but soggy marshmallows are no joke and so the Bradburys reluctantly decided to cut short their stay. At least we had some great feedback about our new showers – Jason reckoned they were the only thing that kept him warm! We look forward to welcoming them back next month.

    Almost as soon as the Bradbury family returned to Surrey the sun started to shine… and shine… and carry on shining! Glorious Spring days appeared from nowhere. The campsite instantly looks like a different place as grey gives way to lush green and new life blossoms everywhere. Our garden birds are busy nesting and emptying the feeders as quick as we can fill them. The Sparrow Hawk that paid us a visit before Christmas has been a regular sight, harrying smaller birds on the field next to the campsite. Wild rabbits are everywhere, eating and digging-up our freshly mown grass. Holes and more holes – they dig them and I fill them – a constant maintenance chore. One unfortunate little bunny caused quite a stir the other day. It was obviously unwell and ignored the tractor mower getting very close. As I approached I noticed it was blind, which it ably demonstrated by leaping up and charging straight into the side of the tractor! It hopped off no worse for its ordeal and entertained the children for a while, but I suspect a buzzard or a fox would soon be less kind. That’s nature’s way.

    It’s been a busy time on our neighbours’ farm too, with several calves being born, including a healthy pair of twins the other day. The main event was the arrival of a new, pedigree Hereford Bull. Nick is hoping he will have a fruitful future at Barrow Farm, but he won’t be introduced to any of the “ladies” for a few days yet. Meanwhile the lambs are feeding well and growing equally well. They now drink cows’ milk and took their first steps into the paddock at the farm last Sunday. Lambs have a habit of suddenly skipping and bouncing up high for no reason, which is really funny to watch. The paddock is protected by an electric fence to keep lambs and predators on opposite sides, but the lambs needed to learn what an electric fence is and what it does. It was a case of being cruel to be kind, watching and wincing as, one by one, they got too close, then CRACK!! the fence did its job and a poor little lamb learned its lesson. If all goes well we will be moving our lambs to Greenacres later in the week. Oh and the girls have decided we’re now having 3, not 2, and they now have names like Sophie, Larry and Speckles. The discussions in September/October may not be quite so easy as I thought…

    Of course the most important sign that Spring has arrived is the return of the swallows. It hasn’t happened yet. Just like our campers they turn up each year around Easter, live on the campsite through the warmer months and stay until September, before spending the winter in Africa I’m told. In 2009 they appeared on 14th April, so I’m keen to see how much later they’ll come back this year. I’m watching the skies each day for any signs – heck I just realised how sad that reads – I must have lived near Glastonbury too long!

    Best wishes


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