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Conservation Map

Conservation Map

We had a good Easter with quite a few caravanners parked up for the long weekend. Bookings are coming in gradually for the rest of the season, with the second May weekend nearly being booked out.

The weather was pretty good for the first long weekend in May and lots of people came to stay on the site.

The conservation walk map has been updated with field names put in in appropriate places, and stickers to show where the animals are so that everyone knows that we have a working farm.


After a very long winter it was time to get the cottage garden ready for planting so it has been weeded and rotovated. Pruning of roses, lavaterias, the grape vine, buddleias and clematis has gone on apace. The dahlia tubers have come out of hibernation from the spare bedroom and have been planted. The sunflower patch has been extended with very long poles to aid with the support of long canes when the plants get as high as 6 or 7 feet.

Tomatoes have been planted in the polytunnel, the varieties being Money Maker, Gardeners Delight, Alicante and Tumbler. The Chrysanthemums (all growing in large pots) have been taken out of their winter quarters in the polytunnel to spend the summer in the cottage garden. A few new plants (destined for the campsite eventually) have been potted up with multipurpose compost mixed in with top soil to stop the compost shrinking over the years.

I was tempted to buy some wild flowers at a local flower fair and now have a wild flower corner which consists of Greater Knapweed, Ragged Robin, Red Campion, Marsh Marigold, Lady’s Smock and Ox-eye daisy. So many of the wild flowers are disappearing in the countryside unfortunately. A recent survey done on our farm by the Dorset Wildlife Trust found that we had 71 plant species.

I am in the process of planting seeds – sunflowers, sweet peas, carrots, pumpkins, runner beans, shallots and onion sets

The rhubarb was moved to a different garden this spring and has has done well under flower pots to force the stems. Primroses are in abundance this year.


The goose house to accommodate the day old goslings had to be made rat proof so a metal strip was put along the base of the door as well as along the threshold. A circle was made from hardboard. The goslings now live inside it with heat lamps to keep them warm until they are feathered up and old enough to go outside. As they grow the circle can be made bigger by incorporating another piece of hardboard. The structure must be circular so that if the goslings get into a ‘bit of panic,’ which they sometimes do, they will not get suffocated in a corner. The goslings arrived last week.

The two rams, Boris and Rex, have been moved to greener pastures but still look bad tempered.

A burst balloon was found in one of our fields which is a danger to wildlife if part or all of it is eaten by cattle or sheep.

Tiger the kitten we found abandoned in our barn several years ago has grown into a lovely ginger tom, but is still of a nervous disposition because of its experiences with stray cats in its infancy in the barn.


Small hives have been placed in the new bee site ready to catch swarms or for nuclear stocks. These National hives are the most popular ones used by beekeepers. The white WBC hive is just a feature at the moment and is in need of a lick of paint. It is about 50 years old and belonged to my mother. WBC stands for William Broughton-Carr who invented the moveable frame hive for the manipulation and control of bees. The WBC is most suitable for remaining in one position in the apiary because of its bulk and extra weight and difficulty in moving it about, but its main advantages are providing an air space between the outer telescopic lifts and the interior brood box and supers so creating a dry, warm air space.


As with everyone one’s attic mine is overflowing, so it was necessary to start clearing it out. We used a ladder to bring down a very awkwardly shaped sofa from the big window, and found the best way to move bags of my old teaching material was to put the boxes in bin liners and throw them out. We still have more furniture to move out which will probably have to be sawn in half or quarters before going through the window and down the ladder.


Here are some events going on around Dorset during May.

  • Mid May to end – baby swans hatching – The Swannery Abbotsbury
  • 25th Bridport May Fair
  • 26th-27th Quayside Music Festival, Town Bridge Weymouth
  • 26th-30th Tankfest Bovington
  • 27th Sherborne Castle Country Fair
  • 31 Lyme Regis Jazz festival
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