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During May there was frantic activity to get the cabin ready for the May long weekend and half term. The fire door was taken off the front of the cabin and put around the back and a new door was installed in its place along with stairs and railings. The cleaner came on the day before opening and blitzed the place. We couldn’t open the cabin any earlier because the planning permission had only just come through.

We had to put a new electricity supply into the campsite because the farm supply would not be enough to run the two cabin showers as well as the five electrical hookups and various appliances at the farm. It was necessary to wait until 12 July to be switched on – at long last.

The cabin has been a great hit with campers and caravanners alike. The three toilets, 2 showers, 3 hand basins and kitchen area were used by the majority of people. The numerous tourist brochures on Dorset and Devon were most appreciated giving everyone a good idea of what the area had to offer within easy driving distance.

During the summer I had another electrical point put into the campsite to allow three more hookups, which now stretch down towards the tent area. This now allows for 5 hard topped caravan/motorhome units as well as three soft topped units at any one time.

The camping and caravanning season for 2010 was very good with people from all over the place filling the campsite on a regular basis. As the site is open all year round I hope that the site will also be used in the autumn and winter months as the hard standings will make parking up a lot easier.

Beautiful buttercups over the fence

Beautiful buttercups over the fence

Late silage making in September

Late silage making in September

On the farm front everyone remarked on the beautiful buttercups over the fence from the campsite. Silage making was late this year because of the very cold mornings in late spring and then no rain when we had the heat wave in June – so the grass was very slow in growing. Eventually in July the buttercups were made into silage and wrapped into big black bags. The last field was mown in September although the yield was not very high. A lot of local farmers were making silage as late as September as there will be shortage of cattle fodder this winter because of the very peculiar season.

Getting ready for the Christmas table

Getting ready for the Christmas table

The goslings arrived in early June at the start of the heat wave and had to be kept indoors for longer than usual because of the risk of getting sunstroke in the extreme heat. When they were allowed outside I set up a series of groundsheets as canopies and hoped that the goslings had sense enough to go under them when the sun was blazing down. They spend their days out in a series of paddocks eating grass and wheat and getting fat!

The turkeys arrived earlier than usual this August and are living in a polytunnel. They have been well behaved this year with no bullying so far and are growing fast.

Walkers on a conducted farm tour

Walkers on a conducted farm tour

A lot of people used the Conservation walk this year using the guide and the map. At the beginning of August the walk was closed as the bull arrived to mingle with my cattle, hopefully producing calves in May 2011. I took several groups of campers and caravanners on conducted walks which detoured around the field where the bull was situated. The bull should be going soon so that the walk can be opened again.

Lots of pumpkins have been growing on the manure heap all summer and are now being cut ready to sell at Farmers’ Markets for Halloween. The yield has been good and the sizes are mixed.

We are having an Open Day on the last Thursday in October to coincide with the Autumn Half term. I shall be giving a conducted walk around the farm, and Malcolm will be showing people the cider cellar. Refreshments will be served in the honey house afterwards.

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