Becky Sherman, The Squire Farm, Chapel Lawn, Bucknell, Shropshire. SY7 0BW
Shropshire, South Shropshire, Clun, Ludlow, Knighton, Offas Dyke, Marches, Leominster, Presteigne, Bucknell, Long Mynd, Craven Arms, Bishops Castle, Chapel Lawn, Bucknell, Brampton Bryan, Leintwardine, Newcastle, Anchor, Kington
Cottages for you, country retreat, beautiful landscape, hills, AONB, area of outstanding natural beauty, forgotten countryside, trees, grassland, sheep, horses, cattle, forestry, natural woodland, small fields, hedges, ancient woodland, ancient oaks, river, stream, crayfish, buzzards, kites, rolling hills
Traditional, low beams, farm cottage, open fire, inglenook, hot tub,
THE SQUIRE FARM
The Squire Farm, Chapel Lawn, Bucknell, Shropshire SY7 0BW
All we’ve had so far is ‘weather’! Cold, snow, rain, gales, storms and a bit of sunshine, I’ll admit, though not so much recently.
These two pictures of fir trees with water drops I was rather pleased with. The water drops are actually solid ice!
Black Hill one Sunday afternoon
Our valley on a cold, misty morning
The weather has been so wet recently, that we wonder (not for the first time) whether we should start building an ark?
The ewes, which were going to have a year off from lambing this year, started lambing last week! Porter, our handsome black ram climbed through two fences to get to the ewes last autumn and although he was only with them for five days, ten out of 22 ewes were pregnant! As he was with them for such a short period of time, the last three ewes lambed this morning and it is all over in less than 10 days.
I like this!
All had twins, most of which are beautiful, big, healthy lambs.
Today, the sun is shining and we have put three mothers outside on some fresh grass. It makes the late nights and early mornings all worth while.
Last ewe to lamb -
First ewe to lamb -
Nearly May… today Peter has been sorting out the chimney in Squire Cottage. About a week ago, he noticed a crow flying in and out of the chimney. On examination, the creature had built it’s nest half way down the chimney on top of a cast iron baffle which stops warm air escaping up the chimney when the fire is not lit. There was so much nest material -
I haven’t posted anything for a while as we have been pretty busy this month and last. First, Peter got the little digger filling in potholes in our track after the devastating winter and spring rains and people (mostly delivery van drivers) driving too fast up and down the road. Pot holes now filled.
Then there has been topping the thistles and nettles in our fields, and in some instances, where tractor cannot go and there are too many of them, blasting them with herbicide.
We got all the sheep in, wormed them and checked their feet and made sure they did not have maggots. The wethers and ram were put out in the Dingle, close to our buildings. In the Spring, newly lambed ewes and their lambs were put in here and we made a tin shelter for the lambs to keep out of the rain. Porter must have mis-
This is easier now they have been shorn of course!
Shearing! It’s a major event in the shepherd’s calendar and a huge relief when it is done. More so for us as we have to rely on contractors to come and do it for us. Needless to say, they arrived on the day they promised (early) and after chasing the hogs (shearling or one year old ewes, the first time shorn) round the farm a few times, got on and finished the job. John is still shearing at 72 (or is it 71?) after having had a heart attack and a new knee. Even young men find the job hard work and John was every bit as fast as Simon with the shears.
You would think that the ram and wethers would be difficult, but they were pussycats compared to the bolshy, rough, jumpy and downright difficult young females!
Peter was in charge of rolling fleeces this year -
I don’t like to complain after we have had such a wet Spring, but really -
It has been a long time coming, but finally we have decided the way forward for the ornamental pond in Xidong garden and work will start soon. The lovely pond has been leaking for some time and in this dry weather it has completely dried up. Due to the way in which it was constructed originally, it is not a simple matter to plug the leak, so we have decided to re-
In the next few weeks, tidying work will begin and from around 10th August new block work will go in, the stone slabs around the edge of the pond removed and a new liner installed. I will keep this page updated with the latest news and pictures of the progress.
The actual messy and noisy construction work will only happen when the cottage is empty, but the work will be ‘in progress’ during times when we have guests. Our apologies for this intrusion; it really shouldn’t hamper the enjoyment of your holiday and the site will not look very much worse than it does currently with an empty pond, overgrown trees and dying shrubs due to drought!
However, the state of the garden and pond needn’t detract from having a great time here as show by this lovely card from our latest guests…
Thank you Zara and Craig and of course you are welcome to come again!!
Peter and Becky, Amazing, wonderful + so relaxing. What a beautiful cottage you have. It was a truly amazing time and the weather was amazing too!!
Flowers lovely gesture.
Thanks for the ‘staples’ on arrival and we will definitly will be back to stay, if you will have us!!
So amazing to be ‘off grid’ and enjoy the outdoors!
Zara + Craig x
The weather does not just affect our farm track (water + fast deliveries = pot holes), but also our farm sign, which a friend had painted for us. The high rainfall melted the lamination and recent hot sun has peeled away the layers on what was obviously not marine ply! So -
We have just been connected to our super fast fibre broadband!
Visitors to Squire Farm will have to wait for it to be set up for the cottages before they can take advantage however.
Meet Perry. On Wednesday we bought a new ram from a farm at Llanddewi. He is a Badger Face, which is a breed derived from the native Welsh Mountains. The reason for us getting this breed is that they are considerably smaller and lighter than our Cheviots. We are both struggling to handle the adults when they are brought in for treatment. Apart from the practical side of having this ram is that he is rather handsome, though the pictures do not do him justice here.
You may notice that he has blue paint on his horns… Yesterday when Peter was coming back over the hill, he met a ram on the road. ‘No’ he thought, ‘that’s not ours!’ However, he revised his opinion when he realised that no one else in the area has Badger Face rams. Perry had escaped and run a mile up the opposite valley! Unable to do anything about it on his own, Peter came home and reported to me that our new ram had escaped. Fortunately we have some very good friends and neighbours who came to help shoo Perry into their pens so that we could load him into the trailer. The blue paint came from battering his way through the hurdles rather than jumping them, which was what I thought had happened!
By tradition we have always named our rams after beer or breweries relating to the local brews. None were that inspiring to use as a name, so we’ve moved on to ciders. ‘Dunkerton’ was our first choice, but it sounds as if we are being sponsored by them.
And an update on the pond: Peter has now finished filling in the unused bit of pond with rubble. It’s taken days of hard graft as we cannot get a tractor into the Xidong garden, so every last shovel full of stone and rubble has had to be wheeled in.
The chestnut stump has also been denuded for the Autumn!
He wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed with me taking pictures or flattered. This is him tentatively backing up ready to charge. But he shuffled his feet a bit and turned his head to his best side. (See picture above)
The pond in Xidong garden is coming on a treat. Peter has been hard at work this last week as the cottage was empty and has finally finished filling the old part of the pond. He reckoned he has shovelled and barrowed about 7 tons of ‘filler’ -
Peter is currently hard at work in Xidong garden. The pond is being reduced in size, landscaped a bit more and made totally leak-
Bear with us while the work is being done; Peter doesn’t do his building and brick laying while guests are in residence.
While the weather is fine, brickwork takes precedence!!