Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A trip to the hut builders.

A very exciting trip out today. We have been to visit Ashton Shepherd Huts who are going to be building our beautiful glamping escapes. It has been a chance to talk about a few of the things we have been mulling over and exactly what we want to be able to offer to make our off-grid escape a wonderful experience for our guests. There are so many options and obviously a few limits with the off-grid eco nature of the plans. We want to be sure that our guests have luxury, perfect peace and relaxation in a beautiful setting to create amazing memories. Our location is fantastic and our accommodation  needs to match it which I know it will. The really exciting news is that, all being well, we should be able to take delivery and be ready to open for business by July which was our original plan! This being said I am very conscious that there is an awful lot to get done here in preparation....!
Meanwhile, back on the farm it has been a chilly and blustery day so before we set off I needed to make sure some of my newest babies were well protected in their little macs. Just how cute are they?

Please also follow, like and share our facebook page. 

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Spring is springing!

Well as the time races past us there are new signs of Spring all the time now. Our glorious mid Devon countryside is showing that it is beginning to wake from it's winter slumber and we can only hope that the winter does not have too big a sting in it's tail.
We have had some stunning weather and the sheep across the valley have returned to their home fields for lambing. We only have a few left to lamb for this year and our early lambs that were born in November are now about to be weaned. We have been picking out which of the females are looking particularly good and with good pedigree that we want to keep to add to our breeding flock next year. 
In addition to the movement of livestock around the area the flora is also beginning to change. We now have daffodils, primrose and periwinkles to add to the snowdrops in the banks. Several trees and shrubs are also beginning to burst out of bud and into leaf.

 We have been discussing what is required for a solar powered water pump to get the water for the Shepherd huts pumped from the planned borehole. On the way to the field for a site visit the pump man was very taken with this gorgeous old tree in the bank. It will be almost exactly opposite the entrance to the Glamping site. It is pretty impressive, isn't it?

It is very exciting to think that all the power used for our glamping guests will be renewable and eco friendly. We are now waiting to hear about work starting for the water supply.
The other exciting plans for this week is a visit to the hut builders on Tuesday to discuss possible layouts and some of the detail for the actual huts that we will be having built. Exciting times!!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Is it nearly Spring?

We have been having the most glorious day here in Devon today. It was a little chilly first thing but the sun got up and it has felt more than a little Spring-like. Ok, so I know it is not even the middle of February yet and there is plenty of time for Winter to return on us but it has still been beautiful and the perfect day to be outside busy.
On the Shepherd Hut front things are looking promising as the hut builders have hopefully found a solution to our off-grid background heating problem. Log burners will be in the huts but we need an alternative if our glampers don't want to light them or just to keep the chill off if nobody is in. This would be easy on mains electric but is less so when we are completely off-grid and doing as much as possible by solar power. It feels like we are a little closer to solving this now.
Also this week we have had a water diviner to visit the site. He has done his magic and left a little red flag flying to show where he suggests we place our borehole for our water supply.
We also have the people who will be supplying and installing the solar pump for the water supply visiting this week. Obvious water is pretty major so this feel like progress. :)
Amongst other things I have been drinking tea! I want to source as much as possible for our glampers from local and sustainable sources. I am undecided whether I prefer the Cornish tea or the Dorset tea at the moment! The simple things in life are just as important as the big things! Who wouldn't like a lovely cuppa looking at these stunning views? I'm sure I can just feel Spring around the corner...

You can also follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/hollywaterholidays 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Happy days.

The last couple of days in glorious Devon have been just the weather for glampers to wrap up warm and explore our wonderful countryside. The crisp frosty mornings and dry days would have been perfect to explore woods, moors or coast and then to head back to a warming winter stew slow cooked in a thermal cooking pot, light the log burner and get warm and cosy in a beautiful Shepherds Hut to play a game, chat or read a good book. Doesn't that just sound like the most perfect escape from the pressures of everyday life?
For me, today has been a bit of an adventure! After attending to the sheep, lambs and pigs today I trotted off to a trade fair. It felt like a real step in the right direction for me as it was somehow more tangible than the chats about water supplies, boreholes, pumps, solar panels and septic tanks! I think I rather prefer sourcing local suppliers of coffee and tea, bottles and jars for homemade jams and juices for welcome packs and talking about what we want from our website. All in all an enjoyable day full of the promise of things to come. I feel very excited about filling our Shepherd's huts with beautiful things for our glampers to enjoy a truly magical escape in the most stunning part of the world. Happy days indeed! :)

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

New babies

I have discovered my limited knowledge of boreholes and the electrical requirements for gas fired radiators today. As we will be off-grid glamping we are now in the process f establishing exactly who can do what and how. It also means that putting one person in touch with the next seems to be helpful with less opportunity for the message to be lost in translation through me!
However, to brighten my confused brain we have small woolly arrivals!
spring lambs farm life Devon country glamping
Having checked on the other expectant mother I delayed going outside as it had begun to rain and instead had a chat with my bucket reared babies. They are quite nervous of 'strangers' sometimes but I find they can be quite in my face at times and they were interested in the camera lens.
lamb camera lens farm life Devon glampingfarm life lambs Devon holly water holidays Glamping

They are also quite interested in Swift and are not quite sure if she is one of them. Time will tell if they ever learn to do what she asks them to - or if they will ever learn to take her seriously at all!

collie dog spring lambs farm life glamping holidays Devon Holly Water

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Where to start.

Well, this weekend has seen me impatiently waiting for the last 14 ewes out of this group to lamb. They all seem very content in their lambing quarters and appear to be in no hurry so I have tried to busy myself with glamping plans. I am trying really hard to resist the almost overwhelming desire to look at all the gorgeous 'finishing touch' things I plan for the Shepherd Huts and instead concentrate on the more practical issues. As our aim is to be off-grid and as sustaiable, environmentally friendly and self contained as possible that involves speaking to borehole drillers and sourcing solar pumps for said borehole. Also discussing with the hut builders the options open to us for inside the huts if dependant on solar power, 12v battery back up and propane. All things are do-able but there are many decisions and choices to be made.
In the meantime, on our sheep rounds Swift and I were on the look out for signs of Spring in Devon.
Lovely lamb's tail catkins appearing along the river bank.
Snowdrops pushing up on the river bank.
I know that we have a forecast across the country for some cold weather coming in but these little signs are a promise of things to come! :)
Swift is working on her modelling career! Isn't she beautiful?

Friday, 3 February 2017

Just use your imagination!

Today, it has to be admitted, Devon has been somewhat on the soggy side. It would have been the perfect day to snuggle up in a Shepherd Hut with a good book, cosy by a log-burner. It was a less perfect day for actually being the shepherd and I got rather wet!
Maybe I should just look at this view of Holly Water running along immediately below the glamping site one day last week, close my eyes and imagine myself in one of the beautiful wood-fired hot-tubs we have planned for the glampers. The photo was taken exactly where one of the outside tables or hut-tub will sit. Not a bad view to enjoy with a glass of something nice, is it?

I have also spent time today talking to people about a few of our 'off-grid' requirements as our guests will have a true escape with all that we can provide for them without the use of mains power. We are aiming for a totally off-grid experience making good use of solar energy wherever possible. Glamping is, after all, about experiencing the great outdoors is comfort! It's very exciting to know that some of the discussions and decisions taking place now will go towards creating wonderful holidays and memories for our glamping visitors.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Summer dreaming.

Well what a blustery day we have had here in Devon. It has made me dream of summer, holidays and building our perfect glamping spot in our beautiful part of Devon. I was thinking of picnics by the stream in the sunshine and taking a few minutes out to sit in my favourite spot by Holly Water with our young collie dog, Swift on our way around the sheep. There is an old fallen log on the bank which makes a perfect seat for 10 minutes and this is the spot where a slightly wary Swift first discovered the joys of a paddle on a warm day after lots of running! This is just along Holly Water

from where the glamping site will be. The Shepherd Huts overlook the river a little further along in the next field so I expect some of our glampers will also enjoy a quiet sit here whilst they escape the world in our little hideaway.