Hi everyone! Devon Farm Holidays here, we hope you, all our wonderful readers are well and keeping safe. We know how hard this lockdown is so we are doing our very best to fill our blog with positive posts that we know you will love. This week we wanted our farm accommodation sites to talk about the biggest and the best characters on the farm.
Virtually anyone who has kept animals, whether that is a cow or a guinea pig, know that animals have fantastic characters. That is no different on a farm and there are always one or two characters who seem to just stand out.
Sheep are a firm favourite on the farm but there are a few standout sheep that have made the owners pick them as the biggest character on the farm. Up first we have Woolly. I wonder why she could be named that? Woolly lives at Huxtable Farm B&B which is located in North Devon. Woolly was an orphaned lamb that Huxtable Farm bottle-fed last year. Just like Woolly in the Usborne storybook of ‘Apple Tree Farm’, Woolly is a Romney sheep. Woolly’s best trick is that she loves to follow Jackie through the gate and into the garden to eat all the flowers! Despite the flower eating antics, Jackie said, ‘she is a fantastic sheep and we love her to bits’.
Another great sheep that Spreacombe Garden Self-Catering had to mention was their sheep, Lulu. They always say that once a tame lamb, always a tame lamb! Well, this is most certainly the case with Lulu. Hence why she has become their character on the farm. From Georgina the owner herself she said, ‘There are a million reasons that a farmer would give you why you shouldn’t keep a tame lamb and add it to your flock of sheep; for a start, they just don’t act like proper sheep. But…. Lulu was adorable when we bottle-fed her as a lamb, I got soft, the farmer got persuaded and here she is as an expectant mother. Fingers crossed.’
Horse and ponies are often the animals that people make a beeline for, they are sweet, adorable and it is usually part of every childhood dream to ‘have a pony’. Horses and ponies also often have great personalities, something that Lower Campscott’s little pony most certainly has. They have a Shetland pony called Gypsy who has bags of character. Gypsy is glamorous and elegant and as you can see from the photos, never has a bad hair day! She could even pass as a mini unicorn. She is always making sure to keep her three boys (Pip, Tiny and Muffin) in check and loves to have her hair brushed and plaited. Gypsy is a calm and patient pony who is great with the younger guests and loves to be walked around during farmer Tony’s morning farm rounds. However, a top tip is never to leave a bucket of food unattended as it is gone before you know it!
Big Hearted Pups
For many of us the traditional family pet, a kind-hearted dog will always be the favourite and that is still the case for a couple of our accommodation providers.
At Anstey Mills holiday cottages they have a very sweet Cocker Spaniel named Ebony that just had to be mentioned as their character on the farm. Ebony arrived at Anstey Mills on June 17 at the age of 1 1/2 when her family, living in a terraced house on a housing estate in Barnstaple, felt they could not give her the time and space she deserved. Ebony was quickly adopted into the family who now adore her, the only one who is still a little unsure is their old cat, Todd. According to their owner Doris, ‘Todd was not very impressed and for a while, they had their little tantrums, generally with Ebony keeping her nose well out of the way. Now she even creeps back next to Todd into her cage, which she still sleeps in, when Todd cheekily has taken residence’.
Ebony is a dog that is full of life and she took to country life like a duck to water, ever so enthusiastic. According to Doris she loves to chase, ‘Especially when there was something running away from her, like pheasants! Although she is fast, she has never caught one or anything else, thankfully, and as to sheep, she quickly learned to leave them alone.’
A fun fact about Ebony is that when she first arrived at Anstey Mills she was a short-haired cocker spaniel, after a few months of owning her however she turned into a long-haired one! According to Doris, she developed quite the ‘Mop’, she told us that ‘if you put the pictures before and after a trim next to each other, you would think it really is not the same dog’.
Ebony’s two main loves would be a tennis ball and water. If you take her to the river, Tarr Steps being one of Doris’s favourite places or the seaside you cannot pry Ebony away. However, this love of the water once left Doris rather embarrassed, ‘On holiday staying in a nice B&B near Rye I was so impressed with her good behaviour, till on a very hot day she got into the pond when I was not looking and turned out green from algae but very pleased with herself’.
The final thing Doris had to say about her amazing dog, Ebony was, ‘ Ebony really is the cutest dog and very loving, but if I tell her not to go on the sofa, when she is still wet, or when she is fed up waiting for me to play or go for a walk, she might give quite a disdainful stare down her long nose. Talking about long nose (hers is just perfect anyway!), have you ever seen a dog with a tongue as long as this??’.
Another wonderful pup
The next farm that wanted to give a special canine friend a mention is Yellingham Farm with their amazing sheepdog Ralph. The owner, Janet, actually bred Ralph herself from Ralph’s mum, Nell, with a stud dog from Paris! According to Janet, that was one hell of a trip, but with a superb result being Ralph. He loves his work but often has the job done and dusted before a command is uttered. He is also very uncanny and will disappear and find a problem you didn’t know existed.
‘ Recently he found a neighbour’s lamb stuck in a hedge bordering our farm. He certainly saved its life. No money could buy such a faithful friend. His only drawback is he loves a daily roll in fresh cow dung. Quite revolting when he sidles up to you for a cuddle….no thankyou Ralph!’
We hope you have enjoyed reading our blog all about the characters on the farm. We will try and publish another one soon with more characters from our amazing farm accommodation sites. If you want to learn more about staying on a farm with Devon Farm Holidays, take a look at our website.