More wild

When you visit our CL you will see a few subtle changes. For the time being there will be no horses or ponies in the adjacent field, and if our new fence works no Deer either. However, you should see a lot more wildlife because we are working on re-wilding our small holding. Re-wilding isn’t really the right term for what we are doing but it’s a start in explaining our objectives. Re-naturing might be a better term.

The aim is to make our small farm more friendly towards wildlife, not that it was unfriendly. We will be trying to maximise the biomass of life that we can support. The main way to do this is by allowing nature to have more free rein. Scrub will be allowed to form around the field edges, coppicing will be carried out in cycles and new hedges will be planted. We had to exclude deer, the number of them in the ‘Forest’ is out of control and they are so destructive they have to be kept out.

Already we are seeing the benefits of our efforts and you will too. For example there are clouds of butterflies over the grassy field, maybe not rarities but special all the same. Look out for the Skippers, little Butterflies that pretend to be Moths, we have three species.

July – cautious bookings

There is a general feeling that CLs may be able to reopen sometime in July 2020. This is by no means certain but following a few calls from potential guests we have decided to take some bookings for July but are not taking deposits and want it to be clear that we will only reopen with CAMC approval.

We have decided to limit the number of vans at any time to three during July to ensure social distancing is as easy as possible. We expect that any members staying will bring appropriate measures for their own safety such as gloves and sanitiser as well as masks if they choose to use them.

We will assign bins for refuse and recyclables to each van to avoid any crossover while disposing of rubbish.

We insist that if you feel any of the Covid-19 symptoms coming on you do not stay on our site. The situation is very fluid at present and we will be as flexible as possible regarding no need for deposits and personal requests regarding social distancing needs.

Wet, Wet, Wet

There has been almost endless rain since October. To make sure our site gets a decent chance to dry out we are not taking any bookings for March this year. Sorry to disappoint any early birds.

Rejuvenation

Some of you will know the magnificent Willow tree on the edge of our site. Children climb it and grown ups love the shade…sometimes it has a hammock or two hanging from it’s ample branches.
Sadly, as often happens with Willows the gales took a toll on it and some large splits appeared at the main fork. We have had to pollard it, so for a while it will look, frankly, a bit butchered. All being well the cracks will heal and regrowth will be stronger and very quick. We made the pollard cuts high up to make sure the tender new growth is out of reach of the dozens of naughty deer that visit every night.

New Web SIte

As it’s the quiet time of year it seemed a good chance to change the web site to something more mobile friendly. All seems OK, only problem is that in the move I have lost all the old emails, not a big problem but a bit annoying. Over the coming weeks I’ll make the site prettier and add more useful information.

The Bermuda booking triangle

It’s very odd, we have a lean looking spell for bookings right in the middle of August. If you fancy staying in the New Forest in the middle of August (2nd and 3rd week) then chances are we can fit you in.

The bookings have started

Christmas is gone and the bookings have started to come in. It makes sense to book early if you are looking for School holiday or bank holidays. We also find that the weekend of Bygone days at Brooklands farm get booked very early…but the date is unconfirmed as yet, usually mid August.

We have had to increase our fee from £10 to £12 which keeps us in line with other similar sites. Costs of power, insurance and rubbish disposal have gone up considerably and so we have little option but to increase site fees.

At last! – Spring is bursting out all over

After a long bleak Winter there can be no doubt that Spring is happening. The New Forest is coming back to life. Best of all the birds are full of the joys and the dawn chorus is resounding with a happy Blackbird in every bush.sumner

The Forest paths are walkable and there is so much to see, so it’s time to come along to Furzehill and enjoy the area that Heywood Sumner loved so much.

“The Heath passes from dun to sombre green, then blooms in purple and withers to rusty grey – The bracken push up their crosiers in May, make green patchwork on the dark hills through Summer, yellow through the Autumn, bleached brown through the Winter – The bog Myrtle flowers in full red and rust, then becomes ‘Sweet Gale’ in leafy fragrance, then gilds the brown streams with borders of gold – The bog-moss passes from green to yellow to orange to red – The Furze passes from flowery radiance, to prickly dullness – The mat grass from glaucous to sandy green – and the woods, the woods pass from the infinite variety of Winter branch and bud colour, to the brightness of Spring, to the fullness of Summer, to the splendour of Autumn – so, the years pass and I, who also pass, say grace for this infinite creation, dimly perceived, yet beloved; and dream of the secret inlet which will unite us to the sights, and sounds, and scents of Mother Earth.”

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The track from Sloden down into Latchmoor

This subtle beauty is to be enjoyed all around Furzehill Farm, look closely and you will see what Heywood Sumner saw.

Spring can’t be far away

The site is being tidied up for the new season. We have added to and extended the gravel drive into the site and the hedge by the road has been trimmed back so that vans can be parked close to the edge of the field.

Hopefully, we will have electric hook-ups installed in time for Easter. We know that hook-ups will not be popular with everyone but it should make the site more attractive early and late season…times of year when the New Forest is at it’s best.

In peak season I’m looking at offering brief orientation walks on Saturday afternoons. Maybe an hour or so duration, long enough to show the local landmarks and explain some of the history or the immediate surroundings.