Archive for Woods

Beautiful Bluebells

Today we visited Otterford Lakes to see the bluebells in full bloom.  As we walked through the woods, you could see the shades of blue on the ground below the dappled trees.


As we walked further down hill we could see the swans on the lake.


We walked past the bridge over the lake and up to the higher meadow where there was an absolute carpet of bluebells, really lovely.


I took some views of the lake as we walked back down.


Some white narcissus were still blooming.


The pink Campion flowers were coming out too.


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Wood scavenging

Neil has got himself a wood scavenging license from the Forestry Commission.  This allows him to take wood that has fallen, but not to cut down wood and not to use his chain saw, but only to use hand tools.  The area covered is near here on the Neroche estate.

So on Monday he went off to Staple Park and loaded the car up with logs, some small, some larger.


He unloaded this in front of our stables ready to be sawn into fire ready pieces.


This wood will then have to dry out and will be ready for next Winter, to keep us nice and toasty warm.

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June walk at Otterhead Lakes

We  had friends stay with us over the weekend and as the weather was sunny we went for a walk at Otterhead Lakes.


The walk down to the first lake was through woodland that was dappled with sunlight.


We passed lovely rhododendrons still in flower.


The water on the first lake was calm as a mill pond as they say.


The water level was low and not enough to cascade down the steps, only the bottom couple.


We stopped at the little bridge over the stream and our friends took our photo.


We remarked on how beautiful the ferns were along the stream.


When we reached the second lake we noticed how low the water level was.


The swans were standing on the lake bed.


This is the first time we have done this walk in June so we are not sure if low water is the norm or not.

Want to visit Otterhead Lakes for yourself? Then come and stay at our B&B.

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Bluebell walk at Otterhead Lakes

Today, dodging the showers we went for a walk at Otterhead Lakes, one of my favourite places, to see all the bluebells.


The map shows the path we take, from the car park following the red line down to the first lake and then along the path through the woods to the second lake.  Earlier in the year we came here to see the carpets of snowdrops, now it is the turn of the bluebells.


When we got to the first lake one of swans came up to see if we had brought any bread, (but we had forgotten).


It was closely followed by some ducks, who were equally disappointed by us.


The swan upended itself to search for its own food.


As we walked along the path by the river we could see the carpets of bluebells in between the trees.


Neil posed on the little bridge across the stream.


In an established woodland the bluebells are native English where the bells hang to one side as opposed to Spanish bluebells where the bells are all the way round.


When we got the second lake there was a clump of yellow flowers that looked a bit like buttercups.


The water was calm on the lake.


Walking back we admired the bluebells in the woods along the bank.


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Snowdrops abound at Otterhead Lakes

This morning, being sunny we went for a walk around Otterhead Lakes, one of my favourite places around here.  We went to see the carpets of snowdrops, they are so beautiful at the moment, all singles and they are so bountiful, its a joy to see.

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The sun was glinting on the water of the first lake, and the water was so calm today.


There weren’t many people around today and we had the woodland path to ourselves as we walked towards the 2nd lake.


A pair of swans and their fairly mature cygnet were making their way along the stream through the woods.


The sun was glinting on the water as we reached the 2nd lake.



As we approached the cascade we could see the water was flowing down it very fast.


The snowdrops looked just as lovely on the way back.


If you too want to see the snowdrops at Otterhead Lakes then come and stay in our B&B, its only a short drive away.

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From little acorns……

From little acorns do mighty oaks grow – so goes the saying and we hope it is true.  Last Autumn the common oak trees shed the most abundant supply of acorns.  We were picking them up and noticed that some were sprouting,  So Neil decided to plant some in compost and see if he could grow them.  We put them in a seed propagator on the window sill in the dining room where it is a constant warm temperature. Out of 36 planted, 29 sprouted.


We started them off in the inside of toilet rolls in compost and as you can see they started to grow.  The next stage was to pot up the most vigorous ones and give them their own mini greenhouse.  We had been collected clear PET bottles from water and tonic and we cut these to make a small pot and a top.


The toilet roll inner tube was then placed into the bottom of the bottle with extra compost and the top part put over it to make a little cloche.


After a while we had a tray full of little oak trees in their own individual cloches.


When they grow a bit taller and reach the neck of the bottle, we take the top part off and let them grow upwards.  When Spring comes we will replant them again into larger pots and gradually from about May onwards be able to put them outside.  Our idea is to have a nursery bed of trees that when large enough (approx. 4 to 5 feet tall) we can then plant in our woods. These will need to be protected from the deer by fencing and an electric fence barrier on the wood’s perimeter.

We have a few sackfuls of other common oak acorns and will be planting these out with a variety of different methods which will be blogged at a later date.  So watch this space for progress on the trees.

We have vacancies in the B&B for January and February, so if you fancy a Winter break please get in touch.

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Bluebell walk

The Bluebells are absolutely lovely at the moment, and near us is an ancient woodland area called Otterhead Lakes, where there are also 2 lakes.  On Monday we took ourselves down there to walk amongst the bluebells.


Just the woodland path was beautiful with the fresh green of the emerging leaves, so fresh, so luscious.


The path follows a stream that runs from one lake to another.


On our route we noticed a tree trunk that had been sawn and yet was regenerating little shoots.


There were also some late white narcissus in clumps along the pathway.


On the road down to the carpark was a Devon Bank or hedgerow just full of bluebells.  They are so lovely to see growing wild like this.


We also have a few bluebells in our garden around the base of a bush.


All we need now is a lot more sunshine to bring on all the Summer flowers.

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