Yurts and Coronavirus
First of all we should stay that our thoughts are with all our lovely guests and we are hoping that you and your families are keeping safe and well. We continue to be open for short breaks and holidays throughout the year and are monitoring government announcements on a daily basis and will keep this blog as well as our FaceBook page updated with where we're at. We've been in touch with our April guests to offer to move their breaks to later in the year for anyone who would prefer that and will contact May guests within the next week or so, once we see how things are looking. In the meantime if you have any questions do please give us a call on 07802 456087. We have put measures in place to minimise the risk of catching Coronavirus, with a new paper towel dispenser installed and a stack of 10,000 paper towels to go with it; we have a good stock of bars of soap, information about hand-washing (though everyone must be familiar with the routine by now), a huge stack of tea-towels and appropriate laundry baskets and bins dotted around. We are also blessed with plenty of fresh air and, of course, each yurt has their own cooking facilities and equipment for cooking at the yurt, in addition to the shared facilities. We're also expecting a surge in the use of the (heated) woodland showers this year, so they are freshly serviced and all ready to go. We've been heartened by the responses from many of our returning guests, who are happy with the cleanliness and standards of hygiene at the yurts and tell us that they are very much looking forward to their Easter breaks, and we look forward to welcoming many returning and new guests this year. With a heartfelt thanks for your continuing support in these difficult times, and best wishes to you all. And, we have to stay, after a good amount of winter rain the flowers are looking fabulous!
Our English yurt has been delivered (a marathon trek across country from Bodmin - thanks Tim), the raised decking and plywood base are almost complete, we've been on the "how to set up and run your own yurt campsite" course in Wales, and plan to place an order for our first Mongolian yurt within the next few days!
The yurt looks beautiful inside - all steam bent ash poles and beautifully crafted. We're really looking forward to getting it set up properly and having people to stay (after we've had a go, of course). It comes with its own log burning stove and oak front door! The skies here are beautifully black at night, so watching the stars through the crown will be a delight.
We've begun the process of evolving the field into a meadow; the first stage was to sow the yellow rattle seed in squares where we've cleared the top soil. The field hasn't been used for grazing or stock for quite a few years, as far as we can establish, so we're hoping that the soil won't be over fertile and that we can get the basic meadow seeds and flowers going within the next year or two.
We are lucky to have masses of cowslips and violets (including some white ones) in the adjacent Goose Paddock, so we're hoping to encourage those to spread to the field. I shall be out with my trowel as soon as the flowers have set seed.
We're working to encourage a range of wildlife - we've already got barn and tawny owls visiting the field, and the resident ducks and moorhens on the Goose pond and moat. We're hoping to spot some great crested newts one day; we should have the ideal environment, with nice damp ditches, a pond without fish and plenty of places to hide. We stacked piles of shrubby stuff against the out-building walls at the beginning of the winter to encourage hibernation. One of our mallards made use of this for a nest, and we've seen what looks like a weasel dashing into another stack (collective nouns for weasels includes "a confusion" and "a sneak" - it would be great to have a family - a confusion of weasels!).
The elders, rowans and blackberries are now planted in the field, along with the crab apple (Dolgo) and damson (Merryweather). We've got groups of willow cuttings dotted around, in theory acting as elegant dividers between the plots we plan to use for the yurts; we hope that they'll also double up as raw material for basket weaving and flower arrangements, either for courses that we might run in the barn or to inspire creative craft activity on the part of our yurt guests.