Life on the hill
Our daily work and activities revolve around tending to the land and taking care of all the animals and productive vegetable and fruit gardens. Under the ever-changing influence of Mother Nature, the seasons and weather dictate much of our daily routines and duties across the smallholding. We aspire to live in as self reliant and sustainable way as possible.
We have an array of animals providing us with a plentiful source of milk, eggs, muck and wool all of which play an integral part of life on the hill.
The chickens are truly free range. They can be found scratching around all over the place in the day, returning to their cleft chestnut geodesic dome at night, safe from the fox! They are a jolly assortment of Cream Legbars, Blue Cheshires, Leghorns, Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Rocks, Redcos and Brown Nicks.
The goats, Ada and Rosie, an old English x Guernsey and Saanan provide milk for the house with any excess going to make halloumi cheese. The goats have their own shed but are often found grazing near the edge of the wood.
An accumulation of ducks potter about the place by day, Appleyard x Saxonys, Indian Runners and Khaki Campbells.
We keep a small flock of Shetland sheep which provide the finest wool of any British breed, which we spin and use throughout the year.
We have two delightful Kune Kune pigs, Ruby and Bilbo, who are now an old pair, peacefully living out their lives in the wood. They keep the weeds down, ensure that nothing goes to waste and are always ready for a scritch and a scratch.
Looby is a Welsh Mountain x pony and Minstrel is a Gypsy Cob. They are ridden by the family and also provide a rich source of manure in our compost heaps.
The outdoor cats, Holly and Midnight can usually be found sunning themselves in the hay barn or anywhere you least expect them!
Daisy Dog shadows us as we go about our work and otherwise keeps an eye on what is going on from the highest vantage point.
Design by Ed
We have unique buildings and structures on our hill, all designed and built by myself, Ed.
I’m often creating much-needed things both practical and beautiful from all sorts of materials.
But equally I love to make quirky and eccentric items which are sculptural and fun, many of which feature in The Dugout