Tag Archives: baby friendly

Amazing Wildlife here at Flear, from the big to the small

Spring is in full swing here on the estate and we’re all feeling covered in wildlife, in a good way. We’ve swallows nesting in the play barn tunnel, brown trout in our stream, Owls in the trees all around the cottages, foxes, deer and badgers in the valley and we have even found space for a large swarm of honey bees that turned up last week, now happy in their own hive under an oak tree in the Orchard, making honey from our wild flowers.

Here are two photos of animals here on the estate taken this last week, one big and one small, both amazing in their own respect:

Young Doe on woodland path

Young Doe on the path to Flear Wood. Photograph taken by photographer Mark Tizard.

 

This Young Doe is only little but still very inquisitive! One of our guests hid behind a tree when he saw her trotting up the woodland path and was able to get this extraordinary photograph as she approached.

The second picture is of one of two species of Oil Beetle strolling around here in our woodland. Oil Beetles are endangered and vanishing from our countryside. This image was also sent to the National Trust to help with an national appeal on sightings of the species.

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Large Violet Oil Beetle enjoying the confines of Flear Wood.

Dartmoor, family walk to Hound Tor.

A clear Winter's day at Hound Tor.

A clear Winter’s day at Hound Tor.

With all the beaches and miles of coastline around us here in South Devon, it’s easy to forget that Dartmoor is just a little way to the North of us. It’s almost as accessible as the coast, you can be driving through the spectacular scenery of the moor in half an hour from leaving Flear, and it’s there, when the moor opens beyond the windscreen of your car, that you realise how wild and truly beautiful Dartmoor is. There are hundreds of places to go and see from panoramic Tor tops – where you can see for miles in all directions, to great valley forests and all the experiences and adventure that go with it all.

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We took our little ones up to Hound Tor to mark the end of Winter. You don’t have to be an experienced walker to enjoy Dartmoor. There are lots of walks to do with the family, and even plenty of walks to do with a pushchair.

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There’s a hidden treasure beneath this Crocodile-shaped rock for those who can find it.

To top it off there are many great family friendly pubs scattered around providing a great anchor-point for a walk and for a well-earned lunch.

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Time for lunch (and a rest) at one of the great pubs in Widdecombe-in-the-Moor.

 

Feeding the ponies on a frosty winter morning

It’s been a beautiful frosty morning here at Flear and we’re giving Abbey and Gemma some extra hay which is well received!

Groundsman Steve with Abbey and Gemma.

Groundsman Steve with Abbey and Gemma.

A beautiful frosty view across the pony paddock and into our valley.

A beautiful frosty view across the pony paddock and into our valley.

The ponies have both grown lovely winter coats and look so different from the summer. It’s another mild winter here in South Devon but on clear nights it can still get cold, so they need them!

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Gemma sporting her new winter coat – quite “the pony about paddock”!

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Gemma getting a pat from our housekeeper, Jane.

A magical Christmas at Flear Farm

It’s been a truly magical Christmas and New Year here at Flear farm, with crisp, cold but sunny days and cosy nights in by the fireside.

The cottages looked resplendent with beautifully decorated Christmas trees chosen by us and cut from nearby Dartmoor forest. Generally other holiday cottage owners think we’re crazy to do it, but the truth is you never regret spending money on a proper tree, and besides it’s worth it to see our families surprised and delighted by them when they arrive. After all, that’s why we’re in this business, it’s the main reason anyone should be.

So here’s a few pics of the cottages over the holiday. Enjoy!

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Flear House festive approach.

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Orchard Lodge Christmas tree.

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The living room in The Stables

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Christmas Eve in the Linhay

 

 

Winter work and play – We work, and the ponies just mess around showing off.

As usual here at Flear, the are lots of big jobs to do in the day-to-day running of the Estate, (to keep it looking beautiful). And last week we took to pruning trees in the orchard to smarten them up for a good harvest next year – this means apple juice and cider for our guests, subject to age (and inclination). Most are old Devon varieties – not only are they delicious but also important to nuture. There are also over a hundred… so we needed help and education from fruit tree expert Tom Nancarrow, and also our wonderful resident gardeners Jane and Marilese.

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Abbey and Gemma the ponies stood around and pretended to listen to the lessons, but soon got bored and start rolling and frolicking around instead!

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Despite the distraction we got 57 trees pruned and happy!

Only 45 more to go…

 

 

Swimming lessons for the little ones.

Kate, our Swimming Teacher here at Flear is an expert at building children’s confidence in the water, from babies to big school. The pool is really big so everyone can have a proper swim rather than just splashing around. Her lessons are gentle and fun and, best of all, she can win the kids round without getting bossy!

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Kate the Swim Teacher not being bossy.

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A proper swim!

 

Another wonderful Half Term at Flear – The bonfire and Fireworks

A big thanks to our fantastic families this year for again making another Half-Term such a lovely environment for us all here at Flear. We had beach days (!) and built a huge bonfire helped by some of the bigger kids, a big fireworks display in the pony paddock (even bigger than last year), dressing up for Trick or Treating and pumpkin judging in the Spooky Playbarn. What a brilliant week!

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Autumn at Flear, from the air!

Just because summer’s gone doesn’t mean the sun has. A good day to take some pics from the air…

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Just about the picnic lawn, looking towards the corner of Granary cottage and up to Duck’s Nest and Quarry cottages. Also the sun terrace, the BBQ terrace and the Pool complex.

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Looking South West to Cartwheel and Mangers cottage with the pine forest, Oxen wood in the background.

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Looking North West to Flear House and the Duck Pond. Also in the shot is Orchard Lodge and the Orchard. Flear Wood is in the middle right of the view.

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Looking West to the pitch and Putt course and tennis court. Flear House and some of the House gardens are just peeking in on the right.

October at Flear Farm

October is here, and for another year the weather continues to be warm and sunny! We’ve had this weather since sometime around April so we’ve had a glorious 6 months. We had a total of 10 minutes of rain in September but our flowers and shrubs are still looking happy and so are our families.

oct view to Granary

The BBQ terrace today

It was a total beach day today and reports were coming back of several families swimming in the sea too!

Little boy packed and ready for the beach this morning.

Little boy packed and ready for the beach this morning.

 

 

A big welcome to George the Pony!

This week we have welcomed George as a new addition here at Flear, he’s a beautiful Welsh Grey pony with a lovely personality and a fondness for attention and carrots.

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George showing-off.

George has been busy getting to know Abby and Gemma who have been bossing him around quite a lot it seems.

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At home in the pony paddock.

Thanks to young Katie for riding him bare-back through the village to get him here safely!