Baby Robins Hatch in Farmer Nick’s Shed

Posted on April 13th, 2019 - Fiona

Don’t you just love spring? The countryside is transformed as hedgerows come to life in vibrant greens and colourful flowers. Here on the farm uplifting change comes not only from the trees and meadows but also from new life. There is something quite magical about the first spring lambs, little piglets and kid goats. However alongside our farm animals, wildlife is responding to the spring conditions too. Imagine our surprise and delight when Farmer Nick discovered a perfect little robin’s nest hidden in a cunning location within his shed. We have watched from eggs through to baby robins flying the nest.  

Baby Robins hatch in Farmer Nick's Shed Coombe Mill

A safe nesting spot

If finding the perfect home preoccupies us as humans, imagine how important it must be in the wild. One clever little robin opted for the middle tray in Farmer Nick’s nuts and bolts collection. We were quite oblivious to this homemaking until Farmer Nick pulled out the draw in search of a 2 inch screw only to find the most perfect nest, Mummy Robin and a clutch of eggs sitting in there.  She must have taken a liking to Cornwall’s Pirate fm radio, which is always on in there, or more realistically the dry windproof conditions!

 

Robin sat on eggs

They could be Cadbury Mini Cream Eggs.

The little robin eggs really do remind me of Cadbury Mini Eggs in looks and size. I popped my ring in next to them just to show how little they are. It has given me some wonderful inspiration for my Easter crafts with the holiday makers this year!

 

Robin Eggs in nest

 

Newly hatched baby robins

 

Mummy Robin continued to sit on her clutch of eggs and listen to the radio as Farmer Nick pottered about his business, until he noticed she was flying in and out more often. A closer inspection revealed 5 perfect little baby robins all reaching up for food. No wonder she had been flying in and out.

 

Nature is harsh

Sadly within the week, despite her cunning nesting location, there were just two baby robins in the nest. Nature can be harsh, but looking at how they fill the little nest I can’t imagine there being space for more. Curiously made me research this, according to the RSPB website site only around 57% of a clutch will make it to fledgling chicks, so our Mummy is typical after all. 

 

Almost ready to fly

The two survivors gradually put on weight; we watched their wings grow in preparation to fly the nest.

 

Farmer Nick get’s his screws back.

They have now flown the nest and Farmer Nick can reach his precious screw collection again. If you wanting encourage nesting birds, recommend a trip to a DIY store for these organisational trays and a nice sheltered spot in a shed or garden to attach them!

 

empty robin nest

 

 keep= Shank You Very Much  3 Little Buttons Confessions of a New Mummy  “Reflections


March 2019 Highlights & Cornish Events April 19

Posted on March 29th, 2019 - Fiona

Welcome to my monthly news highlights from March 19 at Coombe Mill holidays together with a guide for what’s on in Cornwall for April 19. A handy guide to plan your time here if you are visiting this month. We have so much going on here that I want to share it’s no wonder spring is my favourite season filled with hope and possibilities.

 

March Holiday Farm Highlights and Cornish Events April 19

Last minute April 19 Easter Holiday Offer

It’s no April fool’s Joke!  We are now taking short breaks to fill any remaining gaps for the forthcoming Easter holidays. These start at £569 for 3 nights. With so much to see and get involved in on the farm right now it will make the best Easter present for all the family.

 

Spring fun on the farm

Take a virtual tour of our properties

I have been replacing the carousel of 3 photos at the top of each property page with a video tour. They are only an amateur guide taken on my phone but it now gives you the chance to see our properties on film, by photo and through floor plans all on one page. We have so many different styles of properties; it is now even easier to find the one that most suits your family.

 

photo tour of Coombe Mill

Work Complete in Honeysuckle and Willow

Over the past few months I have been updating you with upgrades to our Honeysuckle and Willow semi detached cottages, from kitchen makeover to new carpets and full wi fi.  The final upgrade last month was a full rewiring which included removing the bedroom electric heaters with more substantial and effective night storage heating to keep you nice and toasty all year round. Furthermore we have taken away the meter box so all your electric usage from the washing machine to the heating is now included in the price. Speaking of price we have made all these changes without increasing any prices on 2018.  

 

Honeysuckle & Willow Cottages at Coombe Mill

2020 prices at 2019 rates

It isn’t just Honeysuckle and Willow that are holding their prices. The weekly rates for all our properties are now up for 2020 and are currently available to book at the reduced 2019 rates. There is no guarantee this will be the case all year, so I recommend being the early bird catches the worm and booking ahead for summer 2020!

 

Summer in the goats at Coombe Mill Holidays Cornwall

On the Farm 

Lambing

Lambing is one of the great joys of spring on the farm. We are now well underway so if you are staying from now until mid May you’ll have a good chance of seeing an adorable newborn taking its first steps in life.  

Lambs April 19 at Coombe Mill Holidays

Piglets for Sally

This year Sally took an early trip to visit Pasty her boyfriend. The result of which has been 7 healthy March piglets.  Anyone who visited last year will know we were somewhat shocked to discover that all her piglets turned out to be boys. Unbelievably the same thing has happened again. This doesn’t matter apart from they will have to leave us earlier than we would like and be separated from Sally by 3 months. Right now they are adorable if growing fast and definitely a highlight on the morning feed run.  

 

piglet being stroked

Christmas has Company

Christmas, our female Turkey has suffered a bit of an identity crises being in with the ducks and geese. Last year she even incubated a gosling egg thinking it was hers! We have taken the matter in hand and introduced 2 more female turkeys and a male. Christmas is now in good company and both the turkeys and geese are laying eggs so hopefully there will be more new life to share later in the season.

Christmas the Turkey and friends

 

With the goats looking pregnant and the bluebells beginning to appear, it is a wonderful time to visit. I hope we will see you soon. To tempt you further here are a few of the family events on in Cornwall over April that you might enjoy:

What’s On in Cornwall April 2019

 

Event

Venue

Date

Price

Find out more

Distance from Coombe Mill

Stately Home and Garden

Pencarrow House

31st March Opens for the season offering house tours, freedom to explore gorgeous gardens. Tea Room 

£11.50 Under 16 Free

http://www.pencarrow.co.uk 10 minutes

Farm themed Easter Event

 

Eden Project

6 – 25th April

9am to 6pm

 

Free with entry £25

child (4 – 15) £12.60

https://www.edenproject.com/40 minutes

The Secret Garden outdoor threatre production

Minack theatre

9 – 19th April

£14 and £7 Child (under 16) http://www.minack.com
1 .2 hour
Duck Race and Easter TrailLappa Valley Railway19 – 22nd April£7.50http://www.lappavalley.co.uk40 mins

Organised Cornish Spring Walks

Boscastle Harbour

30th March – 5th April

£3 to £5 organised walks for around 3 hours for all abilities pointing out local points of interest.

boscastle-walking-week30 mins

 

Cornwall Spring Flower Show with activities, entertainment and encouragement for kids gardening 

Royal Cornwall showground Wadebridge

6 – 7th April

£10.00 (no child rates shown)Cornwallgardensociety.org25 mins
Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts with the National Trust in CornwallTrelissick, cotehele, antony, Glendurgan, Landydrock, Trenwainton, Trerice, Godolphin, East Pool Mine, Tintagel Old Post OfficeOpen everydayfrom 10am – 4pmVaries by Estate, Easter Egg Hunt’s are inclusive in visiting fee for the estates.https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/cadbury-easter-egg-hunts-in-cornwall-30 mins +

Easter Fun

Pepper Pig

Titan the robot 

Camel Creek Adventure Park

3 – 15th April

3rd April

10th April

Not shown on website but free 2nd return within 6 days http://www.camelcreek.co.uk/events/cracking-easter/40 mins

Nb: I have not been paid or sponsored to mention these places, they are just the events in April 19 that I feel would be of interest to Coombe Mill Guests.

Wishing you and your family a lovely time in April 19 and hoping the spring weather touches us all.  

Fiona x

 keep= Shank You Very Much  3 Little Buttons Confessions of a New Mummy  “Reflections


First Spring Lamb Born Early March

Posted on March 15th, 2019 - Fiona

There are a few signs for me that spring is really with us. First are the snowdrops and daffodils, then the lengthening days and warmth in the midday sun. Finally the big one here is the birth of our first spring lamb. This year it is Ebony, who I saved from the pot last year, and now leads the way.

 

First Spring Lamb Born Early March

A lucky escape for Ebony

Ebony was herself hand raised having been abandoned by her mother. She has proved to be a gentle and friendly sheep with our guests, but a dubious mother herself. Last year she had twins and rejected one who we raised. Lambo became the star of the farm in spring 2018 but no thanks to Ebony. Farmer Nick was all for calling time on Ebony after twice abandoning her lambs, however I saved her for one more year and now I know I made the right decision.  Ebony has taken to her new son perfectly.

 

Born in the wild

Farmer Nick was feeding the sheep with our guests as the last stop on the morning feed run when he noticed we were one sheep missing. As there was no bleating to indicate being stuck up in the brambles we knew there was a good chance the missing sheep was in labour or just given birth. A scour of the field confirmed our suspicions as Ebony sat nursing her new born up in the trees.  We followed Farmer Nick up the field as he collected the lamb to bring him down and perform the necessary checks with Ebony following close behind.

 

Rescuing Ebony sheep and her spring lamb

Correctly handling a lamb

It may look mean to be suspending the lamb by its legs, but this is actually the safest way, cuddling them to your body may feel instinctive to us but actually risks damaging the new born organs.

Down at the trailer the guests could admire mother and baby while Farmer Nick searched for his new born kit. 

holiday guests meeting first spring lamb

Why tail docking is recommended

In no time the tail is docked with a band below the nerve. This will just fall off in the coming weeks and is pain free. It isn’t essential, but helps prevent muck and poo that inevitably builds up when the full tail is left risking infection.  Iodine on the umbilical cord is also to prevent infection and help the cord dry safely. 

 

tail docking of new born lamb.

A move to the nursery.

We have a special field for our new born spring lambs which is more fox proof. Ebony and her lamb rode in the trailer with me to get there. The rest of the flock looked on with interest as we left them at the cattle grid.

sheep left at cattle grid

Spray marking explained

Before we let mother and baby into their new field Farmer Nick gave them a quick spray. It is hard to see on Ebony as she is so dark, but the 11 means she is the first lamb to give birth to one lamb.

 

Spray paint on sheep

Waiting for more spring lambs 

While Ebony and her new spring lamb enjoy the nursery to themselves, hopefully it won’t be long before another comes to join them. Watching the lambs make friends and skip around together is a real joy.

No wonder spring is such a happy and positive time to be on the farm. We’d love you to come and see them too. Do check out our latest availability this spring.

 


February 2019 Highlights & Cornish Events March

Posted on March 1st, 2019 - Fiona

Welcome to my monthly news highlights from February 19 at Coombe Mill holidays together with a guide for what’s on in Cornwall for March 19. A handy guide to plan your time here if you are visiting this month.

February 2019 Highlights & Cornish Events March

Spring on the back of the snow

What a crazy month February turned out to be. We started the month on the national news when so much snow fell in the space of 2 hours during the school run. Everyone was caught out. Thankfully it was a happy ending and a great snow day off that followed.

 

Fast forward a couple of weeks and our half term guests were treated to spring with temperatures of 15 degrees. The farm literally blossomed and you could have been mistaken for thinking it was Easter.

spring in February19

 

Willow and honeysuckle cottages.

Last month I shared the kitchen and living room updates on Willow and Honeysuckle cottages. I’m now thrilled to say the new carpets are all in up the stairs, landing and bedrooms together with a few curtain and lampshade changes to lift these two spacious cottages for the 2019 season. 

New carpet in Honeysuckle Cottage

Inspired for business growth

I attended the annual Small Business Conference in Birmingham run by Theo Paphitis (ex Dragon’s Den star) as an #sbs winner. It is something I attend every year to network with other business owners, catch up with friends made over the years and be inspired for good business practice from Theo and his inspiring guest speakers.  As always I came away buzzing with an action plan which will hopefully benefit all our holiday guests. Watch this space.

sbs event 19 Birmingham

On the Farm

The end of February is a happy time for the animals, spring is in the air and the harsher days of winter are hopefully behind them.

Chickens

Survival is easy for the chickens as they have been enjoying life indoors in their luxury winter home. On the back of this we have had record egg collections with up to 10 a day. I’m sure this rivals our best summer days!

Collecting fresh farm eggs at Coombe Mill Holidays.

R.I.P. Floppsy and Bruce

Sadly not everyone fared so well. We lost both Bruce the Wallaby and Floppsy the rabbit during February. They were both such great characters we will miss them both. Farmer Nick has his fingers in many pies trying to see if we can find anything to replace them. 

 

Floppsy rabbit and Bruce Wallaby

 

Born into the snow

In happier news the guinea pigs are thriving. So much so we had two sets of babies on the same night born just as the snow arrived. We rigged up a heat lamp during the cold spell to keep them warm and they are now all thriving.

 

Baby guinea pigs at Coombe Mill Holidays

What’s On in Cornwall March 2019

If you are coming to see us this month I have a few recommendations of places and special activities you may like to visit with the family.

Event

Venue

Date

Price

Find out more

Distance from Coombe Mill

The Very hungry Caterpillar

Mother’s Day Free Entry for Mums

Invisible world : Oceans

Eden Project

16 – 17th March

31st March

throughout March

Free with entry £25 child (4 – 15) £12.60

https://www.edenproject.com/40 minutes

Underground tours of Cornish Mining 

Carnglaze Caverns

Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm

£7 Child (3 – 15) £5http://www.carnglaze.com/25 mins
Trains for kidsLappa ValleyOpen weekends in March£7.50http://www.lappavalley.co.uk40 mins

Star Gazing: displays, talks and telescopes from Kernow Astronomers

World Book Day trail and activities

Trerice National Trust

9th March 6.30pm – 9pm

9 – 10th March

Free, children welcome with adults

Free with entry £10.50 (child £5.25)

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trerice36 mins

 

Ranger Day Bash and Burn with marshmallow toasting

Llanhydrock Estate National Trust

16th March 10am – 3pm

£8.45 child £4.20https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lanhydrock25 mins
Meet zoo animals. Activities throughout the day.Newquay ZooOpen everydayfrom 10am – 4pm£15.50 child 3 – 15) £11.45https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/40 mins
Historical Shipwreck artifactsCharlestown Shipwreck centreTuesday – Saturday 10 – 5£7 (child 5 – 16 £5)https://www.shipwreckcharlestown.com40 mins

Nb: I have not been paid or sponsored to mention these places, they are just the events in March that I feel would be of interest to Coombe Mill Guests.

 

Wishing  you and your families a happy month ahead. I hope spring arrives for you and that your holiday plans are in place. If not make sure you check out our latest availability.

 

Fiona x


Supervised Bonfire Event for Kids

Posted on February 15th, 2019 - Fiona

We all know fire is dangerous, deserves respect and care, especially when children are near. However with the fear and danger comes fun and excitement. Here on the farm, we have an annual tradition on the back of our Christmas Fun, of saving all the wrapping paper for a big bonfire party. It isn’t a big activity, never the less our supervised bonfire event is one kids look forward to.

 

Supervised Bonfire Event for Kids

A Trailer full of Christmas Debris

All day Christmas Day and Boxing Day Farmer Nick leaves an open trailer out in the car park with a big sign inviting guests to leave their Christmas wrapping, from paper to party hats. This has the dual advantage of not overflowing our bins whilst simultaneously preparing for a fun supervised bonfire event for the kids.

 

 

Safety is Key

Over the years Farmer Nick has created some great firework events for us at both at New Year and Bonfire night. Safety is key; especially with excitable risk taking children around. For this reason, even our Christmas big burn is a supervised bonfire event. It is all carefully set up by Farmer Nick in advance, with a few clear rules:  

Only Farmer Nick starts the fire.
The fire site location is away from the farm and properties, just off the farm track.
The wind needs to be heading away from the path where people stand.
Wind strength needs to be moderate, not still or too strong.
Children are supervised by an adult at all times, as well as having Farmer Nick present.
Wrapping paper needs to be thrown from a safe distance to the fire.
Large windfall branches form the base of the bonfire. This gives substance and structure for the wrapping paper to be added.
Any near misses must be corrected by adults only.

 

Bonfire set up

Let the Fun Begin

Mindful of safety throughout, Farmer Nick invites the guests to join him. They can watch, or take part in, burning the collected waste wrapping paper.  

Carrying cardboard from trailer towards the fire.

Adding Christmas cardboard to the bonfire

Watching the fire with younger children.

Watching the supervised bonfire event

Throwing onto the fire from a safe distance.

Safe bonfire throw

Watching the fire die down to a safe level.

Bonfire at Coombe Mill

 

It is such a simple event, yet on a cold winter’s evening provides welcome warmth to the late afternoon fading light. The joy on the faces of the children joining in is clear to see. This is certainly a part of the Christmas break they will remember.  As I watched the children this year I couldn’t help but remember the fun my own children would have at this event poking at the embers with a big stick long after the flames had died down.

Join our Supervised Bonfire event in 2019

Weather permitting, we will be doing it all again this year, just a part of our Christmas program here on the farm. We’d love you to come and join us.