Tuesday, March 04, 2008

March Blog 2008

Earlier this month we welcomed a new family to Holwell, and it’s just as well we don’t have any near neighbours !!

Pictured above is our first litter of Wild Boar cross piglets at one day old. The parents are hybrids of Wild Boar that have been crossed with the Tamworth variety of pig to produce “Iron Age” pork; a rare delicacy. There were 7 in the first litter and all are this beautiful honey colour with the distinctive Wild Boar markings down their backs. They are very friendly; as are the rest of the family and quite playful too. Hopefully … they will remain in their “Wild Boar heaven” confines and will not end up “running a muck” as their more feral rivals have when released onto the northern part of the moor a year or so ago.

We need suggestions of names please for the Boar and Sow if you have any, please email them to us at; info@holwelldartmoor.co.uk

I have finally managed to get into our two new cottages here at Holwell long enough to take some photographs …

For regular “Bloggers”, you will be very sad to learn that poor old Aston the donkey who was in foal for what seemed like an eternity, finally went into labour at the top of the drive one afternoon a few weeks ago. She struggled for some time and the vet was called as soon as her waters broke, but it was apparent early on that there was a problem. The donkey foal had ended up with the cord round it’s neck and due to the length of time the foaling took, was unable to survive the birth. Martin her partner has been a great support to her as she has gradually come to terms with her loss and for the first time this morning they skipped out of their box like their old selves again.

Bookings for the cottages are looking very healthy this year and we are now busy through the Spring and Summer with the exception of May currently; which is surprising since it is by far the best month on Dartmoor – everything bursts into life from the new births of foals, lambs, calves to the flora of the prolific bluebells. We have a special offer on our website of 10% discount off the tariff for May bookings taken before the end of March; email us now to check availability info@holwelldartmoor.co.uk or call us on 01364 631471.

If you are unable to join us on Dartmoor this Easter, perhaps the next best thing is to order one of our special Easter Meat Boxes. 10 kgs of mixed, prime, free range beef, lamb and pork, delivered FREE to your door. Check out our order on line website at www.tortotor.co.uk There is something for everyone – even the dog now with our excellent Pet Mince at £1 a bag and bones too!

Here is Glen (short for Glenmorangie), the new Golden Eagle that joined the Holne Chase Falconry team late last year; he is now fully trained and ready for action … come and meet him next time you are down with us; he really is very friendly!

Glen will be off to Italy this Spring to feature in a display at an exhibition aimed at the Italian travel market, highlighting the increasingly popular sport/art of Falconry as part of a holiday. Villa Pallero in Tuscany will be promoted at the event alongside Holne Chase and Holwell too. Apparently the Italians have a great fondness for the classically English Country Life!

Look forward to seeing you soon …

March Newsletters:
Click here for our Holne Chase Newsletter
Click here for our Holwell Dartmoor Newsletter
Click here for our Pallero Newsletter
Click here for our Tor To Tor Newsletter

Email Philippa

Pallero: Luxury Holiday Villa in Italy
Luxury Holiday Cottages Dartmoor Devon
Luxury Hotel Dartmoor Devon




Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Year Blog

Well the last Christmas tree has finally been eaten now – yes, eaten … the pigs love them and then play with them after they have been stripped of needles and have a fun scratching time too.

Christmas at Holwell got off to a great start with two new litters of piglets being born on Christmas Eve which all the children loved watching. As regular “Holwell Bloggers” will now know, once the birthing process starts it’s a bit like shelling peas and they usually emerge one every 5-10 minutes.

By New Year they were brave enough to be running around in the yard playing “it” with each other; carefully watched over by the chickens whilst Mum had a well earned rest … 12 of the little darlings can take the shine of anyone’s Christmas ! Needless to say Dad was no where to be seen, or rather he was otherwise engaged with a new harem round the corner.

It would appear that the concept of “domestic bliss” and Christmas are rarely compatible these days, but put a demanding herd of breeding pigs into the mix as well and you have a recipe for disaster. To avert just such a festive finale, we took a call from a friend just after New Year who had been given a fairly plain ultimatum; “its the pigs or me !” and so we agreed to add to our herd the “Trotter Family” from Cornwall.

Actually to be accurate, it was Wales as there is a magnificent Welsh boar called Dafid and his two Saddleback wifelets called Davinia and Letitia. Dafid is mangnificently well-equipped for his task in life but how he manages to walk at all defies every law of gravity. Unfortunately when he was being moved to his new billet in the woods gravity won and his spotless white form disappeared into the mud altogether.

Still no sign of baby donkey II – Aston disappointed the villagers of Widecombe by failing to produce in time for the Nativity. Never mind, maybe she will have her act together in time for Easter.

Talking of sequels, we are just putting the finishing touches to “Wild Pony II” – a repeat of the very successful 3 night/4 day residential course at Holwell handling the wild Dartmoor pony stock from the 2007 progeny. Hosted by leading equine trainer Vanessa Bee of Positive Horsemanship, the course proved inspiring, educational and enjoyable for everyone, be they in the business of working with or owning horses/ponies or just with an interest in the process. The dates will be mid-week towards the end of April 2008 running from a Monday to Wednesday inclusive. Please email; info@holwelldartmoor.co.uk if you would be interested in receiving full details or know someone who would be.

If you are keen on new learning experiences, you may also be interested to know that we are offering a unique opportunity to combine the skills of Photography and Falconry. George Hedges, based at Holne Chase Hotel is offering half or whole days with his Eagles, Hawks, Falcons and Owls to give a fantastic individual “Photo call” which should result in some unforgettable shots. Please click here for more information; Falconry Offer

As we enter our THIRD year of the increasingly popular Widecombe Village Market, we have now added a “special feature” into each event to add to the unique appeal. If you are coming to Dartmoor, you might like to keep a copy of the dates and features by clicking the link; Widecombe Village Market

Tor to Tor also celebrated it’s THIRD Christmas – which was even more frenzied than usual with all the Meat Box Orders that went out to Dartmoor Meat fans all over the UK.

If your New Year’s resolution was to buy healthy and UK reared meat, then our latest Tor to Tor offer could be of interest to you; This January we have launched a new incentive of ONE FREE DARTMOOR MIXED MEAT BOX for customers who place a standing order for 8 or more boxes to be delivered during the course of 2008. If you would like to place an order online, please go to; www.tortotor.co.uk Also, keep an eye out for our new SMOKED MEAT PRODUCTS that will be available from Easter – now there’s a thought !

Click Here For Our January Tor To Tor Newsletter

Happy New Year to you all and see you down on the farm soon !

Email Philippa

Pallero: Luxury Holiday Villa in Italy
Luxury Holiday Cottages Dartmoor Devon
Luxury Hotel Dartmoor Devon




Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Prepared For Christmas?

If you are so well prepared for Christmas (unlike me) that you have time to read this blog, then all I can say is – well done !

Since I last put fingers to my keyboard to update all you Forgotten Farmers out there, the weeks have flown past at such a rate I am struggling to recall all that has been going on …

Early November saw our first Wild Pony Handling break which was a huge success and you can read some of the comments from those attending by clicking here.

The event was also a surprisingly popular media “coup” with a TV crew from France arriving on the doorstep to film the experience followed by our local West Country TV crew. An orderly queue was then formed with local BBC radio, national BBC Radio 4 with Matt Baker; newly appointed Patron of the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust and several regional newspapers too.

We are now planning to hold a follow up event with some of the foals that we didn’t get round to handling in the Spring, so please let me know if you would like your name provisionally put down for it. We will run it along the same lines as the last which was over 4 days and three nights mid-week.

Of equal interest during this break was the opportunity for some of our guests to try out the ancient art of “Hawking on Horseback”; as reported in The Telegraph last week, George would appear to be the only falconer in the country who is actively using a bird from the horse to hunt with.

Fortunately the end of our lovely Indian Summer finished as the last foal was released back out to the herd and the Wintry heavens opened.

The hard work then started – bringing in all the cattle for their TB tests first; thank goodness no reactors so we can breathe a huge sigh of relief for another 6 months.

We then separated out the South Devon cattle from the Galloways and put the latter cattle who are hardier and can withstand the Dartmoor elements back out to pasture. This year’s more mature calves were then sent down to the valley where they will be fattened and finished to arrive back with us eventually for Tor to Tor. The South Devon cows are now cosy and warm in the barn for the Winter.

We have split our large barn in two with the cows one end and the other end is now full of our weaned Saddleback pigs who are in “pig heaven” snuggled up under layers of straw. They don’t get up very early so when we are ready to start feeding in the morning you could be forgiven for thinking no one was home. If you look carefully however you see the first twitches of awareness from under the straw and every now and then an ear will surface. The whole floor of the barn then rapidly erupts into a squealing mass of stripy porkers.

One aspect of this Winter’s mess arrangements that wasn’t quite planned and has caused a stir with our Tor to Tor customers is the fact that all the chickens have taken to sharing the pig’s billet and co-exist quite happily together. Sadly, when they lay their eggs the pigs eat them ! We have had to apologies to our regulars that at present until we find a solution the supply chain is “scrambled”.

The two new cottages; Saddle Tor and Chinkwell Tor have now been completed and I am frantically rushing round trying to finish them off in time for the Christmas arrivals. They do look fantastic and again, we have managed to keep the original features so they are true to their origins. The re-built round house which is now a bedroom is particularly appealing and the open-plan galleried landing that connects the first floor above is equally stunning. The two cottages will work well together to accommodate parties of up to 16 too.

Having just arrived back from our new addition to the fold; Villa Pallero in a beautifully festive Tuscany, I was struck by how the nearby medieval walled towns and cities have managed to retain a dignified restraint towards their decorations that allows each to be enhanced rather than exploited by Christmas. More importantly too, it is focused on the religious implications of the period rather than pure commerce. Maybe you should try it for Christmas shopping next year ?

I have been putting the finishing touches to a really exciting calendar of themed events and breaks for Villa Pallero in 2008 that will include seasonal celebrations of the various harvests such as Wine, Olive Oil, Saffron, Chestnuts and Truffles with some of the more notable dates for Festivals of Music, Art, Culture, Dance etc. Activity orientated breaks will also include painting, photography, yoga, Italian for beginners and riding. For preliminary details of what is going on in and around Villa Pallero for 2008, please click here.

Stay tuned for the release of further details in our New Year Newsletter due out early January.

Tomorrow heralds the start of the Holne Chase Christmas with the annual trip up to the new Covent Garden market in London. Here at the Nine Elms Flower Market, the senses are catapulted into Festive mood despite the outrageously early hour; it opens at 4am and by 6am it is all but over. The smells of the flowers, spruce, eucalyptus etc are intoxicating and really colourful. You can’t help but be inspired and enthused to put on a really special show of “real” decorations. Holne Chase lends itself perfectly to a real “Country House Christmas” .

A hotel full of expectant and discerning guests from 20th December to 9th January is a daunting prospect for any new chef to contend with, especially one who has only just arrived to the job. In the case of Ross Duncan however, the task is slightly eased by the fact that he has already “been there and got the t-shirt”. Ross has returned to the fold after nearly 6 years when he left our brigade to return to his homeland in Scotland. Ross very nearly didn’t pass muster when he joined us the first time back in 1996 whe he made porridge for Sebastian’s breakfast with water and salt instead of lashings of clotted cream and brown sugar.

On that rather sticky note, I will have to abandon my blog to go and take delivery of nearly 100 of the best Dartmoor Bronze Turkeys which are arriving nice and freshly plucked this evening ready for all our Tor to Tor orders. We have been really delighted with the reaction to our new easy to use “on-line” ordering website at: www.tortotor.co.uk and hope you will be checking into it in the New Year too.

On that rather expectant note, we wish you a wonderfully Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you at either Holne Chase, Holwell or Pallero in 2008.

Philippa, Sebastian, the boys and all the animals …

Email Philippa

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Celebrating Our 2nd Full Year Of Renting At Holwell

Isn't this a fantastic photo of George our Falconer on Lynus with Fiddich the Golden Steppe Eagle as the Sun went down on Hound Tor. The picture was taken by leading photographer from the Western Morning News and it made the front cover last week and also appeared in The Times!!

This month we celebrate our second full year of renting out the holiday cottages here at Holwell. As we approach this milestone, we wanted to share with you the progress and developments to date here on the farm incase you missed out on any of the news via earlier "Blogs".

The guests to Holwell have helped us enormously in creating and improving the unique holiday experiences that every member of the family can enjoy and remember.

We would also like to mark this 2nd year Anniversary with you by offering a "Loyalty Discount" for your next stay with us of 20% off the published weekly tariff as a "thank you" for your support to date and hopefully ongoing involvement with us here at Holwell. (Applicable to bookings up to end March 08, excluding public/school holidays).

Many of you will have followed the initial "transformation" of Holwell via the TV series "Forgotten Farm", but that was only the beginning ...

The original four cottages will be joined later this year by the final phase of two new cottages. Saddle Tor and Chinkwell Tor overlook the yard below and have fantastic views over the roof of the lower cottages to Ripon Tor. Saddle Tor the largest with 4 double bedrooms, has been converted from the Threshing Barn and we have re-built the magnificent Round House that will now contain the principal bedroom. A cross galleried balcony will connect the two first floor bedrooms and a huge open-plan living/dining and kitchen area will be open to the apex of the roof.

Chinkwell Tor has been converted from the original kennels and will have two ground floor bedrooms and one large loft bedroom with adjoining en-suite bathroom. These two cottages together would accommodate up to 14 in total.

When completed we will then be able to take up to 50 guests at any one time at Holwell which potentially opens up a new opportunity to encourage more gatherings for family celebrations such as mile stone Birthdays and Anniversaries or even for business use; please advise if you would like details of our Exclusive Use Group and Corporate rates; info@holwelldartmoor.co.uk Catering can also be organised for a special occasion dinner at either Holwell or Holne Chase Hotel.

The new farm buildings came into their own earlier this year when the wet weather forced all the animals on the farm indoors under cover. We also played host with our new 12 box stable yard to several riding groups and hunting parties who came to have a day out with the South Devon Hunt from Holwell.

At the beginning of the Summer we also had the first Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust Sale at Holwell which was the focus of the "Johnny Kingdom" programme which followed a herd of wild ponies off the moor to be handled and then sold as children’s ponies.

This was so successful that it will be repeated next year, hopefully with a bigger itinerary to include a few “pony races” too. In November we will be continuing the “Wild Pony Handling” theme with a special 4 day, 3 night fully inclusive package at Holwell with renowned horsewoman Vanessa Bee and still have a few places left; Click here for more info on the Wild Pony Break

We will be using for this event some of this year’s foals that were born at Holwell and on the commons of Dartmoor. If you would be interested in buying any, we have a gorgeous variety available from £150 non-pedigree to £750 each registered pedigree Dartmoor. I can email images if anyone is interested; info@holwelldartmoor.co.uk

Two new attractions that have proved very popular to Holwell guests include the provision of a Health and Beauty Suite at nearby Holne Chase where a variety of treatments and massages can be booked. Also, our full time Falconer who is based at the hotel has been increasingly busy this year with Flying Experiences and Courses with his amazing collection of Birds of Prey from Eagles and Hawks to Falcons and Owls. Hunting trips from Holwell are awesome watching the birds soaring on the thermals over the mire and stooping from 2000 feet on to quarry below. TV’s “The Really Wild Show” came up to film a sequence with Evie the Sea Eagle; with a massive 10 ft wingspan, she eats small children for breakfast!

Finding a “route to market” for the animals that are reared at Holwell has led the meat delivery business “Tor to Tor” to develop further with a full time butchery at the farm itself. This has been a great advantage for guests who can pre-order their holiday meat or buy during their stay. Having recently launched a “Meat Box” service that delivers FREE anywhere in the UK also means that the unique flavour of our Dartmoor meat can be savoured when back at home as well.

Tor to Tor is now taking Christmas Orders and you can call us on – 07968 390 618 for a Price List or email; meat@holwelldartmoor.co.uk This year we will be featuring Barn Reared Bronze Turkeys from Frenchbeer Farm, Chagford, Dartmoor “oven ready” game such as Partridge, Pheasant and Venison, Dressed Devon Geese, Cooked Honey Glazed and Breaded Hams, Home-Cured Gammons, French Style Rack of Organic Holne Lamb or prime Rib of Widecombe Beef. There will also be Sausage Meat, “Pigs in Blankets”, Chippolatas etc. Christmas Meat Boxes can be put together to your order and delivered free anywhere in the UK; ideal Presents too!

See you soon!

Email Philippa

Pallero: Luxury Holiday Villa in Italy
Luxury Holiday Cottages Dartmoor Devon
Luxury Hotel Dartmoor Devon




Friday, August 31, 2007


Well it certainly looks like it. Having really struggled most of this Summer to collect in our hay and straw harvest we are now basking in a truly magnificent spell of hot weather that is predicted to continue well into September.

Already the colours on Dartmoor are dynamic with the contrast of the purple heather, yellow gorse and clear blue skies. Riding out early this morning as the mist was burning off I encountered a family of young fox cubs pouncing on moles and had for company a courting couple of buzzards overhead.

It was great to finally have some “me” time in what has been a manic Summer. I have been inspired to put together a package at Holne Chase for all similarly “frazzled” Mums who have been madly juggling children and work for what seems like an eternity.

Apart from the thankfully shortlived spectre of Foot and Mouth rearing its all too ugly head recently, the guests we have welcomed to Holwell this Summer have all had a marvellous time and many have already re-booked. We are currently taking bookings for next Summer at this year’s rates, so if you don’t want to miss out, call us now on 01364 631471 or email; info@holwelldartmoor.co.uk

Wild Pony Days on Dartmoor (Microsoft Word .doc)

Guests have been busy comforting and feeding our orphan lamb “Cadbury” who is now a familiar if slightly shy face on the farm now. Many of our visitors have also been impressed to see how well our other orphan friend is doing; Prickle the foal is now growing bigger by the day and has recently been featured on the BBC Countryfile Diaries.

Donkeys Aston and Martin are getting broody again as Aston’s second foal is looking imminent. They continue to try and “nest” in the new cottages that are being converted and if the builders forget to barricade it up at night they have a nice surprise in the morning and it’s usually still steaming!

At Holne Chase we welcomed recently the Ferrari Owners Club with a fabulous collection of machines that gleamed proudly in the Summer sunshine outside the hotel. There were however a few anxious moments when Fiddich the Step Eagle nearly landed on one during the Falconry Display.

With Autumn fast approaching, the famous Widecombe Fair will soon be upon us. This year we plan to cook more than just the one hog roast as the one we cooked last year lasted precisely half an hour before selling out.

The annual “Drift” of ponies off the moor will be next on the calendar towards the end of September and this year we have arranged a special all inclusive residential package at Holwell to “handle” the Wild foals with renowned horsewoman Vanessa Bee.

We will shortly be launching a new “Portal Website” linking all the various sites together in one big on-line “Department Store” to ensure visitors to one site can easily access another. The portal will feature Holne Chase, Holwell, Tor to Tor meat delivery, Quadrants Fractional Ownership and now Pallero the Italian Villa in San Gimignano, Tuscany. Watch this space for the “going live” date as we will be rewarding our email database with lots of special offers and prizes for sending the new portal web address on to contacts you feel it would be of interest to.
See you soon !

Email Philippa

Pallero: Luxury Holiday Villa in Italy
Luxury Holiday Cottages Dartmoor Devon
Luxury Hotel Dartmoor Devon




Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Countdown To Summer…

Its all go as usual down on the farm …

Latest foal count is 12, so that's a full strike rate from our clever stallion once again – well done Starfighter. There are just two full pedigree Dartmoor fillies left from the 2006 stock now.

Our baby donkey DB7 has also now fled the stable and has gone to a nice new home with another Dartmoor foal from here on Bodmin Moor. Parents Aston and Martin were very miserable for a few weeks but seem to be back to normal again now.

They were certainly up their mischievous selves yesterday and gave us all a shock. One of our regular guests arrived to park his car in the yard and was surprised to see above his head in the Linhay parking area, a couple of hooves sticking through the ceiling!

The alarm was raised; i.e. me running frantically round the farm mustering up all the "muscle" I could find and upon closer inspection we discovered that Aston had fallen through a hole in the barn when she and Martin were "exploring" after the sand-blaster had been in preparing the buildings for conversion.

We all lifted her gently out and thankfully she was unhurt, but very shocked. So was the guest who can now add "Donkey Rescuer" to his CV.

Hope you managed to catch our falconer George's "moment of glory" on Channel 4's "F Word". Albeit short and sweet, Glenfiddich the Golden Steppe Eagle performed to perfection by taking out a hare for Gordon Ramsay on first attempt.

Basking in his new found fame, Fiddich decided to take a little "detour" when he was out for a bit of training at the hotel the other day and was found the next day up at Princetown. Even the local radio stations had helpfully put out a request to keep an eye out for him and several sightings later he was spotted having a bit of fun with the rabbits up near the Prison.

Evie the Sea Eagle was centre stage yesterday down at Plymouth with the popular "Springwatch" TV series. Thankfully she had been fed before she went so there was no untimely "snacking" on small dogs or children!

One accident waiting to happen that did was Sebastian getting flattened by yet another cow. This time he was trying to re-unite a calf with its anxious mother who had temporarily "mislaid" it and instead of saying a grateful "moo", decided to charge instead and pushed him backwards into a wall. A broken ankle, finger and 2 ribs later; ouch!, he staggered away and eventually (about a week later) off to casualty.

Batty Two came to the rescue at the hotel last week when a distraught couple staying in the stable suites rang up to reception to advise that their beloved old Labrador dog had collapsed and was in urgent need of a Vet. Sebastian limped down to find a very sad scene as the owners of the dog tried to comfort the lifeless form in front of them.

A few moments later her ladyship sashayed down the drive towards them and as she approached in her usual provocative manner, the Labrador miraculously recovered, had a good sniff and padded off happily after her. His stunned owners looked on in amazement as Sebastian quipped "That will be £80.00 please!"

Tor to Tor has been busy on the farm developing a new range of sausages and BBQ specials. We now have a "Summer Sizzler" Box full of chops, steaks, sausages, burgers etc from £75.00. To order yours, just email us at info@holwelldartmoor.co.uk or ring on 07976 535078.

Coming soon … "Hound Tor to Tor" - Delicicious "Jumbo Sausages" that you can boil up for your dogs and slice as required. Full of 100% Dartmoor meat and goodness; we'll even throw in a few marrow bones too.

Also coming up next month we have the "Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust" Pony Sale at Holwell on 21st July. Everyone welcome and Johnny Kingdom's TV crew will be there to film him handling the wild ponies with expert Vanessa Bee.

Apart from a few gaps this month, we are then fully booked through the Summer, but if you want to catch the Rowan Berries and fabulous show of heather and the Pony Drift, then book now for Autumn. Widecombe Fair is Tuesday 11th September. Ring now to book on 01364 631471 or email us at info@holwelldartmoor.co.uk

See you soon !

Philippa Hughes


Email Philippa

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Dreaming of Spring …

With such a warm winter the Daffodils have now burst forth and are contrasting beautifully with the already lush green fields.

Several new arrivals to report; two early calves, both with clearly defined “belts” from their father; the belted Galloway Bull called “Pop” (short for Popacatapetal – regular blog readers will remember that all the Holwell “alpha males” are named after Volcanos).

We have also got a “free range” calf that was born before Christmas who was looking a bit “peaky” so we brought him out from the rest of the herd and he has now teamed up with the donkeys and is roaming around the farm quite happily. A visiting guest had the opportunity to christen him, so he is now fondly known as “Arnold”.

A quite unexpected new arrival to the equine team came in the form of the return to Holwell of Liverton Lass, or “Liffy”. She is now 18 and after failing to get her in foal 2 years ago, remained at stud to keep a rather smart Connemara Stallion company through the Winter. On further inspection when it came time to bring the stallion back in for the 2007 covering season, it was discovered that the mare was not as barren as first thought and is now due to have a foal imminently.

The first batch of pedigree Dartmoor Pony yearlings will be ready for sale in the Spring. All have wintered well considering the wet weather, but the warmth has meant there has been more grass than past years. They are all the spit of their father who has “stamped” them well – the only problem is telling them apart. If you would like more information on buying one, please call; 01647 221335; they really are gorgeous and would make a perfect first child’s pony as their temperament is excellent and their looks are ideal for showing too.

In preparation for our first season of “Hawking on Horseback” from Holwell, we have now welcomed Lynus the “Hawk Horse” to the farm. So laid back he is horizontal, Lynus is not phased at all when an 8 foot wing span Golden Steppe Eagle lands on his rider’s arm. This is a really exciting prospect and we are looking forward to our first hunting forays.

Talking of the latter, the South Devon Hunt have had some cracking outings around Holwell recently and accounted for a huge dog fox last week; just as well as we lost our Gander to him the night before. Geese mate for life and the two distraught females left behind have been visibly traumatised watching their “hubby” dragged off whilst trying to protect them. We are introducing another later today so fingers crossed they can all get along together. Such a shame as they had just started laying in readiness for a Spring clutch of goslings too.

We have now had a few hunting trips with the Eagles and Harris Hawks up at Holwell and I must admit they do look so at home up here. Watching the Eagles picking up the thermals and spiralling up higher and higher in the sky has been mesmerising. The Harris Hawks are also now being regularly flown through the woods in our copse to break down the crows nests before they get too established. We really must pull out all the stops this year to help the Lapwings get their young hatched and fledged.

At Holne Chase we have been thrilled to finally receive back from the printers yesterday the new brochure and DVD. It has been a number of years since our last brochure and the photography and footage of the new package is fantastic. You can download from the website; http://www.holne-chase.co.uk/ or ring for one to be sent to you; 01364 631471. Various new changes and improvements there so far this year include a “Massage and Treatment” suite. This will be up and running from Easter offering a range of options to really help guests to unwind, relax and enjoy a pampering session.

More and more guests to both Holwell and Holne Chase are now starting to order their meat from our new box scheme on a regular basis. With free delivery anywhere in the UK, this is such a convenient way to secure fresh, quality, traceable meat from Dartmoor. For more information, visit http://www.holwelldartmoor.co.uk/ and click on “Tor to Tor” or phone; 07976 535078.

Email Philippa

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Luxury Holiday Cottages Dartmoor Devon
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