Our yurts are now stored away safely for the winter and October and November have been rather wet months with a series of winter storms coming to Devon, with the latest Storm Ciaran impacting on the south west particularly the Channel Islands. Guests have however been enjoying the comforts of our shepherds hut during these autumn and early winter weeks. We are able to offer our shepherds hut all year around, whilst the yurts are only available from Easter to the end of September. The shepherds hut can sleep up to 4 persons and has a lovely little outside seating area and fire pit, and a wood burning stove inside. Its perfect for a quiet peaceful and private get away during the quieter autumn months. We have recently been able to offer our guests Fibre broadband and a kitchen room with electricity, fridges and kettle. In previous years we have encouraged our guests to embrace a digital detox away from these luxuries of home, but we have moved forwards and can now offer all the little extras of home from home even whilst glamping!!!
Global warming is rising and with this comes the hottest day of the year in 2023 during September. Its a shame for all the families with children who have stayed during August this year when the weather has been rather soggy at times with a few unseasonal storms, with high winds and accompanying rain. However its wonderful for our current guests who are having lovely warm temperatures and clear nights to observe the wildlife and the stars. Apparently its a heatwave when the temperature is over 25 degrees for 3 days running. With September also comes the darker evenings and as I write this blog its currently getting dark around 8pm. The best time to enjoy a camp fire is just as the sun is setting and the stars appear and the owls start hooting. The tawny owls are particularly noisy at this time of year when the young and out and about looking for their own territory.
Its been a while since we updated this blog - time flies when you are busy! The camp has welcomed many guests this spring and summer and they have been enjoying the wonderful sunshine and clear nights. In June the weather was very hot for a prolonged period of time and the fields are dry and parched with low levels of rainfall. Global warming and an El Nino year are to blame for the changes we are observing and our wildlife and livestock are fortunate in that we have a spring fed lake and River Hems on our land which means there is always a water supply available to them. This also means that our guests are fortunate to be able to observe nature and wildlife just happening right outside the door of their yurt. We are always in the process of developing our site and upgrading our facilities to meet the needs of our guests and this summer we are going to be able to offer fridges for keeping drinks and food cool, and in addition some mobile phone charging points connected to the electricity. There will be a small additional charge for this, however if guests want to keep things natural and off grid then ice blocks and cool boxes will still be supplied along with use of the solar charging points in the camp.
February has proved to be a rather dry month which is quite surprising and its been a little chilly too. Not too much frost but a nippy wind today. The daffodils and snowdrops are rather late here this year, but still a lovely display. Next week we are going to start putting our yurts back on their bases ready for the beginning of the season. Lets hope the weather stays dry for the yurt building. We always welcome help from anyone who would like to know how to build a yurt - give us a call if you would like to come and help! Lots of bookings coming in now. Sometimes people ask me for ideas of interesting things to do when staying here and I can recommend all sorts of activities including beautiful walks, visits to Dartmoor and the local beaches, local towns and villages and tourist attractions, However if you are interested in something a little more sedate why not try a workshop making a mosaic. Check out this website for bookings: www.mosaic-workshops.co.uk . The lady who runs these is delightful and offers really fun days out making wonderful works of art in mosaics.
The nights are getting lighter and this week the temperatures have reached +10 degrees which feels positively warmer than all the frosty nights we have had in January. The shepherds hut has proved popular during January with intrepid guests staying over and enjoying the wood burning stove as it really keeps the hut very toasty and cosy indeed. We are looking forward to putting our yurts up again in time for Easter. The two swans that many guests watched on our lake last summer have returned and seem to be courting and potentially even nest building. The larger swan, who we assume to be male has been named Beau, and the smaller and assumed female and long time resident is called Ethel. They are territorial and have chased off the canada geese that were settled here. Who knows what the spring will bring. We are taking bookings now, so if you want to come and stay then give us a call soon as May is getting very popular with the additional bank holidays around the Kings Coronation.
It seems a long time since the balmy days of the beautiful summer of 2022 and we would like to wish all our guests new and old a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Its a while since I posted on this blog and so far this winter started off mild and dry followed by very chilly (minus 10 one night in December) and now at the start of the new year its been very wet weather. The yurts are safely stored away in our barn and we have had lots of lovely and intrepid guests staying through the autumn in our quirky shepherds hut. Christmas has now been packed away and we are looking forward to welcoming guests in 2023, firstly in the early spring in the shepherds hut and then from Easter in our yurts. If you would like to book your yurt break then get in touch soon. With all the additional bank holidays in May we have a high demand for those weekends so book early if you would like to stay then. I really hope that 2023 will be the perfect time for you all to come and stay an enjoy the delights of our rural location. Happy New Year to you all !!!
September brings the autumn equinox and we have had a very long dry summer with heatwave conditions and very little rainfall so the rain is a welcome relief to the dry and parched land. The trees are changing colour and the leaves are dropping. The orchard has thrived in the dry conditions and we have a bumper crop of apples along with fabulous blackberries on the camp and in the surrounding lake field. Our guests have been enjoying the clear nights recently but with the equinox there has been a change to more northerly winds and chillier evenings - fortunately there are wood burning stoves in our yurts (apart from the smallest Plym yurt) so there is no need to feel the chill with a roaring log fire. All our logs supplied on site are kiln dried with low moisture content so they light really easily and burn nicely. There is nothing like the aroma of a log fire. Its soon going to be time to take down our yurts and put them into our new barn for the winter. We will have them back on the field in time for Easter 2023.
August has been record breaking for many reasons, its been a heatwave with very high temperatures up in the 30's peaking tomorrow Sunday 14th August. There has been very little or no rain for around 6 weeks which has impacted on our fields making them incredibly parched and arid. The weather has been lovely for our guests however we are asking everyone to restrict their use of the firepits and wood burning stoves because of the extreme fire risk. Our horses are having to be fed hay from our winter stocks and we are keeping trays of water dotted around our land for the wild birds and other wildlife to have a source of water. Despite being next to a river and a lake the levels are exceedingly low and we are probably going to have a hosepipe ban implemented in a few days time. The weather is set to breakdown on Monday and Tuesday next week with thunder storms forecast and some long awaited rain. The trouble is with the land being so parched and the heat we will need a prolonged period of rain for our land to recover. This is looking quite unlikely for the foreseeable according the to weather forecasters with good weather set fair for August into September. I never thought I would be praying for rain, and I have been soaking up the moments in the sunshine to try and recall them in the winter when its not so nice out in the fields feeding livestock!!! The camp is virtually fully booked now until the middle of September with a record breaking number of guests staying with us this year. Since we started our glamping site in 2011 we have also welcomed some guests back many times which is a lovely thing as we are obviously providing something they like!!!! Take care in the heat everyone needless to say sun screen and hydrating are recommended!!!
The weather is set to get even hotter with a heatwave predicted for the next week and possibly further. Our guests have been treated to a barn owl hunting on the lake field during the evenings. Our camp is home to a wealth of wildlife and recent sightings have included the barn owl and some roe deer. Both of these prefer to be feeding during the dawn and dusk hours. The lake field has been left fallow during the summer months which attracts many birds and insects, butterflies, crickets and beetles are plentiful and the local wildlife are always attracted to the lake field as a source of fresh water, particularly during the warmer weather. The Swan, Ethel, and the two young Canadian Geese are still present on the lake and the geese have raised 1 gosling which is nearly fully feathered now. They hatched 4 goslings, unfortunately the other 3 were predated. Also sighted this week was the sparrowhawk being mobbed by the swallows and the fox cubs which are playing in the fields on Parsonage lane during the daytimes. Soon be time for them to move on, their parents push them away once they are old enough to fend for themselves. We still have some availability for the next couple of weeks and into August - and its such a wonderful time to stay when the summer sets in!!!
Its been a while since I posted on this blog but thats because its been super busy at the camp in the early part of 2022. We have had lots of lovely guests and some wonderful weather with a very dry April which has helped us to build our new barn at the yurt camp. The barn will be used for storing our yurts in over the winter and will have its own laundry too. Its also been a damp sort of May which has helped the fields and hedgerows grow amazingly quickly, but June has started with some glorious days on which to celebrate HM Queen's platinum jubilee, and including the hottest day of the year so far, yesterday 17th June. The swallows at the camp have managed to raise and fledge their first brood and they are so cute flying in and out of the stables with their parents. The Canadian geese managed to hatch 4 goslings but sadly due to predation there is only one remaining but the parents are now more vigliant and very protective. Our resident Swan Ethel has remained on our lake since the winter months and is maturing nicely now, she is getting her orange colouration on her beak rather than the immature grey. The summer months are such a beautiful time to visit our yurt camp with so much wildlife flora and fauna to enjoy.
Liz Jeffery - owner of Hemsford Yurt camp