From May 17th

From May 17th if you would like to stay at Folly View with people from another household you will be able to.

This is in line with the Government Regulations around Covid 19.

“Over night stays in guest accommodation are restricted to groups of up to six people or two households/ bubbles. People should stay socially distanced from anyone they do not live with or share a bubble with”.

So if you have family or friends you want to holiday with you can now book with us at Folly View.

We would ask that you still follow Covid 19 guidance to protect yourself and others.

We will still be following Covid 19 Guidance on cleaning and washing linen to protect you.

Book by phoning Merinda on 01588 673191.

Covid Time Spring Gardening

Covid Time gardening has not been different to the usual gardening but I have got a couple of jobs that didn’t get done last year.

We have had a couple of trees down from the back of the house. One birch and an ash. The ash keys (seeds) get everywhere much as I love the trees. And we had a couple of leyllandi down which were beginning to die.

We spent a week sorting out piles of brash and logs, in fact we still are. Some of the brash we have left in piles round the garden for wildlife. I do try to keep tidy piles of brash.

I have been coppicing hazel from by the steam. It has got very leggy and I particularly wanted to let light in round the maple and for the hollies. It got neglected last year, so this year I want to get as much done as possible.

The other job I didn’t get done last Spring was splitting and replanting the snowdrops. I have split three very large clumps and transplanted them round the garden. I also moved a clump which was in the way of our path to our compost bins. A clump of daffodils which were no longer flowering because of being so congested have finally been divided and spread round the garden. I have one more clump to move.

I am gardening in a way that provided more habitats for wildlife. And I am trying not to fight nature.

I have trimmed the hedges and piled up the cutting to provide places for insects to live.

With this cold dry Spring I have not yet put my potatoes in. In I haven’t finished digging over the beds they will go in.

There is still lots to do, I have some weeding to get on with and cutting back of shrubs and herbs.

Gardening is never finished.

Covid Time Walks

As we can only walk locally during Covid Times I have explored a few different  walks to take the dogs on.

We all love walking Halford Meadows and Onny Meadows, with all their lovely sniffs(the dogs) and views of the hills (me). But we all like a change, and the dogs enjoy discovering different sniffs.

A map showing Halford Meadows and Onny Meadows

Most of the footpath walks have been very muddy and I have brought half a field back home a few times. So we have also explored a few of the local lanes.

To achieve these walks we sometimes have to start by walking down or up the A49. There is the odd one where we finish on the A49 as well.

I know most of the local footpaths but friends can still surprise me with paths I have never ventured down before. (This was back in the Summer).

In the first lockdown two older gentlemen sat on their scooters in their drive waving and saying hello in the afternoon. They still wave but from inside their warm home. We also wave to a woman who sits near her window reading, with a dog who barks to say hello. Dillie has a grumble, not that she has room to bark.

Most days we walk past one house where the man has his office upstairs. He usually has the window open and his feet stuck up on the window sill. Does he do this for comfort or does he have smelly feet.

Dillie has got used to the idea that if people are walking along the path towards you step into the road out of their way. I need to train her to go at a signal.

We wave to a lot people when we are walking, some I know well, some I know to wave to and some I actually have no idea who they are, I wave because they waved and so it carries on.

Well I hope you have enjoyed my over view of Covid Time Walks, look out for more Covid Time Blogs.

Spring 2021 Has Sprung

Spring 2021 Has sprung here in Shropshire.

We had a wonderful displays of snowdrops in February, a Spring precursor.

Snowdrop Clump

Snowdrop Clump

We now have beautiful daffodils blooming everywhere. The banks at the road sides have clumps of pale yellow primroses.

Hazel trees are beginning to lose their catkins but if you look closely you will see their tiny red flowers are out.

The catkins on the Alder’s have turned brown from their winter purple. Blossom is beginning to cover the cherry trees and the pale green buds on shrubs and trees look ready to burst open any time now.

Birds busy flitting back and forth with twigs, dry grass, bits of fluff and bits of moss building their nests ready for clutches of eggs.

The fields are filling with bright white lambs on match stick legs, running behind their fleece dams (mums).

I am looking out for all these signs when walking now that Spring 2021 has sprung here in Shropshire.

Covid Times

We hope everyone of our customers are keeping well during Covid Times.

Here at Folly View we are both looking forward to having our Covid Vaccinations later this week.

It seems silly to get excited about going to have a vaccination but it is an opportunity to see other people and to go out. The drive down will be lovely, I may even see some lambs.

Lyndon is cycling down to Ludlow Race Course (this is where the vaccination centre is) to get his. He has heard that exercising when you have had the vaccination is good ( this is unsubstantiated).

I have been naughty and taking Dillie out for two walks a day, she drives me nuts if I don’t, much as I love her. Hettie comes on some walks but not all of them. It is great to be able to get out of the house every day, I do love walking and we have a lovely part of Shropshire to do it in. There are some very muddy walks round here but there are hints they are beginning to dry out now.

I talked to a friend last night who has been walking fifteen kilometres a day. I have some catching up to do.

I have been, not writing as many blogs as I should and I promise myself every year I will do better but winter is hard.

I have started getting jobs done in the garden but it is still very wet. The onions, garlic and broad beans I put in in the Autumn are ok. I usually have to replace some Broad Beans as the voles love them to. I have some potatoes chitting and I may get some more. I have also been crafting, my other love.

Lyndon is still working from home. He is still cycling at the weekends and cutting up wood that I produce out of the garden from coppicing the hazels.

We hope you are keeping occupied during Covid Times and keep safe.

Long Tailed Tits

Long Tailed Tits are one of my favourite birds. They are gregarious, noisy and so interesting to watch in the garden.

We have lots of Long Tailed Tits around Folly View. We see them most days over the Winter time flitting from tree to tree with their hangers on, the blue Tits, Great Tits and Coal Tits.

The Long Tailed Tit is not closely related to the Tit family but they spend so much time with the aforementioned Tits they have been thought to be part of that genius.

Long Tailed Tits, as the name says, have a long tail which is longer than their small fluffy bodies. They weigh about 7-10grams and have wing span of 16-19 cms and a body length of 14 cms.

At this time of year, winter, Long Tailed Tits are seen flying around chattering noisily in large flocks. They fly from tree to tree feeding on insects and invertebrates. They will in hard winters feed on seeds.

Long Tailed Tits are easily recognised by their long tail but are also easily recognised by their colouring which is a creamy, white background colour, with dark coloured wings of a black brown with a pinky highlighting and punky black stripes on their heads.

At night Long Tailed Tits huddle together for warmth. If they didn’t do this they would not survive . They roost deep in shrubbery such as Hawthorne which also provides protection from predators.

In Spring the large flocks of winter split up and pair off. Long Tailed Tits can start building their intricate nests in February and can take up to three weeks to build. Their nests are made of moss, lichen, feathers and spider silk and are beautifully domed.

Long Tailed Tits have six to eight eggs laid in April, which take three weeks to incubate, with the chicks taking two weeks to fledged.

There is a high rate of predation of nests and Long Tailed Tits will help others if they have lost their nest.

Over the last twenty five years the Long Tailed Tit population has increased by 79%. So if you hear a lot of chittering at this time of year while out walking it is probably a flock of Long Tailed Tits.

The photograph of the Long Tailed Tit and the Blue Tit is from TheOtherKev at Pixabay.

The photograph of a group of Long Tailed Tits enjoying some fatballs was taken by Bill Eccles featured on Unsplash.

Covid 2021

We are beginning to see bookings for this Summer and Autumn. We have left our rates at the same level as last year.

Folly View has been cleaned and is ready and waiting for guests to arrive from April 12th 2021.

There have been a few up dates. I have had one of the curtains reclined, it had got damaged a few years back with mildew. No matter how much I washed it it looked mucky, so it has gone.

There is a new, to Folly View, set of Stella Saucepans.

Not much else has changed this year.

The cleaning regime will be in line with Covid regulations and the links below will take you to my previous blog posts regarding this:

Cleaning at Folly View

Cleaning and changes at Folly View

Here at Folly View Let We’re Good To Go.

Hopefully at some point in the future we can let you have leaflet and books about our beautiful Shropshire.

Christmas 2020

We are now days away from Christmas 2020.

It has been a challenging year. We started the year cleaning, ‘re painting and building new beds for Folly View after a rather disruptive visit from some challenging guests.

We had a lovely visit in February from some regular visitors from Eire and very soon after their visit we were closing down because of the Covid pandemic. They helped restore my faith that we do the right things to keep guests comfortable and happy.

We unfortunately had to cancel and or rearrange guests stays. However we did reopen over the Summer, tightening up our cleaning regime, seeing new and regular customers. Catching up with what was happening to them and how they were trying to deal with Covid restrictions in their lives.

We are blessed to have so many lovely guests. Please keep yourselves safe over the next few months.

Thank you to those who have sent Christmas Cards.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing many of you in the near future.

Sparrowhawks

I can remember rarely seeing Sparrowhawks when I was growing up. One place we did occasionally see them was along motorway embankments.

Sparrowhawks are now found through out the United Kingdom, even up in Shetland.

We see them regularly around Folly View and down on Onny Meadows.

Many years ago one hit a window at Orchard House. I picked it up to put it somewhere safe, out of reach of cats and dogs. It had a Sparrow in its talons.

I was later told I was lucky not to have lost a finger as they are vicious when handled.

Adult Sparrowhawk With Prey

Adult Sparrowhawk With Prey

We have watched Sparrowhawks using the driveway as a bombing run, all the little birds disappear when this happens but I have learnt recently that this is what is called a rollercoaster flight which the males do to impress the females.

They are a small bird of prey. They are 28 -38 cms long with a wingspan of 55-70cms. The males weigh 110-196 grams while the females weigh 185-342grams making them significantly bigger than their male counterparts.

Their colouring is a creamy background with brown streaks and on the males they have significant amounts of grey. Sparrowhawks have yellow eyes which go darker with age turning orange to red in colour, their talons are also yellow in colour. They have a hooked Bill, good for plucking, which is pale grey with a black tip.

Juvenile Sparrohawk Eye

Juvenile Sparrowhawk Eye

Sparrowhawks swoop on their prey and because of their small size they can get into confined spaces to chase their prey. They catch small birds and have been known to eat pigeons and bats.

Nests are built from twigs and lined with bark shavings. Between May and July they lay four to five eggs which are shiny white with a pale blue tinge. The eggs take four weeks to hatch then the chicks take four weeks to fledged.

The photograph of the adult male Sparrowhawk feeding on it’s prey is from Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The photograph of the head and eye of a juvenile male Sparrowhawk is from Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Winter Walk

It’s December 1st and for me we are now into Wintertime.

Here it is a bright, sunny, frosty morning, the cheeks are glowing now I am back in the warmth of home.

The colours glowed on Onny Meadows, I could find all the colours I love, browns, pinks, purples, greens, golds and greys.

As children we draw tree trunks as brown but  I am always struck by how little brown is visible. Greys predominate for me, with tones of Brown, green and purples.

The mole hills of Brown rich earth pepper the meadows and Dillie Dot sticks her nose in then digs frantically to try and catch the elusive mole, Long gone.

As we near the  Onny river there is a low misty haze rising from the water, the ducks bright greens look muted in the mist.

I notice catkins are beginning to form on Alder and hazel. The Alder catkins are a purply, brown, while the hazel catkins are presently grey with a tinge of pale green.

From a distance white berries pop brilliantly against grey stems of snow berry. Dulux brilliant white doesn’t do this justice.

The lichens on the rocks and tree trunks are a zingy greygreen.

There are still trees with leaves of green but they are few now and look faded but somehow still have that dark summer green.

The beech trees cling onto their leaves which are rich golden russet. The keys hang still from the ash trees looking golden against the grey of the trunks.

I notice more Alder catkins but this time a reddy purple, glowing in the sun light.

As we finish our walk we walk past spindles with crimson red berries, the next one has bright pink berries. The pinks and red vary from shrub to shrub.