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 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.

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.

We’re Good To Go

Here at Folly View “We’re Good To Go” and able to use the We’re Good To Go symbol.

The AA have arranged the We’re Good To Go initiative following The Covid 19 pandemic.

We're Good To Go Logo from Visit England COVID-19 Industry Standard

The We’re Good To Go symbols on our website show we have successfully completed a questionnaire of competence.

It reminds us all to keep our distance and to keep washing our hands.

We also asking guests to take their shoes off before entering the main rooms of Folly View to minimise transfer of infections at this time.

All these things, including stripping the beds at the end of your stay, help us to complete a deep clean at the end of your stay and before the next guests arrive.

It does smell a bit like a hospital at present but we want to make sure we keep everyone safe and well.

Visit England COVID-19 Industry Standard We're Good To Go Certificate for Folly View Let

We’re Good To Go shows we are working hard to keep our customers and ourselves safe.

Peregrine Falcon in Craven Arms

I had an email from a friend in Craven Arms in which he told me of his encounter with a Peregrine Falcon.

He had been watching the birds in his garden when they all disappeared, something flashed past him and he was aware it was grey.

A couple of days later he spotted a bird on his roof apex and took the photo below of it, it was a Peregrine Falcon, lucky him.

A photograph of a Peregrine Falcon taken in Craven Arms, Shropshire on Sunday 30th August 2020.

I thought I would share a few facts about Peregrine Falcons with you.

Peregrinus in Latin means ‘ to wander’. Some Peregrine Falcons do over winter in other countries on the Continent however they can be spotted in Great Britain all year round.

They are our biggest Falcon at between 40cm and 54cm in length, the female being bigger that the male. They have an impressive wing span of 102cm

Peregrine Falcons are very striking birds. Yes they are grey, which makes them sound boring but they are beautiful.

Their back and wings are a dark slate grey and are white below with black bars across their breast and belly.

They have white cheeks and throat, with a black mask round their eyes and a moustache to match.

Peregrine Falcons start breeding when they reach two years of age. They have clutches of 3 to 4 eggs which are incubated for 31 to 33 days the chicks then taking 39 to 40days to fledged.

They can be found nesting in towns and cities, using tall building instead of cliffs which would be their natural nesting place.

Peregrine Falcons can be found in most areas of Great Britain.  Judging by distribution maps the only area that does not have many is East Anglia.

Peregrine Falcons are one of the fastest birds reaching up to 200miles per hour. They prefer to take their prey on the wing and dive down to catch their prey from great heights this is called stooping.

One of their favourite prey is pigeon, there are plenty of them round here. They also like collared doves, their numbers have only recently started increasing again.

In 1999 Peregrine Falcon were taken off the Endangered List as numbers have been steadily increasing since the banning of DDT.

The use of DDT(Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was banned in 1984. It was used as a pesticide and resulted in the decline of Peregrine Falcons among others. It caused the thinning of egg shells which would get broken while being incubated.

Peregrine Falcons are still persecuted. Egg collectors will climb down cliffs for their eggs and they are poisoned in areas of grouse moors.

As we saw earlier they can be seen around Craven Arms and they can be spotted through out Shropshire, we have seen them at Folly View as well. Happy Bird watching.

Shropshire opening

I have ventured into Ludlow and Church Stretton to see what is happening and what is open.  I have not been out and about much so some of this is gathered from guest and friends. This is not comprehensive.

So here is an idea of some places I know are open in Shropshire.

Ludlow Market is open with a one way system. The Castle and it’s cafe are open again for business.

Most shops were open except a few charity shops and some businesses which have unfortunately been effected by  Covid 19 Lockdown and will not open again. I am very sorry to see some of my favourite shops and cafes closed.

The car parks are busy but not full.

In Church Stretton most places seemed to be open although you may notice some changes when you enter them.  There are one way systems hand sanitizer stations and some places have shut off parts that are tricky with social distancing.

Heather Brae to the north of Church Stretton is open for business.

In Craven Arms the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is open, the cafe has less tables and was running  a less diverse menu.

The Land of Lost Content is open with a booking system.

Stokesay Castle is open, I don’t think the cafe is.

Ludlow Food Centre is open, I hear they have a very good system in side. The Plant Centre is also open and the Cafe.

Blists Hill is open, our last guests spent all day there when they ventured there.

In Craven Arms only one of the pubs is open, The Stables, drink only.

The Stokesay Inn has been taken over by local folks but is not yet open.

The Kangaroo at Aston On Clun is open with a booking system.

We hope when your come to Folly View you will find plenty to do

The Apple Tree at Onibury is open as is the Station at Marshbrook.

The take always in Craven Arms are open for business.

Don’t forget Tuffins do a lovely range of ready meals called Cook if you are not inclined to eat out.

 

Folly View Open again

We have had our first guests and all went well.

They had a lovely time. They did lots of cycling and particularly liked the Long Mynd.

My change over went well except I was very hot and bothered.

I wished I could have joined our departing guests on their stop off at the Millennium Green in Ludlow for a paddle in the River Teme.

We changed over the fridge freezer which had expired and I had finished the last dining room chair which is now in Folly View.

New guests arrived safely.

All the ironing is done, Sunday morning was cool, perfect for ironing duties.

We look forward to seeing our guests over the next few months at Folly View.

Continue Reading →

Birdlife

On Sunday morning Lyndon opened the bedroom curtains to see a family of Bullfinchs feeding on the greengages Mum and Dad and four fledgling.

This is Mr and Mrs Bullfinch’s second brood.

A photograph of a Bullfinch eating a seed

The swifts have gone for the Summer. I saw one solitary swift last Friday night, it is very unusual to see just one.

Our belligerent Sparrows have finally quietened down, I lost track of how many broods they had.

Yesterday I was looking out the window into the green gage tree a family of Blue Tits were feeding on the fruit. We are happy to share.

Last night we had our Bubble friend over for tea, it was her birthday, a baby when flew in, then flew upstairs. We searched upstairs but couldn’t find it, the Windows were open wide so assume it flew out.

August is quiet for birds they go through their moult but I thought you would like to hear about our recent encounters with the local birdlife at Folly View.

Cleaning and changes at Folly View

I have already spoken about cleaning at Folly View and there will be some changes to this until such time as Covid 19 is no longer  a worry.

We are trying to think of everything to reassure our guests to Folly View.

One thing I didn’t mention was that we open the windows and doors to air out Folly View.

All kitchen utensils will be washed.

We will spray soft furnishing with a disinfectant spray.

I have put two duvet covers on the duvets, both of which will be washed between guests. We will do the same with  pillows. I always have three layers of mattress protection on which will be washed as well. Everything is washed at over 40 centigrade and where I can, hotter than this to kill any germs or bugs. All of the bedlinen is ironed as well.

Things will look a little different at Folly View. I will remove the ornaments and I will be removing the cushions. There will be no books or leaflets and for youngsters no toys.

The shower curtain will be changed between each visitor and washed or disinfected, depending on how it can be cleaned.

All the outside furniture and high traffic, touch areas will be sprayed with disinfectant.

As you can imagine if we have guests leaving and arriving the same day it will take a little longer for us to get through all of this.

I would ask that until further notice that guests leave by 9.30am and guests arriving get to Folly View no earlier than 5.30pm.

This will hopefully allow me to get some washing done as well.

I would ask that if you are not using the twin bedroom you do not store anything in there or go in there unnecessarily.

Please leave Folly View in a reasonable state when you depart as this does help us.

I hope this has been reassuring and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

 

 

Cleaning at Folly View

I thought it might be a good time to tell you about cleaning at Folly View.

This is not going to be the most exciting blog but with Covid-19 being such a concern I wanted to reassure our customers.

The first things we do are strip the beds and hoover.

When we wash the linen I always put a couple of drops of tea tree oil in the wash and I do all washing at temperatures of forty degrees or over.  For those who don’t know tea tree oil has anti bacterial and anti viral properties. Bed linen is all ironed.

The bathroom is cleaned from top to bottom. The tiles above the bath are washed down and rinsed with hot water.

The kitchen at Folly View is the area that takes the longest time to do as we re wash all the cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils. The fridge is striped out and washed, the cupboards wiped down and cooker cleaned.

The floors are then washed with hot water.

I damp dust using hot water with washing liquid and tea tree oil and lemongrass oil. Lemongrass oil has deodourising properties.

As well as wiping all the flat surfaces, I clearly inside the drawers, tops of the wardrobes, doors, door frames etc.

We also clean the light switches and plugs, door handles and cupboard handles.

Finally we hoover again and clean windows, if the weather allows this also includes outside. Then we are ready to welcome the next guests arriving at Folly View.

If we have guests leaving and arriving on the same day this takes most of the time available. I am grateful when guests leave early and or strip the beds, it really helps.

I hope it helps to know what we do for your stay.