Hicks Farm has been farmed by our family for over a hundred years. The farm is about 154 acres and is mainly grassland for grazing.
There are several old woodland areas which provide a welcome habitat to a diverse range of species, both flora and fauna. We are lucky enough to have bluebells on our woodland floor and amongst the hedgerows primroses are a welcome sign when the weather is warming up!
Buzzards nest high in the trees on Harley’s Mountain, whilst the woodpeckers are often heard and seen, their nesting grounds remain a mystery. We regularly see Red Kites overhead but as yet none are known to nest in our woods.
Walking on the Farm
Guests are very welcome to wander on our farmland; all our gates are marked with a yellow band so you will know where you are! You may like to picnic in the woodlands or on the hillside, enjoy a walk in the woods by the stream or even have a paddle in the stream, on a hot sunny day in the shade of the trees, can be highly recommended!
During 2022 we started to mark some lovely walks around the farm with metal birds. Our newly restored path through the wood by the stream has birds hidden for you to find as you walk or whilst you rest on our new bench, placed in the woods in memory of a much loved friend and neighbour. Visit The Corvid Trail page for more details about this special trail around the farm.
On the hillside, badger setts are clearly visible, and those with patience and the ability to sit silently down wind can watch the badgers enjoy the evening sun or make their night time trip down to the stream to drink.
And if you are lucky you might catch sight of a hedgehog. We see quite a lot on the farm – in fact we had to put a hedgehog ramp in the cattle grid as they love snuffling in the leaves in the bottom. Just in case you don’t spot one during your stay – below is a video of a rather adventurous hedgehog who likes to get out and about in the early even – Snuffles as we have nicknamed him/her is “just escaping before the children wake up”.
Apart from the wildlife on the farm we keep a few lambs and pigs. In the spring when the lambs are born on neighbouring farms we adopt some of their orphan lambs and hand rear them. The lambs can need bottle feeding up to four times daily and we usually feed them until the end of the May half term holiday, but this can change so do ask when you enquire about booking! Children (and adults) are most welcome to help out with the feeding.
Again, we do not keep pigs all year round. They arrive with us in the summer and leave in the autumn, but when they are with us…..our pigs are always ready for food and a good scratch of course. They are greedy and will run to their feeding trough whoever carries the feed bucket.
Alongside our farmyard animals we must not forget our cat Phoebe, who is in charge of vermin control. She is part of the family team here on the farm. A fairly recent arrival, having been rehomed here in 2021, Phoebe is often seen prowling around the farm buildings and nearby fields keeping everything in order – she is a bit shy (and slightly deaf) but you might just spot our tabby minx!
During your stay please do ask us if you want to help with the feeding of our animals and if you have any questions about the farm or its wildlife we will be only too happy to try and answer them!
We are a Working Farm
We should add that since we are a working farm there are not always lambs to be bottle fed or pigs needing lots of food. Unlike visitor attraction “farms” we cannot be lambing all year round to provide lambs for you to feed; our young animals grow and then they leave the farm, so there will be times when the pigs or lambs are missing – but our laying hens will still be here!
During the pandemic of 2021 we made a management decision to reduce our livestock and to concentrate on our holiday guests more. It is strange for us after so many years farming but we now do not lamb our own ewes so you will not be able to see a lamb being born here anymore. The sheep in the fields around you will be our grass keep tenants livestock.
Just in case you have never seen a lamb being born and it is something special, the video below is of a lamb being born here on the farm. A very special birth!