Tuesday, 4 December 2018

What happens in Autumn at Pry House Farm?

Autumn is an important time on the farm.  It is when all the stock sales take place. 
It is an anxious time - we want our sheep to do well, we work hard all year round for our place in the market but there are many factors that affect prices; shortage of fodder due to the dry summer, the 'B' word (Brexit!), supply and demand.  Happily our ewes sold well and our tups did okay.  The lamb sales come next and as I write, Chris has just set off with the first lambs for Kirkby Stephen mart.

 Our sheep are not merely gathered in, loaded into a trailer and sent to auction.  On the contrary, they are meticulously tidied up for the sales and presented looking their best.

Autumn is also tupping time when we put the tups (rams) to the female sheep.

Tupping generally takes place out in the fields but sometimes the ewes are brought to him.  Here he is scenting out which ewes are in season and in a jiffy the job will be done.  Our tups have worked well and I have been forewarned by Chris to expect to be very busy during lambing time next year!

 In the meantime we hope for a kind winter.  However, whatever comes our way, the daily round of jobs continue. Its 24/7 as they say!

Sunday, 25 November 2018


You can come to Pry House Farm and Hillcrest Cottage on a black Friday if you want to

... but I'd much rather you came on a yellow Wednesday ....

.... or even on a bright blue Thursday.

Perfectly pink Monday is a good day to come to Swaledale and stay in a bed & breakfast surrounded by traditional hay meadows .....
 ..... and of course we are naturally green every day of the week.

However a white woolly Sunday is hard to beat!

So forget Black Friday and come and see us on a day full of colour.
No gimmicky cut prices here - just good, honest Yorkshire Dales value all year round.

Monday, 15 October 2018

After the Storm

On Friday and Saturday Storm Callum caused havoc with heavy rain and high winds.  At 2:30 on Friday afternoon our electricity went off.  Other properties close-by were off for a short while but we had no electricity for 12 hours.

Today investigations into the cause of the power failure at Pry House Farm get underway.

We have nothing but praise for Northern Powergrid who came out on that stormy night to help us.  
The men were professional, positive and friendly and determined to get our supply back on. By 2:30 in the early hours of Saturday morning we were reconnected with the help of a generator.

A big thank you to everyone involved.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Refurbed ensuite bedroom - take a peek!

I love my new look en suite guest bedroom - its sumptuous!

The bed still faces the window to maximise the view for my guests - from the moment they awake.
I've chosen a country check for the headboard and matching window seat.

And rural style china complements the look.

A new carpet was a 'must' but my 1930s Triang dolls house retains its pride of place.
Despite being special you are welcome to play with it.  
It was bought as a toy for two very lucky little girls (my mum and her sister) 
and it is still a toy - but for grown ups!

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Setting off in the right direction

Returning some of our stock ewes back to the moor

When farmers gather their sheep on these vast open moors inevitably there is going to be some mixing up.  Phone calls are made and messages left and sheep belonging to a neighbouring farmer are collected or returned.

Once they have been checked over they are taken back to their place on the moor .....
 and set off in the right direction.

'Til the cows come home

We have had some wonderful weather all summer and our cows have had the high pastures on which to range, to have their calves outside, rear them successfully and act naturally as herd animals.

but the forecast for the next couple of days is poor and it would be unwise to leave them outside any longer so today Chris coaxed them home.......

past an old cow house and down to the buildings adjacent to the farmstead.


Sunday, 9 September 2018

Almost time to fly and say goodbye

Pry House Farm is a wonderful place to observe birds and animals.  
Sometimes I think its like living in my own nature reserve.  Okay, we don't have anything particularly rare to see but to have wildlife at every window is a wonderful thing to me.

 The parents built this nest in an outbuilding in the yard - one that we use very regularly.  To avoid disturbing the female as she sat on her eggs we moved everything that we needed.  The plan worked as this is her second brood.

They are an entertaining little bunch and enjoy perching on Chris' hay rake.  Today they were all sat on the top of the stable door waiting for the parent bird to bring them food.
They are a late brood.  I wonder if they will follow the hundreds, possibly thousands, that gathered on the electricity wires last week as they prepared to migrate.  I have never seen so many - it was quite a sight.

Every year a group of Greylag geese land on the field at the back of the house and stay for a few days.  This year they came in early August which is later than usual but there were more of them.

Lots of little birds come to the garden fence; meadow pipit, wren and this year, for the first time, an attractive little great tit who is too sharp and quick for me to catch on camera!

All the ground nesting birds have gone back to their usual habitats but by spring the air will be full of the call of the peewit (lapwing) and curlew and the skies an acrobatic display of oyster catcher, redshank and snipe.