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Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.

Are you joining in the Big Garden Birdwatch?

January 25, 2022
January 25, 2022 - Are you joining in the Big Garden Birdwatch?

Have you ever taken part in The Big Garden Birdwatch?

If not, there is still time to join in on 28th to 30th January. All you need to do is sit back and watch the birds in your garden, local park, wood or even outside your window at work, for just one hour during the weekend and record your findings. Don't forget to use #BigGardenBirdWatch if you share your bird watch on social.

How does the Big Garden Birdwatch Help?

The Big Garden Birdwatch has been running for over 40 years with over half a million people taking part and gives a snapshot of bird numbers across the UK.

The scientific data collected by RSBP can be compared year and year and highlights problem areas and species in danger. For example song thrushes were in the top ten in the 1970’s but by 2019 numbers had declined by a staggering 79%. Such evidence is vital and highlights where the priorities lie and where action is needed most.

What to feed the birds

garden birds feedingHopefully you are already feeding the birds in your garden, particularly when the weather is cold. If not, you will be amazed how quickly you can attract birds by putting out the right sort of food.

Unsurprisingly different birds have different feeding habits and food favourites. Blackbirds, for example, mostly feed on the ground and love a range of treats including fatty nibbles and mealworms. Tits, such as Blue Tits and Great Tits, prefer to perch on a feeder, tucking in to seeds, peanuts and suet balls. Finches, including Chaffinches and Greenfinches, will use either a feeder or a bird table, and particularly like sunflower hearts.

Simply by providing a variety of food you will attract a variety of birds.

It’s important to choose good quality bird food that doesn’t include “fillers” such as dried peas and beans that birds rarely eat. As well as bird food you can put out leftovers such as small amounts of bread, fruit cake, dried fruit, unsalted nuts, or fruit such as apples and pears. Don’t put pit mouldy or salty food and avoid dried fruits if you have a dog as raisins can be toxic to them.

Where’s the best place to put a feeder or bird table?

  • Somewhere quiet where the birds won't be disturbed, but where you can still them from your window.
  • In a safe area – not too close to bushes where cats could hide in wait, but close enough to cover so birds can easily dart to and fro.
  • A sheltered spot out of harsh winds.

Make sure you keep the bird feeders clean to avoid mould and bacteria which can be very harmful, spreading infections among garden birds. Scrub them out in a bucket and not the kitchen sink, before drying them to refill.

Birds just love a bath!

People often forget that birds need fresh water everyday and love a bath. You can use a proper posh bird bath or a plant pot tray, or old shallow baking dish will do just as well. Don’t forget to break the ice if it freezes over.

How to take part

  1. Watch the birds for one hour
    Choose an hour between 28th to 30th January to watch the birds in your garden - if you haven't got a garden you could visit your local park and count the birds there instead.
  2. Count the most birds that land at once
    Only count the birds that land in your garden or park, not those flying over. The same birds may land more than once. To avoid double-counting, just record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not a running total.
  3. Report what you see
    Every count is important. Even if you don't see any birds it's important to record the fact to give a full picture. Then simply submit your results online at org.uk/birdwatch from 28th January until 18th February.

Other wildlife

Threats to habitat mean that it's not just birds facing tough times. Hedgehogs, frogs, dormice and other wildlife are also in trouble. So, to help give a more complete picture of garden wildlife, you can record what other animals you see in your garden as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch. Even if you don’t see anything you are helping to build up a fuller picture of how our garden wildlife is faring.

Big Garden Birdwatch LIVE

Tune in to Big Garden Birdwatch Live! Experts from across the UK will be sharing photos, footage and facts about the birds they see, as well as answering questions. Join in with the live quizzes, and fun activities throughout the weekend.

Bring your binoculars on holiday!

At Hoe Grange we have lots of garden birds flying around the log cabin gardens, including Goldfinches, Robins, Wrens, Great Tits, Blue Tits, House Sparrows, Starlings, Wood Pigeons and cheeky Magpies. In the summer months we have Swallows swooping in and out of the stables in the farmyard.

Photo by Hans Veth on UnsplashSit on the decking with your binoculars and you will catch sight of other birds further up the fields, including Buzzards, Pheasants, Crows, and Little Owls that sit on the paddock fence.

Listen carefully and you can often hear a woodpecker in the small copse. Also at night as you drive up to the farm keep your eyes peeled as you will often see a Barn Owl swooping across from the wood.

Experience Peak District wildlife for yourself. Stay on holiday at Hoe Grange, breathe in the fresh air, take time out to watch the wildlife and get close up to nature!


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Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  • star rating  Recently spent a week in "Pinder" and had a lovely time. The location is stunning - the site is nestled in a beautiful valley on the edge of the Peaks... read more

    July 16, 2019

    star rating  What can I say?
    Absolutely superb!
    We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
    It was our first trip away with my... read more

    June 13, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Pinder cabin and had a lovely stay, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, nice and warm after cold days out. The children loved meeting the animals and... read more

    November 5, 2019
  • star rating  Myself and my sister travelled to Costa Rica and Panama via Viva Holidays Ltd. The holiday was exceptional and one to be treasured forever. Andrew at Viva Holidays... read more

    Paula C
    July 4, 2019

    star rating  On arriving at Hoe Grange in a downpour, we doubted if we’d made the right decision to go glamping, but after the warm welcome from David and a quick tour,... read more

    June 25, 2019

    star rating  Loved every minute of our stay, and so did the family and friends that came to stay. Excellent facilities in our cosy Hipley log cabin. By far the best... read more

    October 25, 2019
  • star rating  Lovely place to holiday near to interesting locations and easy access to the High Peak trail and Carsington Water. Part of a working farm with fresh produce to enjoy during... read more

    Angie B
    August 3, 2019

    star rating  We had a lovely time staying in one of the incredibly well equipped pods. I bought my pony along and we had some great rides on the high peak trail.... read more

    June 7, 2019

    star rating  What a lovely weekend away! We stayed in the lovely gypsy caravan, which was a wonderful and really unique experience. We took along our two horses, who also had a... read more

    June 18, 2019
  • star rating  What a wonderful find. As our first experience of needing accessible accommodation we could not have wished for better. Beautiful well equipped lodges in lovely surroundings. We stayed in both... read more

    April 3, 2020

    star rating  Stayed last week, from 6th to 13th September in the log cabin called Hipley. This was amazing, it was our first visit but certainly not our last. Gold standard disability... read more

    September 14, 2019

    star rating  We wanted a complete break and some peace and quiet and this was perfect. The caravan was secluded with beautiful views over the countryside. Everything was spotlessly clean and well... read more

    joanne B
    June 4, 2019
  • star rating  We've just returned from our second visit to Hoe Grange. The suggested riding routes with stunning scenery were enjoyed by my daughter and I while the menfolk were delighted with... read more

    July 11, 2019

    star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    October 25, 2019

    star rating  For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more

    June 25, 2019
  • star rating  We stayed in the Skylark pod last October (2018) and had a lovely time. There was homemade, rustic goods (bread, biscuits etc) when we arrived. Felicity and David who run... read more

    September 15, 2019

    star rating  We stayed for a night in one of the cabins . The cabin was spotless and very well equipped , lots of extra touches were added like fresh eggs and... read more

    February 3, 2020

    star rating  Arrived and was shown to our pod, fantastic location and the pod was very good indeed plus we had home made bread and milk and tea and coffee. A... read more

    July 28, 2019
  • star rating  Another great holiday at Hoe Grange - such a great place for us all to holiday as a family - this time with a baby, a 3 yr old, a... read more

    October 4, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Rainster cabin for a long weekend 6 th to 9 th September. This was my 5 th visit to the amazing Hoe Grange. I had visited before... read more

    Jan Horsman J
    September 17, 2019

    star rating  We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more

    July 16, 2019
  • star rating  It's been three years since we last visited but once we arrived it certainly didn't feel like it!
    We stayed in Hipley again which had had a refurbished wet... read more

    September 21, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Skylark, one of the two glamping pods available at Hoe Grange in February 2020.

    Felicity & David welcomed us when we arrived to show us around... read more

    February 6, 2020

    star rating  lovely surroundings real farm country with chickens paying you a visit nice decking area to chill at the end of the day accommodation very good plenty to do nearby... read more

    vincent s
    July 28, 2019
  • star rating  Felicity and David made us feel very welcome right from our booking. The pods are well equipped and spotlessly clean. The area is very peaceful with great views and we... read more

    January 30, 2020

    star rating  We have just returned from a short stay in one of the pods on site at Hoe Grange Holidays. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The pod has everything you could... read more

    August 17, 2019

    star rating  A beautiful place to stay! Amazingly run family business! Everyone were very welcoming, friendly and cozy! The skylark pod we stayed in was very clean, cozy and well equipped! The... read more

    January 2, 2020
  • star rating  Second visit to the accessible holiday cabins at Hoe Grange. David and Felicity were as helpful and friendly as ever. We had a welcome pack of freshly baked bread, butter,... read more

    Charlotte M
    August 7, 2019

    star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    David H
    October 25, 2019

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