Category Archives: Snow

24Hrs in Farming #Farm24

For the last few years herds of dairy farmers, flocks of shepherds and a whole coven of farmers wives have  Twitted, Blogged Inrtagramed and Facebooked about a whole 24 hrs of farming showing what they are all getting up to.

Today 9th August 2018 is this years #Farm24 day. What are we all doing this year?

Well for a start 2018 is turning out to be one of the most challenging years for decades in farmings never ending battle with the weather.  Following the wettest coldest spring in living memory, we jumped straight into the longest hottest dry spell ever. Some say farmers are never happy with the weather and there is a good reason for that. Every sector of agriculture needs different weather to the next,

From snow
From snow

Dairy farmers like a cold crisp winter to help keep animals health in the sheds as warm muggy damp conditions are only good for the spread disease such as pneumonia, but they like it to dry up in spring so the cows can get out to grass as early as possible, then they like a steady supply of rain in small doses with good sunshine to keep the grass growing all year.

Sheep farmers don’t like very cold snowy winters as the sheep live out doors and can get buried in snowdrifts and have difficulty accessing water if the pipes all freeze. Then they want a warm dry spring for lambing and a summer without too much sun and heat, and muggy thundery weather is a real bummer as this brings with it more cases of fly strike which I won’t horrify you with the details but its a very nasty thing to happen to a sheeps bottom!

to heat wave

Arable farmers like good snow in the Alps for their skiing holidays and warm beaches in the early summer for their beach holiday (only joking!!) but they need a wet warm spring to bring the good yields and to help swell the grain they then need a good long dry spell with strong sunshine to ripen the grain and let them harvest it all as dry as possible, moving on quickly to ploughing, re planting just before their next holiday!

The weather has played havoc with feed stocks already. Crop are yielding much lower and livestock are already munching their way through the winter feed as the the grass just stopped growing weeks ago. This has forced many beef and sheep farmers to sell stock early at lighter weights and as so many more are coming to the market prices have slumped so income from stock sales will be hit very hard and could be as much as 30% down.

Many farmers like ourselves have diversified into other activities and some of these demand different weather again. For us in tourism this year has been great as our guests have basked in Mediterranean heat with wall to wall sunshine. But spare us a thought on changeover days, running up and down that hill in 30 + degrees getting ready for the next guests, one constant job is checking the quality of the Ice cream sold in the shop. I need to sample a pot every few hours personally just to be sure!

So why not log on to all your social media today and see first hand what your farmers are upto.

Here are a few bits from us!

David

#Farm24 #Farmstayuk

A lot of time is spent in the office
working very hard!
Unloading lorry loads of straw by hand – better than going to the gym!
Checking on the sheep, who seem to have the right idea
Lovely weather to be a baby calf
The jobs are wide and varied, from PR to cleaning the bogs!

 

Cosy up in our log cabins for a winter weekend break

Enjoy a cosy winter break at Hoe Granges’ log cabins in the Derbyshire Peak District. Hoe Grange is the perfect winter spot to experience the best of the Peaks during the winter months. Why not escape the city and take time to enjoy the peaceful Peaks this winter?

Defrost in the steamy hot tub

Hot tubExciting news! To make your stay even more relaxing we have we have recently installed a hot tub on the decking of Daisybank log cabin, so you can take in the beautiful scenery, whilst relaxing in the hot steamy bubbles. Or even better take an evening dip in the dark and view the stars with a bottle of bubbly!  After a bracing winter walk along one of the many local trails or picturesque dales, you’ll find our hot tub is the perfect way to round off the day, or you can toast yourself in our log-fired barrel sauna.

Winter break activities

Leawood Pump HouseThere’s lots to do at Hoe Grange, even in the winter months. Imagine crisp winter walks across the Hoe Grange farm fields, a hike along the Limestone Way, or a casual stroll along the Cromford Canal, followed by a cappuccino at the cafe. If you’re more interested in wildlife you can enjoy birdwatching at Carsington Water.
And if you’re not the walking type, why not cuddle up in our log cabin, watch the farm animals and take in the views or simply melt away in the hot tub?
We recommend you tickle your taste buds with a trip to one of our fabulous local pubs or restaurants – there’s nothing like home cooked pie and chips, or stew and dumplings to warm you through.

frostyfarm2During the winter months the Peak District turns into a winter wonderland, with picturesque views. If it’s snowing in the peaks, the hills and sky turn white and the farm’s sheep camouflage against the snow, it’s truly breath-taking. Have no fear David keeps the farm drive clear with his snow plough and we have sledges so you can have some good old-fashioned fun in the snow – you don’t need to be a child, grown ups can join in too!

Christmas Winter Break
Chatsworth House at Christmas
Chatsworth House decorated for Christmas

Derbyshire has a wealth of Christmas markets and events for you to enjoy, or add something extra special to your festive family fun with a Santa Special train or boat trip.

We are already fully booked for Christmas this year… so if you want an extra special Christmas holiday, with all the trimmings and a real Christmas tree, you’ll need to book early for next year!

Our log cabins are dog friendly, so you don’t need to arrange a dog sitter during the festive period, just bring your four legged friend with you – could even be your horse – save on livery costs and bring your horse on holiday!

Hoe Grange Holidays offers the perfect winter getaway in the secluded peaks for a quiet, relaxing break. If you’re thinking about enjoying a winter weekend break look no further than Hoe Grange, our log cabins are cosy and warm. Call us today to discuss availability and get booking your perfect winter break.

Felicity

S”no”w time to sit inside!

Sunshine, blue skies and sparkling snow – the Peak District looks spectacular when covered in a delicate dusting of snow. This week Hoe Grange has been transformed into a winter wonderland.

Snow in the Peak DistrictThere’s s”no”w excuse for sitting inside by the fire. Why not wrap up warm, get your hat, gloves  and scarf on and head out with the family for some festive fun? There’s plenty of snow here in the Derbyshire hills, so here’s some fun ideas of things to do in the snow over the Christmas holidays.

10 Family fun things to do in the snow!
1. Build a snowman – find some twigs for arms and stones for eyes and a carrot for the nose, which the horses can then eat once the snowman has melted! A favourite with all ages.
2. Make snow angels – Caroline’s favourite – little bit chilly if you’re not properly wrapped up as snow gets up your sleeves, down your neck and fills your wellies!

making snow angels3. Sledging and snowball fights – good old fashioned – Michael and Elliot’s favourite.
4. Build an igloo – not as easy as you think – David’s sister’s favourite – Sheila even had a for sale sign sticking out the top, (her husband is an estate agent) but be warned you might get less than you bargained for!
5. Frolicking fun! It may be too slippy to go riding, but you can still exercise the horses by running with them in the snow – they love it!

snowhorses2
6. Follow the animal tracks – who made the footprints in the snow – who came along, and where did they go? Fudge’s favourite – she just follows her nose!

animal tracks in the snow
7. Feed the birds – when snow covers the ground the wild birds need a little extra help – don’t forget some water too – Felicity’s favourite

8. S”no”w excuse not to BBQ – treat yourself to a fire pit experience – toast marshmallows and warm up with some delicious homemade mulled wine or a mug of hot chocolate – our Norwegian friends do it all the time!
BBQ in the snow9. Roll in the snow! Be brave – take a roll in the snow after a dip in our authentic Swedish hot tub, brrrr… extremely exhilarating I believe!

10.Get the snowplough out to clear the drive for guests – David’s favourite – you know what men are like with their machines!

Peak District in snowHope you all have as much fun as we have!

Happy New Year to everyone

Felicity

So much snow!

Derbyshire has been particularly hard hit with the recent bad weather. The large overnight snowfall of last Friday has been made worse by the terrific winds which have sculpted the snow into huge drifts which have blocked roads and made feeding and looking after the farm animals a trial.

It is quite bizarre as the middle of the fields are slightly green with tufts of grass poking through the thin white blanket, yet the wall sides are piled high with snow that will take some shifting when the sun finally reappears.

extreme snow drifts at Hoe Grange
Snow drifts piled high

Digging out the drive
Daily chore of digging out the snow

David has spent several hours a day digging out the drive with the 4×4 tractor, only for it to blow back in within minutes. The Peak District hasn’t been so hard hit for a long time, although David’s mother has many tales of taking the heavy milk churns by tractor through the snow to be picked up at the end of the lane.

Our holiday guests have been unable to venture out by car as so many of the local roads are blocked, but have had fun walking through the snow drifts up on the High Peak Trail.

Fortunately our log cabins are cosy and warm, so everyone is happy to chill out and make the most of the unusual circumstances.  Having an off-road car has been invaluable as we were able to do a shopping run for emergency rations for everyone – basic, sensible supplies for guests, chocolate for David and beer for Roger our resident watercolour artist! Roger will definitely be painting snow scenes this week.

I have got a hen sitting on 4 Buff Orpington eggs and am anxiously waiting for them to hatch today, but obviously the extreme cold could spell disaster. Elliot’s sheep are also due to lamb in the next few days, so it will be a cold and chilly start for the new arrivals at Hoe Grange Farm this Spring – strange when you think that this time last year we were in the middle of a Mediterranean heat wave!

Felicity

stuck in snow
Not going anywhere!

sheep in snow at Hoe Grange
Hungry sheep waiting for their hay

Snow drifts on trail
Deep drifts up on High Peak Trail

Shrovetide Football Action

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football is a quirky tradition – basically a manic game of football played through the streets of Ashbourne on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, which goes on all afternoon and evening from turning up the painted leather ball at 2 pm until well after dark.

Shrovetide football in Ashbourne was first recorded as long ago as 1682, and hasn’t changed much over the centuries, except that it is now watched by hoards of people from all over the UK, not just the locals.  Two teams, Up’ards, born North of the River Henmore, and Down’ards born South, battle to score by striking the ball 3 times against the old mill wheel goals, which are 3 miles apart at Clifton and Sturston Mill. The large hand sewn leather ball can be kicked, carried or thrown, but generally passes along in a “hug” invisible to the spectator.

On our action packed video you catch a couple of glimpses of the ball in play and later you’ll see where the main hug is by the cloud of escaping steam rising from the sweaty bodies! So far this year, one goal has been scored by the Up’ards at Sturston at 9.10pm by David Spencer.

Snow is now falling, but the Shrovetide footballers will be undeterred by the wintry weather and there will be more action this afternoon – family fun – we recommend Ashbourne Shrovetide as an experience not to be missed, but don’t get too near the ball!

Felicity

More Babies

Spring is definitely in the air in the Derbyshire Peak District, despite the sudden return of harsh winter weather on Wednesday when we woke up to over a foot of snow, with drifts blocking the road. The sun is now shining again, which is just as well, as we have had a flurry of new arrivals over the last 3 days.

7 of the cows have had their calves, but most excitingly Elliot’s sheep have had their first lambs.  Guests who have stayed at Hoe Grange over the last 2 years have more than likely seen if not met our sons small flock of sheep, Tia, Maria, Cocoa and Channel.

Yeasterday Tia was the first to have her lambs, having twins (one boy, one girl). Mother and children are doing fine and are already hard at work entertaining our current Easter guests.

Tia and her Babies
Tia and her Babies

Book in soon and meet them for yourself!

David

Daisybank takes to the road

New accessable cabin Daisybank is on the road heading for the Peak District,  and should be with us in the morning.  As you can see the Island Leisure factory is once again struggling against the snow. Delivery is a day behind what we expected due to having to clear snow to permit the lorries in to load.

Daisybank ready for the raod
Daisybank ready for the road

Snow at Island Leisure
Clearing snow at Island Leisure

Daisybank leaves the warm factory
Daisybank leaves the warm factor

Daisybank delivery
Daisybank delivery

Back to digging

A miserable damp day in the Derbyshire hills, but digging the foundations for the new log cabin has finally resumed now that the snow has disappeared. Once the big digger had finished removing the large stones, David swung into action with his laser to check the levels ready for concreting tomorrow – let’s hope the weather holds.

Felicity

Digging Daisybank foundations
Digging Daisybank foundations

The snow goes on

Felicity has been out and about with the camera now the sun has come out at last taking glorious pictures in the Peak District . This shows the drive and how we have been digging out each day, only for it to blow it all back in after a couple of hours.

Hoe Grange in the snow
Hoe Grange in the snow

Now the sun is shining we can put some salt down to try to get rid of the packed ice

Gritting Drive
gritting drive

The up side is that its great for the horses trying to loose a bit of weight.

There's grass in here somewhere
There’s grass in here somewhere

Mean while in the cosy workshop, Pete of Peak Carpentry is hard at work making the wardrobes for our new cabin ‘Daisybank’ .  The great advantage of using such local suppliers is that they can walk to work, even when everyone else is struggling to get to work!

Pete and a 'soon to be' wardrobe
Pete and a ‘soon to be’ wardrobe