Rural Life Webcams a Big Hit

According to yesterday’s Telegraph, webcams giving viewers an insight into goings-on in the countryside are proving to be a surprise hit.

Lambwatch, for example, is a live 24-hour video and audio feed documenting the random goings on at a small farm on the Yorkshire / Lancashire border and is said to be inspried by its neighbouring Hencam.

lambwatch Like anything that distracts me from going through the hundreds of emails in my Inbox, it is of course strangley addictive.  Someone in Lambwatch seems to be digging something off camera – I keep watching in the vain hope I might find out what it is!  Meanwhile, on Henwatch, it sounds like a car has just arrived.  Perhaps it is the postman?  But it seems to be taking a long time – hmm -  perhaps they have a parcel that needs signing for? Gripping stuff!

Check them out for yourselves:

www.lambwatch.co.uk

www.hencam.co.uk

Other popular rural webcams:

www.barnowltrust.org.uk – watch nesting owls

www.wildlink.org – follow the lives of lots of different animals on Andrew Coooper’s Devon farm

Posted under Rural news

This post was written by Lucy on May 8, 2009

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Where can you find a good UK farm shop?

The Telegraph kindly documented what they reckon are the best 50 farm shops across the UK.  Here’s what they said:

The Home Counties

Secretts Farm Shop – Godalming, Surrey

Village Greens Farm Shop – Dorking, Surrey

Laverstoke Park Butchers – Overton, Hampshire

Warborne Organic Farm Shop – Lymington, Hampshire

Windsor Farm Shop – Old Windsor, Berkshire

Farrowby Farm New -  Hinxworth, Hertfordshire

Franklins Free Range Poultry & Game – Sandy, Bedfordshire

The South East

Canterbury Farmers’ Market – Canterbury, Kent

Court Gardens Farm – Ditchling, East Sussex

The South West

Sheepdrove Organic Farm Family Butcher – Bristol

Kimber’s Farm – Charlton Musgrove, Somerset

Bramble and Sage Home Farm – Sutton Montis, Somerset

Pitney Farm Shop Glebe Farm – Langport, Somerset

Daylesford Organic – Daylesford, Near Kingham, Gloucestershire

Pythouse Kitchen Garden & Café -  Tisbury, Wiltshire

Allington Farm Shop – Chippenham, Wiltshire

Everleigh Farm Shop – Everleigh, Marlborough, Wiltshire

Long Crichel Bakery – Long Crichel, Wimborne, Dorset

Washingpool Farm – North Allington, Bridport, Dorset

Home Farm Shop – Tarrant Gunville, Blandford Forum, Dorset

Riverford Farm Shop – Staverton, Totnes, Devon

Wales & Shropshire

Ty-Talgarth Organics – Nantymoel, Bridgend, South Wales

Hootons Home-grown – Gwydryn hir, Brynsiencyn, Anglesey

Rhug Farm Shop – Rhug Estate, Corwen, Denbighshire

Ludlow Food Centre – Bromfield, Ludlow, Shropshire

East Anglia

La Hogue Farm Shop – Chippenham, Ely, Cambridgeshire

Walsingham Farm Shop – Guild Street, Walsingham, Norfolk

East Midlands & The North

Welbeck Farm Shop – Worksop, Nottinghamshire

Low Sizergh Barn & Farm Shop – Sizergh, Kendal, Cumbria

Westmorland Services Farm Shop – On the M6 northbound and southbound, at Tebay, just north of J38, Cumbria

Plumgarths Farm Shop – Lakelands Food Park, Kendal, Cumbria

Pink Pig Farm – Holme Hall, Holme, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire

The Hollies Farm Shop – Forest Road, Little Budworth, Cheshire

Chatsworth Farm Shop – Stud Farm, Pilsley, Bakewell, Derbyshire

Claremont Farm Shop – Old Clatterbridge Road, Bebington, Wirral

Moorhouse Farm Shop – Stannington, Morpeth, Northumberland

North Acomb Farm – Stocksfield, Northumberland

Brocksbushes Farm – Nr. Corbridge, Northumberland

Bashall Barn -  Bashall Town, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Newby Hall Farm Shop – Langthorpe, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire

Ainsty Farm Shop – Green Hammerton, North Yorkshire

Well done to all the farm shops that made the listing.  My rural online dating site www.muddymatches.co.uk was a farm diversifcation project so I understand the hard work that is involved in setting this kind of rural business up.  We were delighted when we were featured in the Telegraph back in 2007 – Truly, Mudly, Deeply – and it did wonders for business with thousands of rural singles signing up to meet like-minded country people.  Here’s hoping it does the same for all the farm shops listed above!

Posted under Places to Visit, Rural businesses

This post was written by Lucy on April 30, 2009

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February: What’s Good to Eat?

Food to feast on this month:

VEGETABLES

brussels sprouts*, cauliflower*, celeriac | chicory*, jerusalem artichoke*, kale*, leeks*, parsnips*, potatoes (maincrop)*, rhubarb*, swede*

FRUIT

bananas*, blood oranges*, kiwi fruit | lemons*, oranges*, passion fruit*, pears*, pineapple*, pomegranate*

MEAT

guinea fowl*, hare*, venison*

FISH & SEAFOOD

brill*, clams*, cockles*, haddock*, halibut*, hake*, john dory*, lemon sole*, mussels*, oysters*, salmon*, turbot*

For more information and recipe ideas, visit Eat The Seasons.

There are several good reasons why we should eat food that’s grown locally and is in season:

  1. it tastes nicer
  2. it’s often cheaper
  3. it’s a way of supporting your local economy
  4. it goes some way to reduce the amount of energy needed to grow and transport your food (and help reduce your carbon footprint)

Posted under Food, Seasons

This post was written by Lucy on February 1, 2009

January: What’s Good to Eat?

Food to feast on this month:

VEGETABLES

beetroot
, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac | celery, chicory, jerusalem artichoke, kale, leeks, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), rhubarb, swede

FRUIT

blood oranges, clementines, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, satsumas, tangerines, walnuts

MEAT

duck, guinea fowl, hare, venison

FISH & SEAFOOD

brill, clams, cockles, haddock, halibut, hake, john dory, lemon sole, mussels, oysters, turbot

For more information and recipe ideas, visit Eat The Seasons.

There are several good reasons why we should eat food that’s grown locally and is in season:

  1. it tastes nicer
  2. it’s often cheaper
  3. it’s a way of supporting your local economy
  4. it goes some way to reduce the amount of energy needed to grow and transport your food (and help reduce your carbon footprint)

Posted under Food, Seasons

This post was written by Lucy on January 1, 2009

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December: What’s Good to Eat?

Food to feast on this month:

VEGETABLES

beetroot
| brussels sprouts | cauliflower | celeriac | celery | chicory | jerusalem artichoke | kale | leeks | parsnips | potatoes (maincrop) | pumpkin | swede | turnips

FRUIT & NUTS

apples | chestnuts | clementines | cranberries | passion fruit | pears | pineapple | pomegranate | satsumas | tangerines | walnuts

MEAT

duck | goose | grouse | guinea fowl | hare | partridge | pheasant | rabbit | venison | wood pigeon

FISH & SEAFOOD

brill | clams | haddock | halibut | hake | john dory | lemon sole | monkfish | mussels | oysters | plaice | scallops | sea bass | turbot

For more information and recipe ideas, visit Eat The Seasons.

There are several good reasons why we should eat food that’s grown locally and is in season:

  1. it tastes nicer
  2. it’s often cheaper
  3. it’s a way of supporting your local economy
  4. it goes some way to reduce the amount of energy needed to grow and transport your food (and help reduce your carbon footprint)

Posted under Food, Seasons

This post was written by Lucy on December 1, 2008

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Sheep Reaction Game

This is my latest little time waster and, weirdly, seems to involve sheep again!

In  a section of the BBC website about sleep they say: “Tiredness can affect your reaction times. See how alert you are with this game and test the impact of a cup of tea or coffee on your performance“.  Sheep Dash

Now I don’t really need any more excuses to turn on the kettle but it sounded quite fun so I had a go and I went from ‘Sluggish Snail’ to ‘Bobbing Bobcat’ after my caffeine fix! Of course, it is completely addictive and I’m now aiming for the ultimate prize ‘Turbo-charged cheetah’.  Really must get on with some work…anyone for a cuppa?!

Posted under Just for Fun

This post was written by Lucy on November 3, 2008

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November: What’s Good to Eat?

Food to feast on this month:

VEGETABLES

artichoke | beetroot | celeriac | celery | chicory | jerusalem artichoke | kale | kohlrabi | leeks | parsnips | potatoes (maincrop) | pumpkin | swede | turnips | wild mushrooms

FRUIT & NUTS

apples | chestnuts | cranberries | elderberries | passion fruit | pears | quince | walnuts

MEAT

duck | goose | grouse | guinea fowl | hare | partridge | pheasant | rabbit | venison | wood pigeon

FISH & SEAFOOD

brill | clams | haddock | halibut | hake | john dory | lemon sole | lobster | monkfish | mussels | oysters | plaice | scallops | sea bass | squid | turbot

For more information and recipe ideas, visit Eat The Seasons.

There are several good reasons why we should eat food that’s grown locally and is in season:

  1. it tastes nicer
  2. it’s often cheaper
  3. it’s a way of supporting your local economy
  4. it goes some way to reduce the amount of energy needed to grow and transport your food (and help reduce your carbon footprint)

Posted under Food, Seasons

This post was written by Lucy on November 1, 2008

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Farmers Weekly Awards 2008: Winners Announced

The winners of this year’s Farmers Weekly Awards were announced at a glittering ceremony in London, where more than 1,100 people from the farming industry and a number of celebrity guests gathered together to applaud the very best in British farming.

The top award – Farmers Weekly Farmer of the Year – went to the winner of Young Farmer of the Year, Adrian Ivory, a beef and arable farmer from Perthshire.

Adrian is an inspiration for all farmers. He has a simple business approach that balances the demands of farm and family very well. He sets himself tough targets and he is completely focussed on achieving them.“  Jane King, Editor, Farmers Weekly

The other awards were:

Contractor of the Year
Sponsored by Michelin Exelagri
R & C Targett

Countryside Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Environment Agency
Ian Waller

Dairy farmer of the Year
Sponsored by DairyCo
Charles Whittingham

Diversification Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by James Miles-Hobbs
Mercer Farming

Farm Manager of the Year
Sponsored by Claas
Matt Solley

Livestock Adviser of the Year
Sponsored by Silotite
Mark Hawe

Local Food Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Farmshop.uk.com
Douglas Wanstall

Pig Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Waitrose
Andrew Freemantle

Poultry Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by EB Equipment
David and Helen Brass

Sheep Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Footvax
Crosby Cleland

The Farming Champion, sponsored by the NFU, went to Jimmy Doherty.

Jimmy Doherty is the Farmers Weekly and NFU Farming Champion. He has transformed the way the public think about farming through his TV series Farming Heroes, which reached out to more than 12m viewers over six episodes.“  Peter Kendall, NFU president

Posted under Awards, Rural businesses

This post was written by Lucy on October 28, 2008

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Rural Britain: a vision for 2020

What do you think rural Britain will be like in 2020?  How would you like to see it change?  What should we be preserving?

Simon Berry, Chief Executive of ruralnet|uk, has set up a website for people to voice their opinions on the matter with a view to creating a collective vision for the future of rural Britain.  Rural Britain: a 2020 Vision was launched at the recent ruralnet|uk and Action for Market Towns event ‘Future Choices – Live & Local’ and has already received hundreds of contributions.

In this video, Simon explains a little more about the idea and what makes a collective vision important:


Rural Britain – a 2020 vision from ruralnetuk on Vimeo.

Visions and aspirations added so far include:

  • Greater opportunities for young people to improve their basic life skills, education and employment opportunities
  • Free wireless internet connectivity everywhere
  • Greater local autonomy and responsibility for providing local services

To have your say, visit the Rural Britain: a 2020 vision website, where you can take a look at the contributions made so far, comment on them and make your own contibution to this collective vision.

Posted under Countryside Organisations

This post was written by Lucy on October 28, 2008

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Good Firewood

As the weather starts to turn really chilly, I keep thinking about lighting a fire…but what makes the best firewood?  A little investigation brought up this rather sweet poem:

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year
Chestnut only good they say
If for long it’s laid away
Make a fire of elder tree
Death within your house will be
But ash new or ash old
Is fit for a Queen with a crown of gold
Birch and Fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last
It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
Elmwood burns like churchyard mould
Even the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a Queen with a golden crown
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke
Apple wood will scent your room
With an incense-like perfume
Oaken logs, if dry and old
Keep away the winters cold
But ash wet or ash dry
A king shall warm his slippers by

Author Unknown

In fact, ash is widely considerd to be one of the best burning woods.  It has a steady flame, a good heat output and lasts reasonably well.  As the poem suggests, even ‘unseasoned’ (green) ash gives a good fire. If you’re chopping it yourself, you will also find it is easy to saw and split.

For more chat about Wood Energy, visit the It’s Not Easy Being Green forum.

Posted under Random Facts

This post was written by Lucy on October 22, 2008

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