Herb-rich meadows are cut traditionally for hay, usually in August, when the grasses and flowers have set seed and birds have finished nesting. The hay is baled into small bales and carted in. This is the first year we didn't manage to make our own hay due to the wet summer, so we had to buy in hay from Yorkshire, which the sheep don't like much! Wallabarrow Crag in the background is popular with climbers as there are many routes of varying difficulty. A circular footpath goes fom the farm up the rake past Stoneythwaite to Grass Gars and down the gorge back through Wallabarrow Woods. There is also an easy conservation path from the farmyard, into the wood, back into the hayfields and along the river coming out on the lane below Low Wallabarrow.
Looking at the front of the cottage situated to the right of the farmhouse with Wallabarrow Crag in the background. The Crag is part of Wallabarrow Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is only grazed by a few sheep during the year. This enables plants, such as common heather (ling), bell heather, bog myrtle, herb robert, tormentil, heath bedstraw and blaeberry to flourish. Looking at the back of the holiday cottage from the wooden bridge over the beck. The garden, which is shared with our family has a Wendy House, which children can play in and various pets. During the summer months we sell English Luxury Lakes Ice Cream to walkers and climbers passing through. The classic Duddon fell race is run annually at the end of May or beginning of June. The long Duddon race now starts in 'Water's Meet' at Wallabarrow and covers 20 miles around the head of the Duddon Valley with 6000ft of climb over Harter, Hardknott, Little Stand, Swirl How, Dow Crag, White Pike and Caw. The short Duddon race is an 11 mile race with 3000 feet of climb up Dow and Caw. So if you fancy a go at this visit www.duddonvalleyfellrace.org.uk. This is a view from the top of Wallabarrow Crag looking south down the valley towards the sea. The valley provides excellent walking for all levels of fitness. Many of the walks manage to include the Newfield Inn along the way which happily for some is open all day every day! For details on local walks there is a very good local publication called 'Three Jewels of Lakeland' which contains individual routes for 16 different walks in the Duddon Valley, Broughton Mills and Woodland areas. For more information visit www.duddonvalley.co.uk. Boys in heather on the walk up Wallabarrow Crag, children enjoy picking and eating bilberries at the top. Most visitors, including little ones manage to get to the top at around 1,000 feet and are rewarded by magnificent views all around. Meadow pipits and skylarks join you up here. Buzzards are plentiful and if you're lucky you'll see peregrine falcons overhead. Lambing time usually starts around mid-April and continues until early June. We have two breeds of sheep, the main flock comprises hardy Herdwicks, which are native only to Cumbria and pure bred Hebridean lambs, which are native to the Outer Hebrides. Hebrideans are black and have horns, their fleeces are good for spinning as the wool has a long staple and is nice and soft. Herdwick wool on the other hand is coarse and has traditionally been exported to Russia for carpets, nowadays the price received for their fleeces barely covers the cost of clipping. This year we will encourage visitors and passers-by take a fleece home for a small donation! Extra pairs of legs (all ages) and loud voices help at gathering time. The sheep are checked over and sometimes given mineral supplements and any other treatments as required. All the neighbouring hill farms try to gather on the same day, sheep are gathered off the hill about six times a year. At the end of the day stray sheep are sorted and any strays returned to their home farms.
Galloway cows summering in the intakes. Intakes are enclosed areas of the lower and middle fells and adjoin the open fell. Although Wallabarrow Herdwick sheep are hefted on the fell, the cows are not. Therefore, they could end up in Eskdale if they were allowed to roam freely on the fell! The land adjoins Birker Moor where there are grand views of Scafell Pike and Great Gable providing a stunning backdrop to Eskdale. They help to control some of the more competitive grasses such as purple moor grass and wavy hair grass, allowing other moorland plants such as heather, bog myrtle and herb species to flourish.
Young Galloway cows and 'Kadette' the Jersey bull calf wintering in the fields. Although a hardy, native breed and preferring to be outside, the Galloways need hay or silage and some feed or mineral licks during the winter. The cows are all pedigree and registered with the Galloway Cattle Society. The calves mature slowly but the beef is good. There is usually frozen beef and Herdwick lamb available to buy from the farm.
The downstairs bedroom in the cottage has a four foot double bed and looks out across the beck to the garden.
Children enjoying exciting flavours of delicious English Lakes Luxury ice cream. A range of flavours are usually available from the farm and can be enjoyed in the garden or strolling along.
The living room has a TV with freesat and DVD player plus a selection of DVDs. There is a large futon sofa bed and a two seater sofa. The stable door look out on to the garden and the native woodlands beyond. The upstairs family bedroom has a single bed and a kingsize bed with views to the woodland and fells beyond. There is also room for a cot and there is a stairgate avilable to use. Penelope is a friendly pig, she has some Gloucester Old Spot and Tamworth breeding. In the summer she is often 'out and about' and doesn't tend to root as much as some pigs. She makes 'nests' out of leaves and mud. Although she has visited a couple of boars she shows no signs of wanting piglets! We also have two pure Tamworth pigs which do root and are destined for the freezer! Shuna is our Highland mare. She has had three foals in the past and last May she had a filly foal, the sire was a Highland stallion called 'Grouse'. Highlands have traditionally been used for carrying heavy loads, pulling small carts and extracting timber from woodlands. Shuna has now gone up to Islay in Scotland to join a small wild Highland herd. My old mare is called 'Nattie', she is 25 and well travelled, I have had her since she was 5. This is quite old for a horse but she is still pretty speedy as she is Arab x Thoroughbred, the children ride her sometimes. Children walking through the bluebell woods down to the stone bridge over the River Duddon. The National Trust manage Wallabarrow Woods for their conservation and landscape interests. In these woods you are likely to see pied flycatcher, green and spotted woodpeckers and a variety of small birds such as warblers and tit species. Sitting by the river, if you are lucky you may see kingfisher and dippers. Further up the gorge peregrines nest and parents can be seen out hunting for smaller birds. Things to See and Do LocallyChildren and adults alike enjoy a day out on La'l Ratty. The narrow gauge railway and steam engines run from Eskdale down to the sea at Ravenglass and back, stopping at miniature stations along the way. For details of train times and special days click here
Always fun for children but also topical for adults is the Beatrix Potter Experience at Bowness-on-Windermere and a trip to Hill Top Farm, for more information on the recent film click here
For those who like horse riding, including children from 8 years old, there are lovely rides down to the beach from Murthwaite Green trekking Centre at Silecroft, click here
Recently arrived from the west of Scotland are the Clydesdale heavy horses, providing relaxing trekking in the Wycham Valley and exhilarating fell and beach rides, click here for more info
For more information on all the activities in South Lakeland, such as boating on Coniston, the Aquarium of the Lakes and ferry trips on Lake Windermere, the Wildlife Animal Park at Dalton, the World Owl Centre and Vole Maze at Muncaster Castle, the Visitor Centre at Sellafield visit www. golakes.co.uk or www.duddonvalley.co.uk.
Contact us by telephone: 01229 715011
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.duddonvalley.co.uk.
or write to us at:
High Wallabarrow Farm, Ulpha, Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA20 6EA