Aside from offering the farm buildings for Eco Weddings and group accommodation, Middle Coombe Farm has within its grounds a truly unique variety of natural resources. Along with approx 240 acres of Woodland we are also a working organic farm. We have an ever-expanding selection of new projects to keep us busy.
The backbone of all our activities and projects at Middle Coombe Farm is our Ecological Philosophy. Our commitment to a sustainable way of living is at the heart of everything we do. Aside from simply being the way we choose to live we hope that our activities are something others can share and take away with them after their stay here.
To develop our business ethically in three areas: 1. Historic buildings, 2.Woodlands 3. Farm … for the benefit of ongoing generations.
Middle and Lower Coombe Farm form part of “The Coombe Farm Trust” together with “The Woodlands Trust” which was set up in the 1980’s by owner, Tim Malyon, to protect the land and the Grade II* Listed farmhouse and Grade II farm buildings. Middle Coombe farm produces its own cider, willow, and precious honey. The woods supply logs to the biomass wood burner supplying heat to all the buildings at Middle Coombe Farm. While the solar panels heat the outdoor swimming pool and the photovoltaic provide part electricity to the buildings.
Lower Coombe farm is run by William and Pam Roffe-Silvester and is soil association certified organic. They run the Lower Coombe Farm organic beef box scheme. An Aberdeen Angus Pedigree bull crosses with a herd of mother cows principally Devon Reds producing excellent beef cattle accustomed to the local environment.
Our Countryside Stewardship scheme is now complete it has helped replant the organic apple orchard. It has also supported us with laying in traditional fashion our ancient hedges as well as extensive pasture management. We only cut hay late in the season after birds and small animals’ young have flown the nest. We spread hay from different fields, thereby enhancing wild flower contents of field grass. All these activities have had a visible effect on flora and fauna, mammals and bird life. Owls and buzzards have become noticeably more numerous, profiting from a catch of small animals which are pesticide free and more numerous.
Our Wild Surroundings
Here at Middle Coombe Farm, in our own sheltered little valley, there are a huge variety of woodland creatures to look out for.
Wildlife is more that just about the animals. It covers the shrubbery and other flowers in our surroundings. The Devon Hedgerow scheme ensures that our rare species of fauna and flora are sustained and protected. The scheme consists of a cross-section of the major land owning, farming and conservation interests in Devon. It exists to further good hedge management and conservation in the County, in a way that optimises the value of hedges for farming, wildlife, landscape, archaeological and cultural purposes.
Woodlands (Allensdown Wood) at Middle Coombe Farm and timber
We have some 240 acres approx of mixed woodland, both softwoods – Larch, Sitka and Norway Spruce, Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir. And hardwoods, Oak, Ash, Beech, Cherry, Sycamore, Birch, Sweet Chestnut. The softwoods predominate, but we are gradually encouraging the hardwoods, cutting coups and thinning the softwoods so as to give the hardwoods sufficient extra light. Because of the presence of deer in the forest we tend towards such forest management techniques, encouraging already growing trees, rather than planting extra trees, which tend to be eaten before they can easily establish themselves.
Woodland walks on our footpaths and bridleways
In partnership with Countryside Stewardship we have opened up some nine kilometers of footpaths and bridleways through the woods and fields. They are signposted with arrows and maps. Follow a little stream up through the woods to the top of the hill and perhaps catch a glimpse of a red or roe deer. Enjoy!
See the Defra Countrywalks website for footpath maps throughout the country.