Things to see & do

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Walking

We have created this great summer or autumn walk, which includes the woodland and the pasture.

Beautiful bees

Getting honey from a bee hive in the apple orchard © David Burton

Our friendly native bees are kept in traditional hives in the orchard which help to pollinate the fruit trees and wild flowers. By keeping them here we hope to encourage others to try their hand at beekeeping.

Jacob sheep

come and see the lambs jumping around the orchard at Swan Barn Farm © L Dodson

Jacobs are a traditional old fashioned, hardy breed and manage the grassland in our orchard. Their fleeces are valued for spinning due to the natural colour variation and high quality of their wool.

 

Old fashioned apples

Apple blossom © Miggie Bruce

We have over 35 varieties of apples. Team favourites include Court Pendu Plat, Cornish Gilliflower (an old Truro native), Isaac Newton to inspire mathematical philosophy and Tom Putt for cider making.

 

Cheerful chickens

come and see our speckled and buff sussex chicks © L Dodson

We now have Buff Sussex,  Light Sussex and Speckled Sussex hens including a cockerel named Cornelius. They lay eggs for the volunteers they mainly munch on new grass and even the odd slug in the orchard.

Dog walking

You're very welcome to walk your dog here. There are lots of lovely footpaths for you and your furry friend.

Please remember to take home any waste and to keep your dog under close control because of the grazing cattle.

Autumn highlights

Beautiful shiny conkers 

Beautiful shiny conkers

This fruitful season is the time when chestnut, beech, oak and thorn all put on their mantels and light up the paths in a crackling auburn glow.  Beautiful native apples in our orchard provide a seasonal fruitfulness ripe for nocturnal badgers and tipsy red admirals who gorge on fallen fruit. Watch out for small mammals hiding their ripe autumn bounty to tide them over in the cold winter months.
 

Winter highlights

A beautiful crisp morning on the lane at Swan Barn Farm © M Bramich

A beautiful crisp morning on the lane at Swan Barn Farm

Winter is the time to enjoy homemade sloe gin made in autumn from the dusky purple berries of the blackthorn. Why not enjoy walks made firm of foot under the bright night frosts. This is the time the team will start checking for brown hairstreak butterfly eggs, scrutinising eyes searching in the nooks and crannies of the bare hedgerow twigs. Traditional coppicing starts in earnest in the woodlands, with fogged breath, the sound of the saw and the crack of a fire all drifting on the still crisp air. If snow appears there are some fantastic slopes to provide winter fun for children and adults alike.
 

Spring highlights

Woodland wildflowers such as Wood Anemones flourish here © northeastwildlife.co.uk

Woodland wildflowers such as Wood Anemones flourish here

Spring is the time when everything starts to come alive again.  Watch out for Orange-tip butterflies around the delicate pink of the Lady's Smock flowers, the first lambs enjoying the early sun and the first woodland flowers like Wood Anemone.  Hedges start to bud and leaf and the dawn chorus of a chiffchaff, rich blackbird and strident great tit all puncture the air on still mornings.
 

Summer highlights

Lambs are appearing so spring is on its way. © National Trust

Lambs are appearing so spring is on its way.

As the sun rises higher in the sky and the days really start to warm up the meadows become rich in insect life.  Below the cool green dappled canopy and along the winding stream dragonflies hawk up and down the river in search of food.  The sweet scent of dog rose fills the air as it winds through the hedges and the insistent questioning call of the of the stock dove drifts down from the trees.
 

Temple of the Winds

View from the Temple of the Winds at Black Down © NTPL/John Miller

Walk to the Temple of the Winds, named after a Bronze Age circular bank. Here you'll find one of the best views of the South Downs National Park. This little-known spot has a secret feel and a charming curved stone seat to rest on.

Picnic fun

View from the Temple of the Winds at Black Down © NTPL/NTPL/Paul Harris

Explore and find your own secluded spot for a special picnic. Try the fields to the east of the Estate Office or a cool and shady spot by the stream. We're sorry but we don't allow BBQs or fires.

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