Things to see and do at Swan Barn Farm

An early morning hazy view down the hedge-lined lane at Swan Barn Farm, with views through the leaves towards the distant fields

The woodland here is ancient in origin and has an array of woodland flowers through spring and summer. There are plenty of trails to follow and wildlife to spot. Coppiced hazel coupes (woodland that's been split into small compartments), and trackside glades are a haven for wildlife.

Pastures

Our working pastures are of grazed and cut for hay, which increases their biodiversity. The pastures buzz with summer insects like the fast-flying Golden-Ringed Dragonfly, the second largest to the Emperor. You're welcome to stroll across the footpaths, or have a picnic if the weather's on your side.

Wild foraging


Throughout the year there is always something to forage from Swan Barn Farm. Early nettle tips for tasty soups and beer, to succulent blackberries and crisp apples in late summer before the autumn bounty of hazel nuts, chestnuts and a host of fungi. Even the winter yields sloes for a warming tot of sloe gin.

 


Orchards

Walk through our orchards here, one of which is over 100 years old. We've been restoring it over many years, including planting traditional varieties of fruit. Our new orchard was newly planted in 2010 and has a mix of old and new varieties. Please resist trying an apple as our trees are young and still growing.

One of Swan Barn Farms hertiage variety apple trees


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.

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.

Farm animals

We use Belted Galloways cattle to graze the fields here to ensure the pastures stay rich in flowers.

Belted galloway calves playing in the sun
Belted galloway calves
Belted galloway calves playing in the sun

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.

Jacob sheep grazing in orchard

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

Woodlands

The woods provide a really good retreat for our wildlife. They're rich with birds, moths and mammals. The woodlands at Swan Barn Farm are characterised by mature oak with different aged copes of sweet chestnut and hazel. The woods are home to an array of specialist species including dormice and many species of bird including nightingales (link to nightingale article). The chestnut and hazel coppices are cut on a rotation (link to coppicing article), producing fencing and buildings materials used throughout the estate. (link to orchard house/speckled wood).

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 livestock.