Two pages of news from our neighbours.
Please join us on our working farm for our annual lambing open days here at Saddlescombe. We open our gates for our visitors to see us at our busiest time and share with us the hustle and bustle of our farmyard during lambing. Our visitors will see newborn lambs and maybe a lamb being born, an amazing experience. We are keen to share the respect and care we give our sheep right the way through to when we sell them for meat. Our own delicious lamb burgers will be available for a tasty lunch plus vegetarian food and refreshments from the Wildflour Cafe here at Saddlescombe Farm. Tractor and trailer rides will be running subject to weather conditions. There will be activities running for children from the National Trust (bread making on the 24th March) RSPB (25th March and 1st April), Red Fox Forest School (24th and 25th March), also local butchers Garlic Wood will have a butchery stall selling Saddlescombe meat and other local produce to take home.
Create your own Christmas wreath with materials collected from the downs. Take a festive walk and collect your holly and ivy. Return to historic Saddlescombe farm to make your very own Christmas decorations in front of log burning stoves. Mulled apple juice, mince pies and roast chestnuts will be included.
Three sessions available: 18th–20th December 2016, from 10:00am–12:00 noon. Booking essential.
Friday 13th October 2017 from 9:30 to 15:00. The order of the day: 9:30am meet at Saddlescombe; 10:00am go out hunting for fungi in Wolstonbury woods and across open downland; 12:00 noon lunch, with glorious views across Sussex; 2:00pm return to Saddlescombe Farm for a cup of tea and cake in the new heated barn; 2:15pm go through our finds with expert mycologist, Martin Allison and look at some of the more interesting species under the microscope; 3:00pm finish. Booking essential.
- Monday 9th October 2017
- Monday 23rd October 2017
- Monday 6th November 2017
- Monday 20th November 2017
- Monday 4th December 2017
We’ll be baking directly on the clay oven floor so there won’t be a tin or thermometer in sight. All ingredients to make the bread are provided, but feel to bring your own additions to eat it warm afterwards. Bring an apron. Children are welcome with adults. Please park opposite Saddlescombe Farm entrance, walk into the farm and follow sign opposite the pond. Details here. Booking essential.
Join mycologist Martin Allinson for a day of recording as many species of fungi as possible across Newtimber Hill on Friday 6th October from 9:30am to 3:00pm. Wear suitable clothing and bring lunch. Tea and cake will be served upon return to Saddlescombe. Supervised children are welcome. Booking essential. Click the image for more information.
Tours of the 17th century Threshing Barn, Tudor Scullery and Donkey Wheel. You can also venture further afield for tours on surrounding Newtimber Hill. Refreshments at the new Wild Flour cafe. Children and dogs welcome. Parking £2 — follow signposts near Devil’s Dyke on the day. Sunday 10th September 2017, 10:30am–3:30pm, free admission.
Saddlescombe Farm is run by tenant farmers, Camilla and Rory Puzey who open their doors to the public for lambing weekends and educational visits throughout the year. They also offer a unique Shepherd for the Day experience and Green Gym sessions which encourage people to get fit by doing conservation work. The couple say the shepherding idea came from a friend. The idea quickly developed and now the farm holds a variety of shepherding experiences for individuals, couples and families — there are even corporate team building events which conclude with a Shepherding Challenge.
A couple of years ago we noted that, according to a then newish SDNPA website, Fulking was in the midst of a desolate area in which it was almost impossible to buy or eat local produce. Saddlescombe Farm provided a single exception — they were the only local food producers, valiantly raising sheep on sand. A recent check on the site suggests that the situation has changed — slightly. Rushfields now appears on the map, as does a remarkable B&B that somehow manages to coexist in both Poynings and Pyecombe (with the same postcode) — they serve English breakfasts (pigs from Coombes, presumably). Springs also makes an appearance (salmon from the Adur?). Still, it is reassuring to be able to infer from the SDNPA’s map that all of our neighbourhood gastropubs (Fox, Oak, Plough, Shepherd, Tottington) have been resolute in their resistance to the ‘local produce’ fad. Corned beef from Argentina still rules the menu.