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.
Orchid expert Peter Lovett is offering a unique experience at Saddlescombe Farm this year where those interested in orchids as a species can learn more about these amazing plants. Details here.
Tuesday, 20 June 2016 10:30am–1:30pm — early booking essential, 01273 857981. The Wolstonbury orchid safari has already sold out. [Check the times when you book — they are different from last year and may be a mistake.]
Learn how to bake bread al fresco in a clay oven the old fashioned way on Tuesday 30th May 2017 from 10:30–14:30. 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. Please bring an apron. Children are welcome with adults. Please park opposite Saddlescombe Farm entrance, walk into the farm and follow sign opposite the pond. Booking details.
Tours of the 17th century buildings, the surrounding downs and the walled garden. Displays and demonstrations of traditional work including hurdle making, shepherding, carpenters’ workshop and more. Watch out for newly born lambs and the sheep dog Belle. Tea and home-made cakes available.
Sunday 23rd April, 10:30am–4:00pm, adult £5, child £2, family £13.
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.
Booking essential. Four sessions available: Monday 19th, Tuesday 20th December 2016, 10:00–12:00, 14:00–16:00; admission £6.00, all ages. More info here.