Blog Articles

 
13/12/2017
Snow Days
                                        What a snowy few days we have had! I love it when the world turns white and we were lucky enough to have a beautiful day on Monday to enjoy the wintery wonderland around us. On the farm the snow brings it's own challenges, mainly getting round to feed the animals, fortunately all the cattle are inside for the winter but the sheep are more challenging and food has to be taken out to the fields. The other big problem is keeping the water supply going as pipes and water tanks can freeze and will need defrosting so the animals have access to fresh water. Fortunately snow doesn't linger too long in Shropshire and it has almost disappeared now, good to enjoy it while it lasts!                  
29/11/2017
Mini Road Trip
Sometimes it's good to do something different! Last year I treated myself to a Nissan Figaro and last month I decided to do my first car rally! The rally was through the Shropshire Hills so I thought a perfect opportunity to join in. Unfortunately we missed the convoy start and by the time we reached the first stop at the Long Mynd Gliding centre everyone had already left! Fortunately we were able to enjoy the fantastic 360 degree views across South Shropshire. Fortunately we caught up with the other cars at the new Tearooms at Stokesay Castle where everyone stopped for a delicious lunch before carrying on to the top of Clee Hill for a photo opportunity and more stunning views! A fun day out that anyone can do even if you don't have a mini sports car!
24/11/2017
Butter Making
I have started to make butter using my mother-in-law's traditional butter churn. It hadn't been used for nearly 30 years, since the family stopped keeping a 'House' cow and had been abandoned in the cellar.  A little bit of TLC and it is now churning again! I am using fresh double cream from Mawley Farm and experimenting with time and temperature to minimise the amount of time needed to turn the cream into butter. At the moment it can take anything from 15 minutes to 3 hours! Once churned the cream separates into butter and buttermilk, which is drained off and used in scones or pancakes.  The butter is then washed, salted and shaped into pats. Although I say so myself it does taste amazing, nothing like the commercial butter available from the supermarkets.
11/06/2017
Busy Bees!
Beekeeping is a rollercoaster hobby! After a successful honey harvest last year the bees, in 2 hives were tucked up for the winter and we crossed our fingers! Unfortunately only 1 hive survived but this hive was doing well so we decided to split the hive into 2 to avoid the chance of the bees swarming. We are not sure how successful this was as neither hive seemd to be doing well so last weekend we added a swarm from another beekeepr to the weaker of the 2 hives.A swarm occurs when the number of bees in the hive exceeds the space available and roughly half of the bees fly off with a new queen to find a new home. Both hives now seem quite busy so hopefully they will all settle down, raise lots of brood and start producing some honey!
08/06/2017
Lovely, lovely Reviews
I am very fortunate to get wonderful feedback from all my guests! There is always a little frisson when I pick up the Guest book after guests have checked out to see if anything has been written! This week has been exceptional as all the guests that have stayed have completed an entry! Whilst reviews on online sites are good for promoting my business I still love the permeance of a physical record and will occasionally look back over past reviews and remember the guests that have stayed! Thank you to everyone that takes the time and trouble to write a record of their stay – I do appreciate it!
17/04/2017
Croft Castle
Just over the border into Herefordshire lies Croft Castle, a National Trust property, more like a small stately home than a castle, with extensive grounds and scenic walks. The house has a lived in feel and is a manageable size, not too grand. As some of the family still live there the upstairs rooms are mainly out of bounds. There is a large walled garden with glasshouses and work is ongoing to restore and reuse the large greenhouses. If you are there at the right time there will be plants for sale from the garden. Allow time for tea and cakes from the tea room then set off on one of the many way marked walks through the grounds – we did the Carriage walk which took just over an hour through the woodland. It is also possible to walk to the ancient Hill Fort at Croft Ambrey. The...
17/03/2017
The River Teme in Ludlow
On a beautiful Spring day there is nothing better than wandering around Ludlow. Yesterday I took a stroll along the Bread Walk across Whitcliffe Common. I had forgotten what fabulous views there are over the town. The walk follows the banks of the River Teme, either at river level or climbing to the Common to take in the views. I can recommend parking in the town then walking down to Dinham, taking the path to the righthand side of the Castle. Take time to stop at The Green Cafe on the Millennium Green for either a coffee or cake or book a table for Ludlow Castle from If the weather is good sit on the terrace and watch the wildlife on the Now head over Dinham Bridge and take the lefthand path onto the Common, either climbing for the views or meander along the...
27/02/2017
Refurbished Bathrooms
The winter months are always the time to carry out repairs and refurbishment. This year I have concentrated on the bathrooms and both are now beautifully tiled on 2 walls and the floor. The small light over the sink has also been replaced by a state of the art LED illuminated mirror with shaving socket which should help with the overall light levels in the room.
06/12/2016
Grandmothers Footsteps
Do you remember playing Grandmother’s Footsteps as a child? Where you creep up behind the wolf and hope to catch him before he spots you moving? I feel that the sheep want to play too! These are our 2 bottle fed lambs from the Spring, now fully grown and hopefully expecting lambs themselves. However I think they still think either Mack or myself are their mother! Every time we enter the field they come running up and want to play, often chasing Mack around, they will then follow us around the field whilst all the other ewes give us a wide berth!
23/09/2016
The Shropshire Prune
The Shropshire Prune is our very own damson, possibly the oldest known variety of damson in the UK, having been named as such on a piece of tapestry dating from the late 1500s that is housed in Shrewsbury museum. There are several trees around the farm and we always have a glut. Damsons make my favourite jam and also are a delicious alternative to sloes in fruit gin. I have been busy making both this week.  First the damson gin – I am not sure I should admit to making in a demi-john but it always get drunk so why not! First pick your damsons, I use about 6 lbs damsons, 3 lbs sugar and 1 litre of gin (the cheapest I can get at the Prick each damson a few times and add to demi-john, when about 4cm in jar cover with sugar, continue until jar is full to top then...
13/09/2016
Photo Shoot
Over the summer months I decided to update the photos on the website and also have a Google Images walk through created. This means that if you find Broome Park Farm B&B on Google Maps you can now come inside and look at all the rooms before you come and stay! Steve, the photographer also took some ‘Arty’ photos so I thought I would share them here!  
16/03/2016
The River Teme in Ludlow
On a beautiful Spring day there is nothing better than wandering around Ludlow. Yesterday I took a stroll along the Bread Walk across Whitcliffe Common. I had forgotten what fabulous views there are over the town. The walk follows the banks of the River Teme, either at river level or climbing to the Common to take in the views. I can recommend parking in the town then walking down to Dinham, taking the path to the righthand side of the Castle. Take time to stop at The Green Cafe on the Millennium Green for either a coffee or cake or book a table for lunch. If the weather is good sit on the terrace and watch the wildlife on the Weir. Now head over Dinham Bridge and take the lefthand path onto the Common, either climbing for the views or meander along the bank as far as Ludford...
17/01/2016
The Victorian Baker
How many of you have been watching the Victorian Bakers on BBC2? If so you will have seen John Swift persevere where many others would have given up whilst experiencing the conditions endured by his forebearers. We are lucky enough to have John and his brother Robert as our local bakers, based on the top of Clee Hill, surely the highest bakery in the Country. The photo is of Robert demonstrating his craft at his training kitchen in Ludlow. My favourite, of their many speciality breads, is marmite and cheese sour dough but there is a wide choice with something for everyone! To find out more visit their website.
21/10/2015
End of Harvest
I can’t believe the summer is over! Fortunately the settled weather at the end of September and early October means we were able to finish the harvest without too many problems. The last crop to be harvested is beans and here John is loading a lorry to take them away. Beans are generally grown as an animal feed but we also sell some for export which go to Egypt for human consumption. The good weather also means most of the winter planting is done and we are getting ready to bring the cattle inside for the wet winter months. This shed, that was full of beans will soon be full of beasts!
13/02/2015
Grandmother's Footsteps
Most mornings I manage to take Mack for a stroll around the field in front of the house but at the moment we are playing a game of cat and mouse with the ewes currently grazing the field! Although Mack is pretty good and doesn’t usually bother about them the sheep persist in following us! At the start of the walk I carefully survey the field and decide our route based on the location of the flock, always trying to keep the biggest gap between us and them! But no, as soon as we enter the field along they trot, in some misguided belief I am going to feed them and we start our game of Grandmother’s Footsteps – I walk, they follow; I turn, they stop! Hopefully at this point Mack has spied a pheasant or squirrel in some distant corner of the field and has...
13/12/2014
Happy New Year 2015!
I can’t believe it will soon be 2015! The year seems to have flown by and since my last post we have had a lovely few days in Southern Spain, although I must report it was no warmer than sunny South Shropshire! Mack certainly enjoyed his walks over the festive break and loved lording it over the rest of the world from the top of this big bale! We have had our first lambs at the main farm, so long nights in the lambing shed for John! We probably won’t have any lambs here at Broome Park until March when the bulk of the ewes are due to lamb. Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year!
31/08/2014
Flounders Folly
Today we visited Flounders’ Folly, an imposing stone tower, 16 foot square, standing 80 feet above Callow Hill, near Craven Arms, South Shropshire. The Folly is a landmark that is visible for miles around and in particular from the A49 between Church Stretton and Craven Arms. Built in 1838 by Benjamin Flounders (hence the name), it marks the point at which three parishes and four major estates meet. Curiously, Benjamin Flounders never had a house on the Culmington estate and generally chose to stay at the Angel Inn in Broad Street, Ludlow on his twice-yearly visits to Shropshire. The Folly fell into disrepair in the 20th century but was restored in 2004-5 by the Flounders’ Folly Trust. It is now open to the public one day each month so people can climb to the...
25/08/2014
A Slow Harvest
This year our harvest seems very stop/start! When the weather was perfect at the first part of July nothing was ready to combine and now the crops are ready the weather is changeable. It is a constant dilemma – whether to harvest the crop when it is slightly damp then dry in the shed or wait for the optimum moisture level and miss the opportunity due to the weather. Ideally corn is harvested when the moisture content is around 14 – 16% and we use a meter to test a sample of the crop before starting to combine. If there is a weather window and we need to get on then we will combine anything up to 20% and then dry the crop in the shed or corn bins. Obviously this incurs additional cost so this is used as a last resort. The next problem has been breakages, fortunately...
07/08/2014
Burwarton Show
We were pleased to sponsor the Scarecrow for the Severn Hospice stand at Burwarton Show today and were thrilled to be visited by Mary from the Dairy whose Grandsons had told her about her resemblence to our scarecrow, Clarrie! All together there were 72 scarecrows on various stands around the showground and young and old were invited to buy a map of the Scarecrow Trail then tick them off as they enjoyed the show. You may recognise Mary as she is often at the Cleobury and Ludlow Local Producers markets with her butter churn making delicious traditional butter pats.
08/07/2014
Summer Shows
One of the best things about the summer is the shows! They range in size from the local village fete to national events but all celebrate our traditions and rural communities. The first and biggest is the Royal Welsh Show which is on from 21 – 24th July at the Showground in Builth Wells, a couple of hours drive from here but well worth it! This year the next show will be Tenbury Show on the 2nd August, only 8 miles from here and always on the first Saturday in August. This is a real local affair featuring livestock, horses, horticulture, food, arts and crafts. It also hosts the annual national Young Farmers tug of war finals! Unfortunately this year it clashes with Chorley Show which is a small local show run by volunteers, the highlight of which this year...
14/06/2014
Hobsons New Visitor Centre
I had a great evening last Thursday as I went along to the launch of the new Visitor Centre at Hobsons Brewery. There was a real buzz to the evening and lots of beer samples to try – my personal favourite being the Stout! Delicious food was provided by Four C Sons catering and stone baked pizzas fro the Fabulous Cob Oven Company. In keeping with Hobsons ethos the building is built sustainably using local wood and stone and sits on the edge of the Brewery site, overlooking fields and the town of Cleobury Mortimer nestling below. On entering the builing there is a small retail area, selling bottled beers and merchandising, then the bar stretches out on the left and wooden tables and benches along the right hand wall. There is also a galley typekitchen area where it is...
03/06/2014
Not so woolly jumpers!
Late May or early June is when the sheep are sheared. As the weather gets warmer they no longer need their woolly fleeces and if left on can result in health problems. Shearing is definitely hard work as every sheep has to be man-handled into position and held whilst the job is done. This year the commercial flock were shorn in just over 3 days with help from a nephew and his friends! We only have 6 ewes here at Broome Park and that is enough for John to shear on his own! Fortunately he managed to do them on Sunday and they are looking very slim out in the field, we just need it to warm up a bit! The fleeces are all bought by the Wool Marketing Board and currently they are worth about £1.40 each, not much more than the cost of having them sheared!
01/05/2014
May Madness
May is the traditional month for Morris dancing, starting with today, May Day, when the stomping of feet and clashing of sticks is said to represent the battle between good and evil, and the triumph of summer over winter. After dancing last Saturday at The Sun Inn in Leintwardine to celebrate St George, Crooked Steeple Morris are off to Upton Upon Severn’s Folk Festival this Sunday. We start with a procession through the Town, starting at 12 noon, about 40 different sides are taking part this year (although I’m still not sure where Belly Dancers fit into the Folk scene!). We end up dancing outside one of the pubs on the riverside and even have a show spot this year at 3.30pm – if we think we are good enough! The following Monday evening (12th May) we will be...
10/02/2014
Early Lambs
I have my first bottle fed lambs of the season. We always start lambing soon after Christmas although this year the ewes were slow to get going, meaning a last minute rush towards the end of January. These 2 are a couple of weeks old and have been named Dior and Chanel (as one lamb has No. 5 on it’s side!). They are bottle fed twice a day and also eat a dried food, like muesli. I am always happy for guests to help with feeding. At the moment we have sheep in every nook and cranny as the wet weather means it is too miserable for the early lambs and ewes to go out in the fields, cold and frosty weather would be much better! We have also had to bring in most of the expectant ewes early as the fields are so muddy the grass isn’t growing and it is difficult to get...