Blog Articles

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!
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!
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...
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...
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.
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!
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...
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!  
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...
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.
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!
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...
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!
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...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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!
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...
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...
Vintage Tractor Rally
This photo was taken early in October when the local Vintage Tractor Rally passed the bottom of our drive. On this occasion there were over 100 tractors and they could be seen snaking along the lanes into the distance, quite a sight to be seen! (Although not so popular if you are stuck behind them perhaps!). Over the Easter Weekend the National Vintage Tractor Road Run is taking place in and around Bridgnorth when over 400 vintage tractors are expected to participate. As well as enjoying meeting up with like minded people from around the Country and sharing their passion they also raise money for a local charity, this year the County Air Ambulance, a very worthwhile cause.
Boxing Day Walk
It is traditional in our family to take a walk on Boxing Day. This year as the ground is so wet we had to find a route that avoided the fields so decided to head for Catherton Common, a circular walk of approximately 2 hours duration. The weather was fantastic and the views from the Common are stunning, my photograph doesn’t do it justice! We were lucky enough to see 3 buzzards and a red kite circling above the Common. The Common has fabulous birdlife. Skylarks, linnets, meadow pipits and yellowhammers – birds that were once common everywhere but have vanished from many of their old haunts – can still be found on Catherton Common, singing from sky and tree. A vast pesticide-free area, it’s also a haven for bees, dragonflies and many other insects. The Common...
Best friends Forever
Mack has a new friend, although I’m not sure how long they will remain friends as he has already removed both his ears and eyes! Now the days are drawing in Mack is happy to relax in his basket next to the wood burner and I seem to spend hours replenishing the log pile! There is something special about a roaring fire and there is a small wood burner in the guest living room for cosy winter nights! This week we have been walking in the Wyre Forest which has different woodland trails to suit all levels of walking, from strollers and wheelchairs to longer routes for seasoned walkers. If you are feeling more adventurous there is also a treetop Go Ape course!