Martin Top circular walk

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

This morning I walked from Foxhill Barn to Martin Top, then did a circular before returning to Foxhill, a distance of about 5 miles. On a couple of occasions I came across wild garlic with its wonderful fragrance, and the bluebells and yellow poppies near Martin Top chapel were beautiful to behold.

Baby deer outside Foxhill

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

I went down to let the chickens out early yesterday morning and was greeted by the sight of a baby deer running across the neighbouring field. The great spotted woodpecker is a regular visitor these days. Two woodpeckers recently had a fight - mother and offspring perhaps?

Baby Great Spotted Woodpecker

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

We are now getting regular visits from a baby Great Spotted Woodpecker. It tends to feed for quite some time before flying back to the safety of the trees at the other side of the croft. you can tell it's a juvenile because it has a patch of red at the front of the head. This time I managed to take about 8 photos before it disappeared!

Birdlife around Foxhill

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

These beautiful birds were captured on our doorstep recently. In addition to the swallow, one of many swallow nesting in the outbuildings, this bull finch was seen on Coal Pit Lane, which is just at the bottom of Howgill Lane and now forms a section of the Pennine Bridleway.

A question about woodpeckers

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

While helping to prepare breakfast for our guests yesterday morning I looked out at our bird table and was delighted to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker. I called out to Jan, but in doing so merely managed to scare it off - or maybe my appearance alone at the kitchen window was enough to do the scaring. Jan said that GSWs are quite common. I've only ever seen a Green Woodpecker on our table before. Could anyone tell me which is the more common of the two?

Jams & Chutneys

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

After previously buying in all our preserves for the breakfast table, Jan decided a couple of years back to start making her own jams and marmalades. We've tried out quite a selection on our guests, including a beautifully tart wild plum jam made from produce grown in the local hedgerows. After taking stock of what we've used we've discovered that the most popular jam this summer was damson, so if you know of any going to waste year after year please let us know. Jan also makes her own chutneys using seasonal fruit and vegetables, and now has approaching 20 different varieties.

Birds and bats

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

Recent bird sightings mentioned by our guests include a whimbrel, a couple of mergansers, oystercatchers and sand martins. Just the other night I and 2 of our visitors enjoyed watching a pair of bats racing past just above our heads. You are nearly always guaranteed to see them as dusk falls - very entertaining.

Deer and otters along the Ribble Way

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

This email was sent to us by a member of the Manx Arms Ramblers, 8 of whom stayed at Foxhill Barn recently while walking the Ribble Way. They were obviously delighted with their wildlife sightings.

Hello Peter & Janet,

As promised, a note to say thank you for a great nights stay and for going that extra step to make our walk enjoyable.

The rest of the walk went well with a much better amount of signposts to help us along. The weather stayed with us for the rest of the trip and we managed to complete the whole walk for Sunday afternoon.

We were lucky enough to see three deer crossing the river , in the location you described as being detoured due to land dispute. This was really a treat we did not think could be bettered until we spotted otters a few miles out of Preston.

Altogether a great trip.

All the best Paul and the Manx Ramblers

Plover over Weets Hill

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

Two of our guests who stayed last night went for a walk up "Weets", which is the closest of Lancashire's 3 peaks to Foxhill Barn and joins the Pendle Way up to its summit. They told us how impressive the views are, and were delighted to see a pair of plover flying around close by.


Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

Jan & I were coming back from Clitheroe last Sunday evening when we saw a badger cross the road right in front of us. It was between Downham and Rimington, just after we'd climbed out of the dip at Twizzles Bridge. The only other time we've seen badgers round here is a couple of years ago when we saw 3 of them running up Howgill, just past Howgill Farm. They ran in front of the car for several yards before slinking off through a gap in the hedge - a truly amazing sight.

3 peaks and Pendle – views from Foxhill

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast

I went for a walk this morning to take in the full splendour of the stunning panorama you can see when you look North from Foxhill; Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent still wearing their snowy caps, Whernside only revealing itself from a higher vantage point when the light catches it at just the right angle, allowing you to distinguish between normally blurred horizons. My photo, taken from our yard this morning, really doesn't do this magnificent view justice.

These beautiful views of Pendle are the ones that greet us when we open our front door. Bonny, our pony, is always to be found nonchalantly grazing in the foreground.

Autumn colours

Here at Foxhill the autumn colours are now in their full glory. During a recent walk down the lane we saw a large flock of longtailed tits working their way along the hedgerow. The flock was about 20 strong. At this time of year it is common for species of tits to congregate in flocks - either the same species or many species together. Fieldfares have also arrived. On another walk we also saw a pair of tawny owls. Since getting our chickens about 6 weeks ago we are now attracting some of the local pheasant population on a regular basis. They are getting tamer and we expect they will be around for the foreseeable future.

Not many fungi as yet, probably because it's been relatively dry. The next few weeks should be a good time for fungi foraging, especially because our local lanes have a good selection of dead wood, providing the perfect conditions.

Foxhill Barn Bed & Breakfast