Ivy Grange Farm sits in idyllic Suffolk countryside on the edge of the village of Westhall, a few miles in from the wonderful seaside towns of Southwold and Walberswick. The farmhouse, barn and stables date back to the early 17th century and the area has strong historical associations - the Roman road at Stone Street is just a mile away and rumours abound of an ancient Roman settlement in the surrounding fields. Westhall village was home to the eponymous Westhall Hoard - magnificent Iron Age treasures now to be found at the British Museum. We have been making good use of the metal detector, but no joy so far! Our four yurts and Bell Tent are sited in a three acre field which we try to manage in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner - the ox-eye daisies are doing well and we have a very good supply of bird's foot trefoil (see our section on Sustainability for more info about what we're doing on all things Green). We regularly see owls (barn and tawny), bats, hares, rabbits (of course), red legged partridge and a fantastic range of birds, including buzzards and marsh harriers as well as kestrels and sparrow hawks, green and great spotted woodpeckers and many smaller and migrating species; the spotted fly catchers are some of our favourites. If you are good with birdsong, you'll be able to pick out the various warblers that live in the rich habitat around the fields. We have a pond and ditches that encourage huge dragonflies in summer and early autumn. Ducks and moorhens live on the pond and nest wherever they can find a well-hidden spot. Our two small copses are home to bluebells in spring and wild cherries later in the year, and we are working to create a wildlife-friendly environment around the margins to encourage nesting and hibernating habitats for a whole range of species, including our hedgehog families. We have also been planting willow poles, elders and buddleia in the field-cum-meadow as well as damson, crab apple and sweet chestnut trees. We like the yurts because they sit quietly in their surroundings, are snug as well as very comfortable - they all have wood-burning stoves and “proper” double beds! - and allow you to enjoy the natural environment to the full. They’re fun too and, as keen campers ourselves, we’re aiming to include all the best bits from various sites we’ve visited over the years – campfires come top of the list! So once the sun starts to go down you can sit round the campfire watching the stars come out and enjoy the peace. The sky is wonderfully dark at night, and when the moon is full it’s great fun to go for night hikes or bike rides. Westhall and the surrounding area is mainly devoted to arable farming, so if you are a fan of large agricultural machinery you’ll be happy! The farms are mostly small scale with plenty of hedgerows and gentle rolling landscape – this isn’t big industrial farmland. The lanes are quiet for cycling or walking and there’s plenty to see and do in the area. We’ve also got plenty to occupy you in the barn with table tennis, table football, books, maps, as well as WiFi if you really feel you can’t tear yourself away from the outside world for too long. We hope you will want to experience the beautiful natural surroundings for yourself by coming to stay in one of our yurts.
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Ivy Grange Farm Yurts
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