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The Dunfield Sandglass is a historical honeycomb of various stories from the reign of Charles 1st to the present day.  From inquisitions to wedding feasts, to shrouded meetings of wartime goliaths, to the (possible) birth of the Baskerville hound!

We will take you through changing structures of the house and grounds through its transitional years and introduce you to the various owners and visitors along the way. History is everything, from bricks and mortar to blood and bone: footprints in the dust, handprints on the glass, voices in the air and stories in the stone.

Every house has a history and Dunfield is no exception – except for one – maybe we have a little more history than some!  Check back here with us when you see this post pop up on our social media as we explore through our own unique sandglass. We will take you on a stroll and back to see what we have found.

 

 

We are lucky enough to have Dunfield house and grounds on our doorstep and although being here most days, the grounds have plenty of exploring left to do.

However the opportunity for explorers can go beyond the hills that hide us. So we’ll share some of our favorite spots around the local area!

First on the list, perhaps the most obvious is Hergest Ridge- Offas Dyke path! We get to enjoy a glance at it every day and it doesn’t seem to get old, despite its known history dating back to AD 757. This is only less than ten minutes away by car; you’ll have a great view of it from the house too!

Water-Break-It’s-Neck is just another short car journey away. Past the village of New Radnor, hidden in the Warren wood, you’ll find the waterfall that all the locals refer to! If you are up to explore, you might end up finding ‘The Secret Waterfall’, closer to the source of the stream. There are a few short walks around the area all based from the main carpark. We recommend wellies!

Elan Valley is one of my favorites. Not far out of the town of Rhayader you will come across a large reservoir, it looks like a huge lake but it actually provides most of the water for the city of Birmingham! You are able to walk around the whole reservoir and if you pick a day when the sun is shining, it is difficult to find a more peaceful place, apart from Dunfield… obviously!

Bradnor hill wouldn’t be one to miss either; and if you have the chance to stay at Dunfield, it would be quite difficult to do so. With a two minute walk from the house you can find yourself at the bottom of the hill. The view looking up is nearly as impressive as from at the top. Be light on your toes when you reach the peak though as you will stumble on to the 9th hole of Kington Golf course, you might have to dodge a ball or so!

 

Our list will end there. Although we have plenty of other top spots we love equally, this should be enough to keep you busy for a day or many! 

Friday, 12 May 2017 09:06

How Good the World can Bee!

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Just half a minute to take in the view of Hergest Ridge and the wildflowers sitting above the stream is all it takes to set me up for the day. It’s easy to appreciate the people around us, the staff and guests who look after the grounds for others to enjoy; but sometimes the humble bumble can be overlooked. After all, a lot of what we enjoy wouldn’t be here without the bumblebee!

So here’s a brief list of what we do to look after them…

1.      Go easy on the wildflowers

Dunfield’s ground has been worked on over the years for all of us to enjoy. We have planted, weeded and raked the grounds for as long as we can remember. Although a lot of the wildflowers have tiptoed in themselves, we are more than welcome for them to stay. Bees love them, therefore we do too! Visit Bumble Bees conservation’s guide to see what makes a good garden for bees!

2.      We all need to drink, right?

We have more in common with bees than you might have first thought. Bumblebees need to keep hydrated too. We are lucky enough to have a stream running through the grounds for them to quench their thirst and energize their buzz, but they’ll be just as grateful for a small bowl of water too.

It is becoming more common to find dozy bees; it could be that they need a little pick me up. When we might enjoy a coffee, bees prefer a drop of water and a teaspoon of sugar according to RSPB. We have done this a few times and it seems to do the trick!

 

3.      We provide a shelter for all

We have group accommodation for big and small… the smallest being about 2cm! Our guest bees are welcome to take residence in our insect hotel, with penthouse options available. This is placed in a shaded area, perfect for bees to take a well-deserved rest, or set up for the summer. Perhaps you could make your own?

4.      Keeping it natural

We don’t use pesticides at Dunfield. If anything is getting a bit overgrown, a quick trim doesn’t go amiss! If you feel pesticides are your only option, without getting too technical, neonicotinoids are the ones to steer clear of. The plants suck up all the chemicals which can be deadly to the insects snacking on the pollen- sadly these include bees.

Hopefully you found our list helpful, giving you a few ideas that you could use in your own garden. If you have any tips of your own we would love to hear them, so please leave any comments below!

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