Last summer the horse-drawn carriage rides offered at Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre were more popular than ever. Visitors loved being close to the horses and seeing the countryside around the farm from a different perspective. But Anna Cockburn, who drives the carriage and is co-owner of the Heavy Horse Centre, spotted a problem. Whilst the Centre itself is fully accessible and welcomes many visitors of all ages, who have mobility issues, unfortunately these visitors can’t enjoy the carriage rides because it is not possible for them to climb the steps.
Although many places around Ford & Etal are closed for winter there are still things to do! There are numerous beautiful walks to enjoy in and around the Estates and Flodden Battlefield is nearby. Make time to relax over a drink and treat yourself to some delicious local food: The Black Bull and The Lavender Tearooms in Etal, The Old Dairy and Ford Village Shop in Ford, The Red Lion and Café Maelmin in Milfield, and The Blue Bell at Crookham are all open. Please check our website for individual opening times. If you want to do some shopping why not pop into Handmade at Heatherslaw to see John Speight's Papercut Art and Spirit of Colour Jewellery, or visit The Old Dairy to explore an eclectic selection of antiques and vintage items. Heatherslaw Mill is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm, wrap up warm if you plan to visit.
Etal Castle and Lady Waterford Hall are closed until Spring 2020.
A collection of Mauchline Ware featuring buildings in Ford and made with wood from Flodden Field, and which includes a music book given by Louisa Waterford to her goddaughter, Anne Gledstanes-Fairholme, has kindly been gifted to the Lady Waterford Hall by local historian Jane Bowen.
Bere, the ancient type of barley that gave its name to Berwickshire and the towns of Berwick-on-Tweed and North Berwick, has returned to the county in a trial plot at Paxton South Mains from seed produced in the Western Isles. Now retired farmer and former MP John Home Robertson hopes to work with Heatherslaw Corn Mill to explore opportunities to use Berwickshire’s long-forgotten cereal crop again.
The artists’ cabinet at Lady Waterford Hall sees a change this week, with work by local crafter Judith Bellamy replacing the beautiful felt work and photography which has been on display since early May.
Due to exceptionally high rainfall over the last 48 hours the River Till has flooded at Heatherslaw and covered part of the railway line. As a result Heatherslaw Light Railway will not be running today (Friday 14th June). As soon as the floodwater subsides a track inspection will be carried out and the railway will resume normal service as soon as possible.
Heatherslaw Cornmill, Tearoom, Visitor Centre, Gift Shop and Handmade at Heatherslaw are all open as usual. Please check our social media for regular updates.
Rosemary Bell has a wonderful knack of knowing these things. Nobody else (not even your host!) had appreciated that this was the 25th Dawn Chorus on Ford & Etal. Although we are all older, and few of us probably any the wiser about the birds we love and enjoy, this morning’s walk did at least show that, 25 years on, we are all still fit, can climb a very steep hill and can scramble over a stile.
On Saturday 6th April the formal installation of Northumberland’s latest High Sheriff, Lady (Harriet) Joicey, of Etal, near Berwick-upon-Tweed took place in St Mary’s Church, Etal. Lady Joicey has taken on the role from her predecessor, Michael Orde. During the ceremony she appointed Alexander Dickinson as her Under-Sheriff and Reverend John Vilaseca as her Chaplain for her year in office.