It’s amazing what you discover when you are living in lockdown!
Our glampers may have been staying safe at home for the last ten weeks but with the kids not at school, 20 acres of rapidly growing grass to deal with and lots of baby farm animals to look after, the last ten weeks of lockdown have been far from quiet! But they have given us the opportunity to focus more on what is on our very doorstep and encouraged us to be a bit more resourceful, with some surprising results – as you will see...
Hedgehogs live at The Forge – with less people around we have found a couple hedgehogs snuffling about under bushes and even in the middle of the field in broad daylight! We’ve been feeding them a little cat food in the evenings to encourage them to stay and play!
Our composting toilets and camp kitchens make great nesting boxes – with no people around lots of birds have decided to move in. We’ve found robin chicks in Arenig composting toilet and pied wagtail chicks in Berwyn kitchen! Plus, our resident pair of barn owls are having a whale of a time swooping around the hill fort and playing chasing games with each other at dusk.
Rewilding projects actually work – maybe it’s because we have spent more time wandering about and focusing on the place this year than usual but there have been an extraordinary number of bluebells in places we have not seen them before, especially on the hill fort and behind the gypsy caravan. These have been the focus areas of our rewilding projects, so we are thrilled that our hard work seems to be coming to fruition.
There are shrimps in our stream – ok so granted you are never going to grill these ones on the barbie but they are very cool nonetheless and surprisingly fast swimmers. Freshwater shrimps are also a sign of really clean water, so this also made us smile.
Rope makes a great insulator – with an empty site on our hands we have been keeping busy adding all the finishing touches to Drewyn, our large communal cabin. Did you know that you can insulate a floor by filling the cracks with rope? This is a technique known as caulking and was traditionally used in ship building. Works a treat! No more chilly draughts through the floorboards!
Honey is made from bee vomit – we harvested our first honeycomb from our beehive recently and the kids were fascinated about how it was made. So we did some research and yep – it’s true! Bees store the nectar from flowers in their honey crop which they then regurgitate into a processor bee’s mouth before it is stored in the honeycomb. Then they fan the honey with their wings to make the excess water and nectar evaporate and, hey presto, you have honey!
Strawberry, chocolate, mint and honey pizza rocks – Saturday nights have now become our regular pizza night. Well it seemed a shame not to use the great Ooni oven we bought for our guests while they are not here. Slightly bored by the variations on a Margherita we changed things up a bit this week using our own thinly sliced strawberries and chopped mint, with some smashed-up chocolate and a generous drizzle of our own honey. Oh my! An utter taste sensation!
There is a secret underground cave on Caer Drewyn hill fort– less than 2km from The Forge we found the hidden entrance to a cave which, when we came back with torches, appeared to be a disused mine, possibly Bronze Age? I have walked or run past this probably a thousand times in the five years we have lived here and never ever noticed it!
You can buy pretty much anything in Corwen – unable to get a supermarket delivery for love nor money, we have discovered the wonder that is the deli in Corwen town square, our local town, just a 5 minute drive away. Here you will find everything under the sun from tahini to stuffed vine leaves, extra thick local cream and the biggest and tastiest pears I have every come across. And if they don’t have what you need, they are very happy to order it in for you. Who needs Asda?!
We miss you all! Although we have been trying to keep busy and focus on the silver linings of getting all the jobs finished that have been bugging us for ages, there is no denying the fact that The Forge just aint the same without our lovely glamping guests. You have no idea how frustrating and sad it is to see the place lying empty and silent when we have had the best run of amazing glamping weather since we opened. But we remain upbeat and will focus on making The Forge even more special when we are eventually able to welcome you all back. Stay safe everyone and see you soon.