News from Sharpham
School children sow seeds at Sharpham Meadow
28/07/2014 3:38 pm
Last week, three classes, over 60 children aged between 8 and 11yrs, from The Grove School in Totnes took part in a seed collecting and sowing event at Sharpham, run by the Sharpham Outdoors Project.
The children first collected wild native flower seeds from the estate's organically-farmed Lower Sharpham Barton Farm and then walked up the hill to Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground to sow them. The Trust aims to gradually increase the wild flowers at the meadow by stripping the turf off in sections and sowing the bare ground with wild flower seeds.
At this event, a strip of soil was removed to make a seed bed where the children were all able to sow their gathered seed.
Chloe from Year 4 said: “I had a great day. My favourite bit of the day was when we planted the seeds and made a wish on them.”
The children took their responsibilities to heart and were quiet, respectful and thoughtful as they planted the seeds and decided on their wishes.
It was hard work for them but really useful, and Bob the Bus was on hand to take them back to Totnes after a hot day in the sun.
Teacher Adrian Gude said, "The children had a great time and learnt a lot about conservation issues.”
Sharpham Supports the Totnes Pound
20/05/2014 3:04 pm
The Sharpham Trust together with Sharpham Wine and Cheese and The Vineyard Café are supporting the new Totnes Pound launched on the 20th May.
Over 80 businesses are supporting the new scheme which introduces brand new notes including a twenty-one Totnes Pound. Sharpham donated a selection of cheese for the launch event at which Claire Ash Wheeler, one of our Trustees spoke about her grandmother Dorothy Elmhirst, who features on the t21 note. The t10 note features local singer Ben Howard who also attended the launch. The new local currency can be used to pay for courses at Sharpham or purchases in the Farm Shop and Café.
Calves, lambs and kids
13/06/2014 3:01 pm
Lower Sharpham Barton Farm has welcomed ten new South Devon cows and ten calves - iconic cattle of the region - as part of their restocking regime.
There's been an epic start to the lambing season at the farm - of the eight ewes who were pregnant, 17 lambs were born (7 sets of twins and 1 set of triplets). They'll be out in the fields any day now.
Quality organic, grass fed lamb and beef is now available to buy at Lower Sharpham Barton Farm. Contact 01803 732747.
Sharpham Outdoors has welcomed students from many schools recently. The children have been learning about woodlands, food, farming and conservation and combining them with activities like wild art, minibeast hunts and wild flower seed collects.
Over the next few months, Sharpham Outdoors will be running a wide range of children's activities such as Into the Woods - an after school wild adventure club, and Summer Explorers - a month long programme of wild play, including wilderness adventures, canoeing and foraging. See website for details
Sharpham Estate Open Weekend and Wildlife Camp
15/06/2014 11:11 am
Two glorious days at Sharpham with an overnight wildlife programme too!
Make the most of the weekend by having bed and breakfast in this magnificent house overnight, or camp in the woodland and join our wildlife team to experience the wildlife at dusk and dawn by canoe or on the river banks.
The house, garden, vineyard and cafes will all be open during the daytime and our outdoor swimming pool from 11am-4pm. Wood fired pizzas and a barbecue will be available from 6 – 8pm.
The packed programme includes house heritage tours, a dusk birds, moths and bat walk, badger watching, star gazing, a dawn chorus walk, a wild food forage walk, wild seed collecting and planting, a mindfulness taster, body patterns and canoeing. Accommodation, camping and canoeing all need to be booked in advance. All other activities can be booked on the day, but they fill up so to avoid disappointment phone to reserve a place in advance on 01803 732542.
The weekend will also celebrate the tercentenary of Sir Robert Taylor, architect of Sharpham House. Expert, Richard Garnier will give a special talk on Taylor’s architecture. This is a rare opportunity to learn about the house, its history and the period from an expert while also seeing his work first hand in the splendour of Sharpham House.
Martin Shaw, co-writer and mythologist, will be here on Sunday afternoon to give us a taste of Parzival – our unique summer promenade performance that will be staged in the grounds and stairwell of Sharpham House each evening from 15-20 July (includes 2 matinee performances). This newly commissioned performance piece is a contemporary take on our relationship with nature, through the lens of the ancient Arthurian myth and should not be missed. Tickets can be purchased online.
Free Bob the Bus shuttle service from Seven Stars Bus stop, Totnes. 10 – 4.30pm. We will post a timetable online as soon as it has been confirmed.
Please no dogs other than guide dogs, thank you.
New Sharpham Meadow Ceremonial Building is opened
12/05/2014 1:25 pm
Journalist Lucy Siegle, Patron of the Natural Death Centre and presenter on BBC’s The One Show recently opened the new natural cob ceremonial building at Sharpham Meadow natural burial ground.
Despite the weather, visitors turned out to help celebrate the opening and internationally acclaimed poet, Alice Oswald, gave a poetry reading.
Lucy Siegle (left) talking to Alice Oswald.
From the ground’s landscaped entrance on the back road from Totnes to Ashprington, visitors can now walk through a natural willow sculpture archway, created by Ben Piper, towards the new cob building.
Through its open timber front, the shelter frames the magnificent view over the wildflower meadow and down towards the river Dart. The building was designed to mirror the elliptical stairwell of Sharpham House and has the same dimensions and shape. It was constructed by local specialists with a local stone base, cob walls, timber frame and sedum roof and will be used to hold a ceremony, to shelter from inclement weather or just be a place to be able to sit in contemplation.