15th January 2013
Mornacott Festivities

Despite the persistent rain we enjoyed a very special festive season here at Mornacott. 

Despite the persistent rain we enjoyed a very special festive season here at Mornacott. The holiday cottages are going from strength to strength and played host to several groups of people over the festive period. All of whom seemed to thoroughly enjoy everything Mornacott has to offer. One of these being Christmas dinner, and our guests feasted on home-reared, free range turkey in front of roaring log fires. 


22nd December 2012
Mornacott Floods

No "white Christmas" here but a very wet one!

We have to admit to have been feeling a little smug that we’d escaped the worst of the floods being experienced throughout the country recently.

No "white Christmas" here but a very wet one!

We have to admit to have been feeling a little smug that we’d escaped the worst of the floods being experienced throughout the country recently.

The Mornacott Road has not seriously flooded for the last two years since we cleared the river of dead trees and vegetation but however free-flowing it might now be it has been unable to cope with the torrential and incessant downpours of the last few days.

The river burst its banks early on Saturday and water levels have been rising since making the Mornacott Road impassable. Thankfully the escape route down the old railway line has allowed for access to and from the wider world and this has been largely clear of flooding.

There appears to be no great damage at present but we’ll have to see what things look like when the flooding abates. We have lost some gun pegs which have been swept away by the water so if anyone sees some rather smart oak logs with brass numbers tearing off down the river towards South Molton do let us know! 


22nd November 2012
The Shooting Season

The shoot season is now well underway and it’s been good to welcome a few new teams to Mornacott to join our regulars who come back to us year after year. 

The shoot season is now well underway and it’s been good to welcome a few new teams to Mornacott to join our regulars who come back to us year after year. Our two new drives created in the summer have proved very popular; the River Drive offering the opportunity to see the pickers-up exercise the skill of their dogs in water retrieves and the snap shooting at some very tall birds in Wester Wood exercising the skill of the guns.

Our shoot lodges are being well used in their first season of operation and the ability to stay on site has proved very popular with teams of guns. The house team has been working especially hard in preparing the lodges and providing dinners and breakfasts to our guests and they’ve now taken on the challenge of arranging a black tie dinner night for one of our regular teams of armed forces guns.

Despite some early concerns over failing cover crops and some difficult days with sunny weather and northerly winds the 2012 season looks as if it might well be the best yet.  


29th September 2012
Renovation Project

In keeping with Mornacott’s ongoing improvement project it is now the Stables’ turn for some TLC. Building work is to start very shortly on replacing the stable roofs and improving and replacing the surrounding guttering.

In keeping with Mornacott’s ongoing improvement project it is now the Stables’ turn for some TLC. Building work is to start very shortly on replacing the stable roofs and improving and replacing the surrounding guttering.

As ever we are reliant on the weather co-operating with us, in the last month fields have been topped, the stone track has been re-laid and the outbuildings have been re-creosoted; so fingers crossed that Winter holds off a little longer, allowing for completion before the bad weather sets in. 


26th August 2012
Rearing Project

Nearly nine weeks of school summer holidays presented the ideal opportunity for a summer project for young William. 

Nearly nine weeks of school summer holidays presented the ideal opportunity for a summer project for young William. Two hundred duck chicks duly arrived at the start of the holidays and William’s rearing programme began.

Early starts, late finishes and the odd traumatic departure typified the next seven weeks but today saw the fruition of the project with 190 odd ducks being released onto the pond. The ducks immediately took to their new habitat which met with very noisy approval. Hoppy (so named for his deformed leg) remains at Mornacott with Dave (another duck with slightly arrested development) and they’ve joined the chickens in their pen in the hope that a little intensive care will allow them to rejoin the others in a few weeks. 


23rd August 2012
The War against Weeds

With the changeable weather of this summer making sileaging and haymaking an “on and off” type event we’ve been using the downtime to clear some of the more invasive weed infestations at Mornacott.

With the changeable weather of this summer making sileaging and haymaking an “on and off” type event we’ve been using the downtime to clear some of the more invasive weed infestations at Mornacott.

Ragwort seems to be an ever present problem but each year the “crop” is getting smaller thankfully. The biggest task this year has been to clear the huge infestation of Himalyan Balsam on the river banks before the seed pods burst. Himalayan Balsam, whilst attractive to look at, is very invasive and quickly spreads to smother all types of native plant often causing heavy erosion of river banks. Thankfully, as we post this piece, the last plant has been pulled!....until next year! 


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