19th March 2013
Spring is Here

Spring is here or at least it’s meant to be! Despite a wet and windy March we have started lambing here at Mornacott.  

Spring is here or at least it’s meant to be! Despite a wet and windy March we have started lambing here at Mornacott. Our flock of eighty Pole Dorset ewes are inside and ready to lamb. Lambing is a busy time on the farm as the ewes need keeping under close surveillance to ensure both mother and baby thrive.

Lambing the ewes inside allows us to observe both mother and baby for a few days before turning them out to grass. Confinement is lasting a little longer this year due to the inclement weather but we hope to be turning out soon. 


15th March 2013
Breeding Season

Since the shoot season ‘proper’ has finished at Mornacott we have been gearing up to start our pheasant breeding programme.  

Since the shoot season ‘proper’ has finished at Mornacott we have been gearing up to start our pheasant breeding programme. Each year a number of the pheasants released have been bred and reared on the estate.

The process starts with ‘catching up’ where we set out a number of traps to ensnare our hen pheasants which we can then use for breeding. This year after the catch up traps were set, we fed the pheasants around the traps for a week, allowing them to acclimatise. After the time elapsed we closed the traps, still allowing the pheasants to feed but not to escape, this resulted in a total of 750 caught pheasants over a three day period, more than enough to start our breeding programme.  


25th January 2013
The Show must go on

So close to the end of the shoot season we thought that we’d escaped snowy shoot days but it was not to be!

So close to the end of the shoot season we thought that we’d escaped snowy shoot days but it was not to be!

Snow came fast and furious and the 19th and despite some pretty slippery roads the team due to shoot that day made it to Mornacott without mishap and the home team pulled out all the stops to ensure that they experienced a first rate day.

With guns coming from all over the country (indeed from Northern Ireland and beyond on the 19th) it seems rather strange to visitors that beaters and others have problems getting here but then our guests travel on major routes (and we’re only a short distance from the North Devon linkroad) and many of the home team have to travel across the wilds of Exmoor to reach us – nonetheless we’ve had a full complement on nearly every day which speaks volumes for the dedication and commitment of the team!

The 22nd saw another snowy day resulting in our doing some of the drives in an unusual way but that didn’t stop our guests enjoying themselves to the full and achieving a very healthy end of season bag! 


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.  


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