Foxtwood Cottages was a self-build project started in 1995. It took us about four years to complete the shell, finish all the internal work in three cottages, our house and the workrooms. At this point we decided that we needed to concentrate on getting the gardens and grounds into shape and in the meantime we would see how the business developed.
2011 saw the last cottages finished just in time to start again with some refurbishment and improvement work on the first three. Then we might have time to look at finishing our own house!
We own about 30 acres (11 hectares) of land, roughly 16 on this side of Foxt road and 14 on the other on which we keep our small herd of Dexter cattle. We manage this as our own personal nature conservation area.
In 2003 we entered all of the land into the Countryside Stewardship Scheme overseen by the Department of Natural England. This scheme was active over a ten-year period, designed to restore and enhance the unique landscape of the English countryside while maintaining and enhancing the wildlife habitats that abound on our land. In 2012 we continued into the Higher Level Stewardship. In the last ten years our ground has been steadily reclaimed from over grown scrub to the more traditionally managed way of farming and we hope to continue in this way for the foreseeable future.
The HLS continues with projects like controlled grazing of our important species rich wild flower meadows, cutting for hay, rebuilding dry stone walls reinstating old field boundaries, managing the spread of scrub and bracken, laying hedges or simply replacing steel gates with traditional wooden ones. The new scheme now includes our woodland where we will be coppicing and creating woodland clearings, develop woodland bird habitat and control invasive dominant trees and shrubs. We will use the felled timber for firewood. We would only be too pleased to take you for a guided walk.
We would like to encourage schools and wildlife groups to visit Foxtwood by making a round the estate walk enabling the more difficult places to be accessible. This in turn will hopefully benefit you our guests who might wish to see more of our special place. Please feel free to explore the paths that you can find but young children must be kept on a lead at all times. If you would like to see our Dexter cattle do ask.