The Farm & Animals
The farm itself is very quiet and private as it is nestled deep in the Nithsdale Valley in East Ayrshire. (Hence the name of the very friendly flock of Valais Blacknose Sheep here, the Nithsdale Valais Blacknose flock.)
Once you're down the drive you could literally be in another world with the peace and tranquility you'll find down here. The views on clear days down the valley are spectacular allowing you to see all the way down to the highest village in Scotland, Wanlockhead.
At night, because we are so secluded and so near the Galloway Forest Park the night skies, when clear, are absolutely stunning. Try counting all the millions of stars just looking up from your hot tub! The 75 acres of land on the farm is yours to explore. Go and sit in a field with the friendliest sheep you'll ever meet and grab some selfies with them. Say hello and give cuddles over the gate to always willing rescue horses, donkeys, ponies and Shetlands. Have fun and be entertained by some gorgeous and very amusing goats. We offer pampering sessions for the horses, ponies and donkeys as well as, during certain seasons, bottle feeding the orphaned/rejected or too much for mum lambs or kids. You can get as stuck in with the farm work as you like coming on some feeding rounds or if you'd like something more personal you can arrange for a guided tour with the owner, Cat, where she can tell you all about the animals, their stories and perhaps be able to give a treat or two to some of the animals.
The farm land is bordered by the stunning river Nith which you can walk along, taking a break at scenic points, or even take a picnic blanket from the lodge down to enjoy the stunning scenery and wildlife in peace. Fishing is also available, upon request, so if you fancy giving it a go you can bring your own equipment and go in search of the Salmon, Trout and Pike the river Nith is teaming with. Why not use the complimentary fresh farm eggs in your lodge to make something you can take down to the river with you to enjoy the peace and stunning views down there? There are a couple of woodland areas on the farm land which means we also have a fabulous selection of wildlife on the farm which guests have sometimes been able to spot, including, otters, Roe deer, kingfishers and an abundance of grey Herons. Over 40 species of birds have been recorded as living on or using the farmland. An animal and wildlife photographer's haven!
Meet The Animals
Horses, Ponies & Shetlands
I have a collection of horses, ponies and Shetlands on the farm, most of them rescues, ranging from two wee Shetlands to a big 18hh with a couple of ex-racers, Warmbloods, a cheeky Welshie and a Cob in between! They are all very friendly and love their cuddles. Some of them have come from horrific previous lives but are now living a life of relaxation and pampered retirement surrounded by their friends. Please note as these horses are rescue they are not rideable but love getting cuddles from guests. If you would like to ride there are plenty of riding schools in the area that can be recommended.
The Wonkey Donks
All of the donkeys on the farm are rescue donkeys from The Donkey Sanctuary. I am guardian to my own two wonkey donks, Doc & Bash and then all the other donkeys here are donkeys that I am looking after for The Donkey Sanctuary as a holding base for them. It is my job to take them in from whatever circumstance they found themselves in whether it be abuse, abandonment, neglect or relinquishment and help them become confident with humans again in order to possibly be rehomed. It is unbelievably humbling but also very rewarding work seeing a scared donkey blossom with some feed, cuddles, pampering and love into lovely friendly healthy donkeys. They each have their own individual personalities and are such cheeky characters! Guest have been incredibly helpful in the process to help the donkeys become more trusting of humans again.
Raffy, Bodhi and Gizmo are the farm's friendly kitty cats. Raffy will expect to be worshipped by just about everyone who comes to the farm. He arrived as a kitten to the farm in 2019, just a wee bundle of fluff and the doggies took to him immediately, quickly and firmly acknowledging him to be the best cushion in the house! He comes on walks with the doggies and me around the farm and has meetings of world domination with the donkeys and the sheep. If you ever see him with wet ears, he's been with the sheep and let them suck his ears. He needed some other feline companionship so Bodhi then arrived at the farm. Raffy immediately took Bodhi under his fluffy wing and they both adore each other, spending hours grooming each other or chasing each other around the house. Bodhi is much shier than Raffy as he was semi feral when he arrived so you may not see him as he hangs around a lot either by himself or with his other friends, the chickens and the ducks. Gizmo is the latest kitty cat to the farm, he arrived on the farm one day just a couple of days old with his mum but also with some horrifically infected eyes. He got all the medical attention he needed and basically got adopted into the family! I also have adopted 3 other rescue cats who you may see darting around the farm and yard at night but they are not interested in humans. They are from various cat rescue centres as they are feral cats that were found on rubbish dumps and in abandoned houses and are terrified of humans but are happy staying on the farm keeping their distance but being well fed with a warm and comfy hay barn for a bed.
The Woollies & Goaties
I have a flock of very friendly pet sheep and goats here on the farm. They have mostly all been raised on the bottle as they were orphaned, rejected or, if a triplet, too much for mum. So, they came here to be raised and kept as pets. The dogs absolutely adore the sheep and the goats, Dali especially, and seeing him mother them is a sight to behold! Some of the sheep and goats are rescues as they were either away to the butcher or relinquished as they weren't well looked after and had health issues. I also have a flock of Valais Blacknose sheep, known for being the friendliest and cutest sheep in the world. They are still quite a rare breed over here so I have entered into the world of breeding therefore at some points of the year the farm will have very cute wee lambs here. (Head on over to the Nithsdale Valais Blacknose page for more info on these fantastic sheep and the conservation work we are doing here). Every single one of my sheep and goats have names and they all love meeting guests and getting cuddles and treats from them. Guests are allowed to spend time sitting in the fields with them as they are great therapy!
I have 5 dogs on the farm, my collection of Spots, as they are all either a Dalmatian or Dalmatian crosses. Whenever guests arrive, they are the Welcoming Committee, giving everyone a very friendly welcome to the farm! First is my original Dalmatian boy, Dali, with whom I arrived up in Scotland in May 2019, having been by my side since 2016. Since being in Scotland I have adopted 3 rescue spotty girls, Wilma (My little tripod, Dalmatian/Collie cross), Cally (Crazy Cally, Dalmatian/Greyhound cross) and Mina (Minamoo, Dalmatian/ Terrier cross). Most recently, in Dec 2021, little puppy Schubert arrived on the farm and has settled in beautifully with the pack. He's not so little now! They are all extremely friendly and love saying hello to guests and getting lots of cuddles! Wilma's favourite position is on her back getting guests to pay the "tummy tickle tax"! They all free roam around the farm and land with me doing my jobs everyday, lending a paw or to be more precise, mostly getting in the way where they can! They are the most wonderful dogs and have very special relationships with myself, each other and all the animals here which has taken a lot of patience and training to achieve. Dali, Wilma and sometimes Cally sing along to the donkeys braying or the goats shouting and all of them absolutely adore the wee lambs and kids I sometimes have in to bottle feed and help mop up their milky faces.