Staunton Country Park Farm


A few days ago we spent a cracking day with some of our grand children. We visited Staunton Country Park Farm, a calm oasis just a short distance out-of-town. Calm that is, if you ignore the general hubbub of the excited children feeding the animals or in the play park.

From the Staunton website ….

Our farm, based on the 1830s style ferme ormeé (ornamental farm), is home to many different animals. Ranging from the everyday farm animal, like pigs, sheep, Shetland ponies, and chickens, to a selection of other animals such as llamas, a Poitou donkey and alpacas.

Here are just a few snaps that I took between pushing grandchildren on swings or carrying the youngest. Operating a Canon EOS 7D Mk II single-handed is no mean feat, weighing, as it does, nearly as much as my great-grandson.

So, for your delectation and delight ….

All in all a great place to take young children.

The farm is just part of the greater country park which has walking and cycling trails as well as three permanent orienteering courses. In the past we have hired bikes and explored the park. Sadly they no longer do the bike hire.

Staunton Country Park is a real gem and right on my doorstep.

Limousin, France – Day 5 Evening


Finding ourselves back at the gite, a little earlier than we expected, a couple of us decided to go for a walk up into  La Porcherie. The gite is situated in a very quiet corner of a very quiet village so we were able to stroll the lanes with no concerns about traffic. Here are a few shots I took along the way.

This is the lane that gives access to the gite.

This is the lane that gives access to the gite.

Behind the gite there are three lakes from which the water trickles, one to the next before passing through some kind of water treatment works. The water then passes on to the large lake which can be viewed below the gite. Whoever, owns and works at the water works had created a rather stylish rock patio set.

I think Fred & Wilma probably live here. Actually an improvised outdoor dining set for our nearest neighbour.

I think Fred & Wilma probably live here. Actually an improvised outdoor dining set for our nearest “neighbour”.

Just a few yards from the lane leading to the gite, at the side of the road, we came across a totally random collection of flowers. Not in someones garden, just at the side of the road. Beautiful.

Beautiful. A random roadside collection of flowers.

Beautiful. A random roadside collection of flowers.

Across the road from the flowers was a field containing three horses. We were rather puzzled by the fact that all were sporting blindfolds. Perhaps they were playing some kind of equine “Blind Mans Bluff” ? We were later informed, by the owners, that this was to protect their eyes from flies. The horses were visited two or three times a day and the blindfolds were removed at times when the flies were less apparent.

A horse playing "Blind Mans Bluff" or perhaps "pin The Tail On The Donkey"

A horse playing “Blind Mans Bluff” or perhaps “pin The Tail On The Donkey”

As we entered La Porcherie we came across this old shop front. Apparently La Porcherie used to have shops and an active restaurant but all are gone now. It is a shame but does, of course, mean that the village remains very peaceful.

La Porcherie, France - Old Shop Front

La Porcherie, France – Old Shop Front

The church here dates from the 12th century. Unfortunately, I have forgotten if it is dedicated to a particular saint. To the left of the church is the now defunct restaurant. Anyone want to start a new business. The canvass is completely blank.

La Porcherie, France - 12th Century Church

La Porcherie, France – 12th Century Church

La Porcherie, France - Village Well

La Porcherie, France – Village Well

As we strolled around the village we came across the war memorial. As we were to see in many other towns and villages, the names listed  really drive home the devastating impact the first world war must have had. Not just to the families but to whole communities. When you see that single families lost two, three or even four members, it really drives home the futility of war.

La porcherie, France - Monument to the fallen of the 1914-1918 war.

La porcherie, France – Monument to the fallen of the 1914-1918 war.

One thing the Limousin is renowned for is it’s cattle. They really are solid looking beasts, much more robust than there English counterparts. And, as one of our group commented, rather glamorous with their long eyelashes and the lighter markings around the eyes, reminiscent of mascara only white. This fine example studied us intently as we made our way back to the gite.

Limousin Cow

Limousin Cow

On our return to the gite we were able to relax with a nice cold glass of Leffe Ruby which was nicely set off by this wonderful sunset.

La Porcherie, France - Sunset

La Porcherie, France – Sunset