Please use the ‘set-aside’ strips around the farm when walking unsupervised.
We are happy to introduce you to our four-legged or feathered friends, however animals can be unpredictable and dangerous, therefore any contact with our animals needs to be supervised. During your visit we can arrange a mutually convenient time for a supervised introduction.
There is electric fencing around the animals’ field – please don’t lean over the wooden fence it could be a shocking experience!
Set in the Vale of York near the market town of Thirsk - made famous by the James Herriot stories, lays the farm of Alan & Tricia Phillips. Morndyke has featured in the popular TV series ‘The Yorkshire Vet’, the farm produces, hay and corn - continuing the Phillip’s 100 year old family tradition.
Amongst the collection of retired and competition horses, graze the small flock of sheep that were once destined for the meal table. The free range hens and turkeys that started their lives in factory farms strut and cluck in busy contemplation in the safety of their run.
If you are either a hardened fisherman or just a happy amateur, relax and while away the day by our well-established two acre coarse fishing lake that is situated next to the shepherd’s huts. It is stocked with mirror, common and grass carp; roach; golden and green tench; barbell and chub. Beware though, the fish are fighters so don’t let your guard down too far and ensure to bring strong tackle!
Do you enjoy bird spotting? If so, pack your binoculars, scope and cameras and head to the open spaces of the disused airbase that borders the farm. Yellow, grey and pied wagtails, oystercatchers, whitethroats and reed buntings can often be seen flitting about. Buzzards regularly fly overhead, kestrels ‘on fire hang still’ - to quote Dylan Thomas - watching for unsuspecting rodents; there has even been a rare sighting of a grasshopper warbler singing at dusk in one of our trees in the glamping field.
For those keen birders, do visit these nearby bird reserves:
• Nosterfield (near West Tanfield) approx. 8miles – local nature reserve (on 2 small sites).
• Garbutt Wood (below ‘The White Horse’) approx. 10 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust - peregrines regularly nest in the cliffs here.
• Staveley Yorkshire Wildlife Trust approx. 13 miles – otters and a wide range of birds can be found here (large site).
We also have a bird feeding station on site. We encourage our guests to fill the feeders and attempt to identify the different birds that visit the station. In addition to this there nest boxes and bat boxes situated around the farm including a barn owl box.
We are passionate about creating wildlife habitats and so have planted a wild flower garden on the site. Please bear with us. It takes time for this to become established and at certain times of the year, it will look scruffy and unkempt.
There might also be plants in it that you think are weeds – they probably are! These all are our native British wild plants and as such provide a rich and diverse environment for our native British wild bees and butterflies.
Please enjoy the spectacle and respect the creatures that it attracts.
We also have trough planters next to each hut. If the plants in these planters look a bit thirsty, please feel free to give them a drink using the watering can provided.