As a working small farm, Southlands is home to a growing family animals. As well as our own dogs, we have chickens, Dexter Cows, Kune Kune Pigs and Horses.
Call Charles or Dee for more information
01434 681 464 or 07876 455 620
Meet our Friendly Farm Animals
We're a working farm (in addition to running the self catering cottages) and that means our animals are as much a part of the family as, well, the rest of the family! They're all friendly and if you'd like to meet them, feel free to ask us for a tour and an introduction.
Dexters At Southlands
Dexter cattle first came to England in 1882 and in March 2008, 3 yearling black heifers - Valentine, Celtic and Mini - arrived and started the Southlands Dexter herd.
We had been looking at the Dexter breed because of its size (the smallest cattle breed), rare breeding, mothering abilities and great quality meat. We searched the sales pages and talked to lots of knowledgeable people. Finally we decided to take a trip to Cumbria following up an advert on the Dexter society web site about three yearlings.
We set off in the rain and after a long journey arrived at the farm. The heifers looked very small in the huge shed. While we were in the area we also visited a big established herd of Dexter’s called the 'Harron herd', we where kindly shown around and given a great deal of information about the breed and what a show quality cow should look like. We headed home to explain our day...
A week later after lots of preparation to the stable and paddock the three young heifers arrived. Since then they have become a great asset to the farm. They are confident, good-natured and have successfully become halter trained. Since then we have become well and truly hooked on Dexter cattle. The herd is rapidly growing, after the original three we went on to buy two cows in calf Tulip and Victoria aka 'POSH' and two weaned calves Summer (Posh's calf) and Wee Mary our first red cow. Betsy was the next to arrive, a five year old cow with rather large ears!
We soon decided a bull was needed and we felt a bit of young fresh blood would be a good idea. We found a super young chap for our girls in Colchester. And after a two day round trip towing the horse box we brought him home.
Since then Tulip has had a little bull calf Barty, the first to be born here at Southlands.
Meet the herd:
Mini was our smallest. Some might have called her a "runt" but that's not fair, what she lacks in stature she makes up for in other ways; she has a foot fetish and will follow you for ages, just for a lick of your shoes.
Celtic is the middle of the bunch, and not an extrovert, though she has a confidential nature, on a one to one basis can be very amenable when in the mood.
Valentine likes to think she's in charge (but Tulip won!); she was born on 14th February 2007, has the "showiest" conformation, and thinks she is it, so we don't mention the minor blemishes, and she stays happy.
Tulip is a big girl! She loves her food and is a rather heavy breather but she has proven to be a brilliant Mum to little Barty and surprisingly good natured on a halter. We have all grown very fond of her.
Victoria is petite, sweet and easy to handle on the halter. She is still a great Mum to Summer and due to calf any day now.
Summer is a quite little cow, very much like her Mother in both looks and character except she has rather large horns.
Mary is a small red Dexter. Her face always looks serious and there is a rumour she is as wide as she is long but she is very sweet.
Betsy takes life at a slow pace and we all love her big fluffy ears. She is the oldest of our cows and is happiest when she is doing her own thing.
Grindle the bull is very handsome with his thick curly coat, he has settled in brilliantly. He was very young when we got him and is now starting to fill out and look quite the part.
Barty was born in November. He has the softest of fur and is looked after by all the heard and he is great friends with Wee Mary. We are starting the process of halter training with him.
Kune Kune Pigs
The kune kune pigs joined us in Summer 2007 and since then have become very loved members of the family. Kune kunes are said not to like digging up the ground but take it from us - it's completely untrue: they like nothing better than rooting around! If you'd like to meet them, Ruby and Poppy live up past the meadow on the right, just next to the hens.
Ruby is the bigger and more traditional looking of the two pigs she has a naughty, bossy and boisterous character but underneath is the shyer of the two
Poppy is much smaller than Ruby and is very friendly and cute. Although she does not come across as naughty when food is involved she gets what she wants in the end. Poppy has also made good friend with the other animals especially Gasket and Toggie the pony!
We have a dozen egg-laying hens on the farm, perfect for delicious breakfast eggs for our guests! We've recently added a Light Sussex and ten of her chicks to the brood as well.
“Our two weeks at Southlands have been wonderful, very peaceful and relaxing. Charles and Dee have been tremendous hosts, they couldn’t have been more helpful. Clay pigeon shooting in the fields with Alan was a definite highlight. All in all a great place for a well deserved break."
Nick and Louise. Stevenage, North Herts.
Our Green Credentials
At Southlands we endeavour to develop and manage the impact of our business on the environment in as sustainable way as possible.
We are members of the Green Tourism Business Scheme and have recently gained the Gold Award for our endeavours
A Living History
Southlands is a small, 37-acre working farm with a story stretching back hundreds of years. We believe the farmhouse is one of a handful of mediaeval Northumbrian longhouses built during the reign of Henry VIII.
These days, the cottages are a little more insulated than they might have been then, and a lot more comfortable for our guests!