This year at Swan Barn Farm we have a bit of an easter treat for kids big and small. On 7th April there will be a woodland easter egg trail at Swan Barn Farm. It costs £2 to take part, there will be a trail of clues to answer around the woodland and fields and at the end they can claim their easter egg prize. There is plenty of parking in Haslemere town centre and from there it is pretty easy to find your way either down Collards Lane or across the fields behind the car park where the farmers market is held to the start point.

For grown up’s it will be an opportunity to see Swan Barn Farm at its best. The woods are looking fantastic at the moment with the spring wild flowers approaching their peak.

The flowers on the willow trees are alive with the sound of buzzing bee’s collecting pollen to feed to the new brood back in the hives.

Also this week the hazel and hawthorn buds have started to burst. The woods are turning green again.

The pictures in this post were taken within 10 minutes walk of the High Street in Haslemere. I know I am biased, but I think Swan Barn Farm is one of the best things about the town. There are so few places left these days where open countryside can be found right next to the town centre. Within the space of a few minutes you can leave the bustle behind you and be strolling along a woodland stream with celendines and wood anenomies blooming for all they are worth along its banks.

The celendines are one of my absolute favourites, I know they are relatively common, but when they catch and reflect the spring sunlight they are prettier than anything you could find in any garden.

The first bluebells of the year are flowering as well, in a couple of weeks time they should be looking great.

Meanwhile, back on the speckled wood project things have been moving on inside the building. We now have internal doors, door frames and linings and skirting boards. I am really pleased with how they look.

Downstairs in the main roon the kitchen has been taking shape too.

It was handmade from Scots pine which was felled on Black Down as part of our Heathland Restoration Project. I remember the day Matt and I felled the trees for it. There was snow on the ground and a freezing fog in the air, all in all it couldn’t have been more different to how the weather has been recently.

The logs sat at Swan Barn Farm for several months before being milled and then kiln dried to ensure they wouldn’t warp and move in the finished kitchen. As they waited to be milled they developed staining which is characteristic of pine called blueing. This greeny blue stain forms in the wood and is often frowned upon when the wood is used for joinery (allthough it is an easy way to id sawn pine). But, I think it looks pretty, it adds character to the kitchen. Knowing where it came from and how it got here makes it fit in with the way the whole build reflects the local landscape. Hopefully later in the year it will be being used for some of the harvest from the new vegetable patch.

I was particularly pleased with how the shelves turned out, they are scribed around the cruck and jowel posts and make really useful storage areas in what would otherwise have been wasted space.

The slate for the worktops was made out of an old planter that used to reside in the garden of a nearby National Trust cottage. It was falling apart but the pieces were saved when the cottage was refurbished. I got to hear about it and managed to purloin them for the kitchen, they have needed cutting into a bit of a jigsaw to make them fit, but I think they are going to work really well. They certainly look good, and being recycled fit right in to the ethos of the build.

Things are moving on, and we are hoping to be finished sometime in the next month or so. Sometime soon we will be looking for people to come and stay in the new building and volunteer in the local countryside. More on that soon I hope.