HMS Illustrious

Value, Challenge and Inspire!

   Mar 03

A shout out to Louise`s Mummy.


Happy birthday Mummy, hope you have a great day.  The present is on its way. Love you loads. Louise.

   Mar 03

Mr Bainbridge’s Group 3 at work..,

Mr B’s group sorted the ponies and donkeys this morning, cleaning out stables very efficiently. The animals were groomed and turned out on to their field. Our star worker was Madeline, who even picked up dirty straw by hand! (She did wash afterwards!)

   Mar 03

Lambs in the Night

We haven’t been lucky enough to see anything born yet, although there are calves due and one decided to arrive on Sunday night, too late for us to be called. The pedigree Charolais sheep at Parsonage Farm are also about to lamb and one ewe already has a double, born after the last school left and before we arrived!

Last night, Miss Carty and Mrs Walton walked us down to Parsonage Farm after tea. There we fed the calves (our favourite job, as we get really close to the babies, feed them milk formula and shake straw in each little pen- and we can touch them!) but it’s hard to photograph as the light is dim.

calves 1 calves 3




Then we checked the pregnant ewes and had the chance to go out into the orchard in the dark, to catch and hold one of the ewe lamb twins!

   Mar 03

Barrow Kings and Queens……

On Monday we helped to widen the area in front of Nethercott House so that the coaches can turn more easily and staff have more parking space. It was an extra Farm Task time, when we do anything that will help the farmers or the charity – whatever needs doing at the time.

Some people were champion shovellers, others were champions with the barrow. Both Mr Bainbridge’s group and Mrs Southworth’s group were excellent workers and we got loads done!

   Mar 03

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud!

Stock checking walk...

We are experiencing all kinds of weather this week – hail, snow (on Dartmoor nearby), rain, rainbows, wind, cloud… but sunshine too! As you can see, we LOVE the muddy meadows, lanes, ditches and paths…….



   Mar 02

Manic Monday!


Today has dawned bright and sunny (after a short hailstorm) and the children are all raring to go, having been fuelled by bacon rolls for breakfast.
Dorm inspections are becoming a feature of the week- the children are even co-operating with other dorms to come up with clever ideas! This morning Parsonage went missing- when Mr B went to wake up the boys, all he found was beds with pillows stuffed down them. The boys were hiding -silently- in the empty dorm next door!


Everyone is out working now – look out for group pics of each working group in action, later today… Hopefully there will be time in our non-stop timetable! 🙂

   Mar 01

Day two!!





We have had a fantastic day. Farm tasks in the morning followed by a lovely Pork Roast. This afternoon we had a walk which was very very wet and muddy!!!!! Once the walk had finished the rain stopped. Group 2 and 3 had to stay out as they still had farm tasks to finish. Group 1 had to head out in the dark to feed the calves later. We are now all tucked up in bed.

   Feb 28

Nethercott Day One!!


Friday night was (mostly) good and everyone was up and ready by 7.10am…… (yes, really!). Torridge were a bit bleary eyed due to an overexcited late night!

Group 1 went to the new poultry field (it’s moved since last year!), Group 2 went to the dairy and Group 3 were on the trailer to Bridgetown to feed cattle and to remove 2 rams from among the ewes. Lots of sheep driving along the lanes.

After a bacon and egg breakfast, it was back out to complete our jobs. Lots to do! Weather was cloudy but dry…. until just after lunch.

Afternoon activities included Forest School, stick picking – and some poo shifting; cleaning out the donkeys and ponies.

Then we were on our first change of jobs. One cycle completed already!  We saw 2 newborn lambs at Parsonage and a calf less than 12 hours old – we hope we will see some births during the week as there are several cows who are due and some of Graham’s sheep are beginning to lamb.

Highlight of the day – Graham’s gander chasing Mr B!

Due to technical hitch more photos will follow tomorrow.