Words by Charles Francis
Nestled in 36 acres of farmland and woods, The Woodland Collection offers superb facilities for guests and their four-legged friends. Situated between the pretty coastal town of Marazion, with its dog-friendly pubs, cafes and boutiques, and Hayle, with three miles of golden sandy beaches and dunes, it also comes with 36 acres of farmland and woods, and inland delights on the doorstep.
The farm’s origins lie with Joseph Henry Crewes, who was born in the 1880s and realised in his teens that he enjoyed working with stone – many local hedges and barns were built by his industrious hands. Joseph was a hard worker with aspirations to have his own farm, but working conditions and pay were poor, and people were starving as the tin mines closed all over the county.
Joseph was among the Cousin Jacks, those who sought work abroad; he set off for the USA, leaving his new wife at home until he had earned enough money to pay for her passage. They returned to Cornwall in 1909 and bought what is now Sunrise Farm, building a house using the granite stone from a disused tin mine. The land was poor, but Joseph resolved to cultivate it, growing violets and anemones for the flower market in London’s Covent Garden.
Daughter Eileen took over the farm with her husband, Jack, in the 1960s; Eileen’s son, Richard Angove, moved to the farm in 2011 with his wife, Helen. Together with their two daughters, the third and fourth generation started a major restoration and conservation project, building four eco-friendly cottages and regenerating an area for the native flora and fauna to enjoy, digging two wildlife ponds and planting over 200 new trees – predominantly holly, oak, sycamore and beech, with the addition in 2019 of young magnolias, chestnuts, crab apple, wild cherry, elderfower and blackthorn.
Today, daffodils are grown commercially, making the farm a beautiful place to stay in early spring, and barley is harvested in August. Brown trout have colonised the ponds, along with moorhen and frogs; pheasant, woodpeckers and buzzards are neighbours in the fields and skies, and water voles, heron, badgers, foxes, and deer visit from time to time.
“The conservation area and woods are not only a haven for plants and wildlife, but also the perfect place for guests to relax and unwind from the stresses of modern-day life,” says Helen. “It’s so sheltered and peaceful down there – perfect for picnics and barbecues. Having worked in the City, I know how special it is to take a lungful of fresh air, wander through the fields and gaze long into the evening at the shooting stars overhead. It’s a pure joy to welcome our visitors to this little slice of Eden.”
Dog owners will be especially impressed with the facilities on offer. Each cottage has an enclosed private garden with warm outdoor shower to wash off sandy/muddy paws after your day’s adventure. Leather sofas can be wiped clean easily, and doggy boxes with extra bowls, toys and treats are provided, meaning you don’t need to bring excess equipment. Dog crates can also be hired for a small fee.
Dogs have plenty of space on the farm, with a two-acre exercise paddock which is grassed and fenced, and a nature trail down through the fields to woods, stream and ponds. This is a barley and flower farm, so there’s no livestock to worry about; as such, if your dogs have good recall, they can be left off the lead from the doorstep.
Cornwall Council has recently loosened restrictions for dogs on beaches. Porthkidney, Long Rock and The Towans beach at Hayle are close by, dog-friendly all year round and not subject to any restrictions. Inland, the National Trust’s Godolphin Estate is Close almost next door, with free woodland walks, and from the summit of Godolphin Hill you can see both north and south coasts on a clear day.
Most pubs and cafes in the area are dog-friendly, but it’s worth checking if you are planning to book. Richard and Helen recommend the Falmouth Packet at Rosudgeon, and the Victoria Inn at Perranuthnoe – and for real ale enthusiasts, The Star Inn at Crowlas.
For further information, call 07786 268828 or visit www.woodland-collection.co.uk