Hedgehogs in Decline in the Cotswolds

5923840638_7c688e1805_oIt has been four years since we rehomed a couple of hedgehogs in our grounds at The Manor House. They were released near a log pile at the back of one of our barns but despite looking out for them on several occasions we never caught sight of them again.

Hedgehogs numbers are in decline across the country and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has just launched a new report warning that the hedgehog is under serious threat in Gloucestershire and that if the trend continues hedgehogs may soon no longer be a part of our ecosystems.

The Trust is calling on the people to get involved to help monitor hedgehog numbers by letting them know if a hedgehog has been ‘sighted’ or ‘not-sighted’ and over 600 sightings have already been added to their map.

For more information and to download a copy of the State of Natural Environment Gloucestershire hedgehogs in decline 2015 please visit the Trust’s website.



Debbie Williamson
Broadway Manor Cottages



Bumblebees Nesting in the Eaves

White tailed bumble bee

White-tailed bumblebee on the beech hedge

White-tailed bumblebees (Bombus lucorum) are currently nesting in the eaves of Willow Cottage. Around the guttering a small ‘swarm’ of bees can be seen. We have been reassured that they are male bees which will not sting so there is no need to be alarmed and that the best course of action is to let the bees nest in peace and enjoy watching the bees come and go!

Inside the nest will be the queen bee, who will lay the eggs. Around her will be the worker bees who will help look after the nest, collect food and raise the new offspring. It is not expected that the nest to live long and that it will die naturally within the next few months, after the new queen bees have flown the nest to hibernate in the soil for the winter.

Otters in the Grounds stealing our Goldfish!

A couple of weeks ago we cleaned and refilled our ornamental pond. During the process we collected all the goldfish (over 60 in total), several frogs and toads, and returned them to the clean pond along with a number of re-potted water lilies. Three weeks later and we have lost nearly 40 fish!  At first we thought a heron had been raiding the pond but the evidence suggests otherwise: it looks like a wild otter or two has been sneaking into the garden at night to eat his or her way through our fish.

Sightings of otters in Badsey Brook, which flows through our grounds, have been recorded by the Environment Agency, and we have found otter spraints and secretions around the edge of our pond along with the remains of half-eaten and chewed fish and otter prints in the sediment on the sides and bottom of the pond. It seems that we will have to move the remaining fish or they will be eaten!

Otter print in the sediment in the pond

Otter print in the sediment in the pond

Otter secretion on the edge of the pond

Otter secretion on the edge of the pond



Debbie Williamson
Broadway Manor Cottages


A Good Year for Grapes

DSC_2718It looks like it’s going to a bumper year for grapes. Our vines in the courtyard are doing very well this year – the damp spring and recent hot and dry weather has resulted in several large of bunches of grapes.

Our raspberries are also plentiful, I have just picked 4lbs of fruit to be made into jam for our welcome hampers.


Debbie Williamson
Broadway Manor Cottages

Nature Reserves in the Cotswolds

A number of nature reserves can be found in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Nature reserves are the best places to get up close to flora and fauna and are home to many types of meadows, grasslands, wildflowers and wildlife. Some natures reserves in the Cotswolds, not far from our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway, include:

  • Cotswold Commons & Beechwoods National Nature Reserve, Painswick Valley near Stroud – which includes some of Britain’s fines beechwoods and limestone grasslands.
  • Elliott (Swift’s Hill) Nature Reserve (Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust) – in the beautiful Slad Valley immortalised in Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider with Rosie’.
  • Greystones Farm Nature Reserve (Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust) – home to the Salmonsbury Meadows Site of Special Scientific Interest.
  • Radway Meadows Nature Reserve (Warwickshire Wildlife Trust) – species rich meadows near Kineton.
  • Brown’s Folly Nature Reserve (Avon Wildlife Trust) – flower-rich grasslands and ancient woodland.
  • Foxholes Nature Reserve (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust) – woodland along the River Evenlode particularly noted for its bluebells.

Broadway Manor Cottages
Award winning self-catering holiday cottages

Electric Vehicle Charging Points at Broadway Manor Cottages

ev-charging-stationAt Broadway Manor Cottages we have installed two electric vehicle charging points which are available free of charge to our guests staying in our Cotswold holiday cottages (a small charge may apply to other users, please contact us for further information).

We have a ‘Slow’ point, a standard 13 Amp supply (6-8 hours for full charge) currently the most common method of charging electric vehicles and a ‘Fast’ point with a 32 Amp supply (3-4 hours).

Nearly all electric models can be slow charged with a charging cable with the appropriate connectors; a standard three-pin plug or Blue Commando connector (IEC 60309) at the charging point end and either a Commando unit or the more modern gun shaped SAE J1772 socket for connection to the vehicle.

Fast charging reduces charge times to around half that of a slow charge by at least doubling the current to around 32 amps (7 kW). The time for a full charge is typically 3 to 4 hours. Most commercial and many public on-street chargers already use this technology however it is very likely that this charge rate will become increasingly used across the UK.

While not all electric vehicles are able to accept a fast charge at 32 amps, most can be connected to them (with the right connector) and will draw either 13 or 32 amps depending on their capability. While Blue Commando plugs (IEC 60309) were the most common connector type used at the charger end, these are steadily being replaced by the more versatile 7-pin Mennekes plug (IEC 62196).

If you would like to use our charging points please contact us for further information.


Broadway Manor Cottages
Award winning self catering Cotswold holiday cottages