Nick and Ruth first moved to Suffolk in July 2015 having bought Low Farm some months previously. Their primary objective was to open a Therapy Centre for children with autism and other additional needs. Both Nick and Ruth had worked for over a decade at a specialist school in London, Ruth in particular forging a very successful career as a speech and language therapist and running the school’s early years department amongst other senior management roles. In the 5 years since, Ruth has worked tirelessly to set the Low Farm Therapy Centre up and it has helped families from all over Suffolk and Norfolk. In amongst all this hard work they found time to renovate the main farmhouse, which now provides Nick and Ruth, and just as importantly their two faithful friends, a lovely home.
Whilst Ruth was pouring herself into the Therapy Centre and working every hour under the sun (and then some more) Nick had to learn on his feet about how to run the three holiday cottages on site. He also considered carefully how the leisure side of the business could meet its obvious potential. Slowly a cunning plan started to form, and plans were drawn up in 2017 to refurbish the cottages, add a new glamping site in an adjacent paddock, add new facilities and rebrand the holiday business, ready for Summer 2020.
In 2020 as we all know, the Coronavirus pandemic arrived and all of our lives were changed forever. Unfortunately this meant that the Therapy Centre in its current form has to be closed permanently. Ruth still hopes to work as an Independent Speech and Language Therapist and carry on helping families in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Despite the weather doing its worst and the usual hiccoughs along the way, Nick and Ruth are proud to introduce Barn Owl Glade Cottages and Glamping. The site now boasts 2 fully refurbished holiday cottages set in their own secluded garden area and 4 brand new Glamping Pods, fully equipped with en-suite bathrooms, kitchens and their own outdoor areas. To help guests enjoy their time on site as well as the time they spend exploring the surrounding areas, they have a plethora of facilities including a heated indoor swimming pool, a wi-fi lounge and games room, a children’s play area and a small country shop, alongside more mundane improvements like extending the car parking and landscaping the site.
Nick has very much enjoyed learning a new industry and in particular loves meeting and greeting his guests.
So, please do get in touch, he will always be happy to help!
THE HISTORY OF LOW FARM
Low Farm was once one of the largest arable farms in the area and dates from around 1550. All sorts of different farming has taken place over the years, including arable, dairy, turkey farming and everything in between. Certain modifications have taken place over the years; land was sold to accommodate the railway line from Ipswich to Lowestoft thus reducing the overall size to about 70 acres and then again more land was sold until the present day where the farm extends to roughly 25 acres.
Much of the farm is left to grass for grazing and to create areas for wildlife to thrive. We love the fact that many species of wildlife find a home on the farm. Most of our field margins and hedgerows have been left as natural as possible to encourage this. The area around the cottages can be a particularly good place to spot owls and bats. We’ve spotted 3 kinds of owl so far (tawny, barn and little owls) let us know if you spot any others. Dusk is the best time. We also get visitors like rabbits, pheasants and the odd muntjac deer and I’m sure you’ve noticed the mole hills! In fact in recent years one particular white, barn owl can be found sitting on the fence posts of the paddock where the new glamping site sits. We imaginatively called him Owly and he can occasionally be seen at dusk gliding majestically over the hedgerows and ditches looking for unsuspecting rodents. It was Owly who gave us the inspiration for the new name Barn Owl Glade.
The Old Orchard behind the current cottage area gave its name to the previous incarnation of the holiday business as it contained over 20 different varieties of apple tree, as well as several pear trees and a variety of plums. The cottages were all named after orchard fruit that can be found on site. Please feel free to pick and eat any fruit you might find, just make sure they are ripe!