We're at PL13 1NZ, on the coast of south-east Cornwall (see map). We're 4 miles from Looe, 8 miles from Liskeard (main line railway station), 16 miles from Plymouth, 60 miles from Exeter, 140 miles from Bristol.
This part of Cornwall is much quieter and more secluded than Newquay, Padstow, Falmouth, Penzance. Our land is on the gentle green, hilly and wooded south coast – and just a couple of miles away in one direction is the village of Seaton / Downderry, splendid for holidaymakers and (occasionally) surfers, and the other way is Looe, a proper working fishing village with a couple of good beaches as well. We have no other centres of population near us.
Above is a satellite shot of our land, which stretches across from side to side, and from the lane down to the seashore. The coach house is inside our own Caradon Coastal Reserve, on hills overlooking Looe Bay, with breathtaking sea and coastal views. On a clear day you can even see the Lizard peninsula, 40 miles away!
We keep rare breeds of sheep, plus goats, chickens and horses/ponies, and we encourage them to live as long and natural a life as possible. Their job is to help keep the land in good heart, and they seem to enjoy that quite a lot.
Whatever the weather is here, we get a lot of it! For a more accurate forecast than many, try metcheck.com and the amazing magicseaweed.com and tides4fishing.com.
In our 70 acres (29 ha) and half-mile of coastline, we've created our very own private nature reserve, the Caradon Coastal Reserve. We’re members of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, and we manage the land to encourage wildlife as much as possible; the land is home to some very rare species of butterflies (Pearl-bordered fritillaries and Dingy skippers) and bats, as well as slow-worms, voles, shrews, squirrels, hedgehogs, badgers, foxes ... even deer, which can be glimpsed if you’re quiet (and lucky)! Birdlife here includes bullfinches, owls, mallards (see photos here and in the Gallery), woodpeckers, pheasants taking refuge from a nearby shoot - and perhaps, one day, Cornish choughs.
The full length of our shoreline borders one of the UK’s Marine Conservation Zones, set up to help conserve marine wildlife and fish stocks. So you can be sure that beneath the waves is a wide (and increasing) range of sealife getting on with its business just as nature intended - including seahorses, sea bass, pink sea fans, cuttlefish, basking sharks. In the bay and around the island you can often see seals; and dolphins have appeared more than once.
At night? For starters, there are the lights of the village of Looe, 4 miles away, twinkling across the water (see photo on More Info > Things To do page), and the lights of fishing boats and the loom of the Eddystone lighthouse 12 miles away. Looking up … whatever we get, we get a lot of it here. Clouds? Yes! - but on a clear night the stars spangle the sky in their thousands.
The Coach House may well have origins dating back over 1,000 years; its basic layout and proportions are almost identical to those of a known Anglo-Saxon building near Great Hound Tor on Dartmoor. In more recent times, it was used as the coach house (that is, where the coachman lived, along with the coach and horses) for our grandiose – but now ruined – country house 50 yards further down the hill.
Windsworth is home to a range of animals; those that have found their way here have a home for life – and it’s usually a long life. We give them conditions that meet their instinctive needs and allow them to express their normal behaviours.
We have several goats: two handsome white (and very friendly) Saanens, Colin and Neville; we’re not quite so sure of the parentage of the others – Bobby, Toby and Grommet. They live in steep fields on the edges of the coastal slope, and their job is to demolish brambles, thistles and docks and undergrowth in general, making space for the rare butterflies. They’re clearly very happy in their work!
We have a small flock of sheep; Jacobs (with horns, and brown and white patches) North Ronaldsays (a rare breed from the Orkneys), Ouessants (small, black, bouncy and insatiably curious, from the island of Ushant off the end of Brittany) and Soays (small and agile – almost deer-like; the most primitive UK breed of sheep). They, too, free range in our fields, and a few of them are very friendly.
We also have some horses and ponies grazing here from time to time.
And ... one of our chickens has attracted a rather unusual (and bashful) suitor! If you have children and you come here in spring/summer, they may be able to collect warm, freshly laid eggs from the nesting boxes .. but if our chicken hatches the current clutch, we'll have chickhants!