Posted on

5 ways to make your dog walk even better

5 ways to make your dog walk special

Dog walks are automatically better when you stay at Woodfarm Barns – but here are five more tips to help you and your pup get the most out of your dog walks!

Take them somewhere new and exciting

As we said, dog walks are better when you stay at our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages at Woodfarm Barns! This is because your dog can be treated to a variety of different environments, from our fantastic Suffolk beaches to our tranquil countryside.

However, if you can’t make it over to our cosy cottages yet due to the fact that you’re self-isolating, you can still take your dog somewhere new that’s local to you! Turn a corner that you wouldn’t usually turn; head down a road that you’ve never walked before. You’ve probably got more options than you think!

Dog on a walk in Suffolk near Woodfarm Barns

Bring along a picnic for you and your pup

Picnics are great fun wherever you are! When you’re on your next dog walk, sling a lightweight picnic in a bag over your shoulder and enjoy some treats at your destination. A picnic is a great way to break up the walk and a good chance for you and your dog to get some rest.

You can even bring along some treats for your furry friend! Just make sure not to feed them too much if you’re planning to walk much further or engage in rigorous activity right after you’ve finished your picnic, as this puts your dog at risk of developing a distended stomach.

If you’re staying with us, there are plenty of local farm shops that offer delicious picnic foods. Take a look at our favourites here.

Exercise minds as well as bodies

Although we usually think of walks as exercising our dogs’ bodies, it’s also a great chance for them to exercise their minds! Walks present dogs with sights, scents and sounds that they may not have experienced before, and they love trying to figure out what they are!

If you usually take a familiar route and your dog has become used to it, you could always bring along a toy to keep their mind busy while they’re out. If you haven’t got a toy to bring with you, you could always try doing your regular walk backwards! This might be confusing for your dog at first, but you’ll soon see the excitement when they ‘rediscover’ their usual walk in a different way.

Dog playing with football near Woodfarm Barns, Suffolk

Practice agility

Almost anything can be used to practice agility with your dog, from tree stumps to low fences! If your dog already knows basic obedience, you should be able to work out how to train them to sit on top of or jump over objects. Bring treats to reward them when they get it right!

Bring your camera

We sometimes treat dog walks as a bit of a chore. But it doesn’t have to be like that! Treat your dog walk like a photo shoot so that you have physical memories to cherish. Keep your camera handy in case you spot a beautiful backdrop for your dog to post in front of!

Walkies at Woodfarm

Your dog will absolutely adore being on holiday at our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages! We don’t just tolerate dogs, we welcome them, which means that we have plenty of perks to help your dog feel at home.

There are many excellent dog walks right outside our front door, so we invite you to enjoy them while you join us for a stay! We also have two Historic Dutch Barges that are Dog-Friendly! 

Posted on

How to keep dogs safe in the car

There’s no questioning it – dogs are more than welcome at both our Luxury Cottages and unique, historical Dutch Barges! We provide all the comforts and conveniences that you need to keep your dog happy while staying with us. We think that a happy dog is equal to a safe dog, which is why we decided to put together a few handy tips on how to keep your dog(s) safe in the car when you’re (hopefully!) travelling down for a fabulous Suffolk holiday with us.

1. Give them a good walk before the journey

If you don’t want your pup to be jumping around in the car and stressing out both you and themselves, then make sure to give them a good walk or play to get rid of all that excess energy. It’ll stop them from bouncing around on the back seats or jumping up at the windows and looking at passers by, reducing the chance of injury just in case you need to make a sharp stop.

Black and white dog in back of car

2. Buckle up

Just like you, dogs should be safe and secure in cars! There are many ways to secure your dog in the car. The most popular is a car harness which attaches to a buckle. In a similar way that a seatbelt protects humans, this device protects your dog in case of an accident or a sudden stop. 

A barrier is another safety option, and should be used in tandem with a car harness. It’s comprised of a sturdy sheet which creates a barrier between the back and front halves of the car. Some completely cover the back seats of the car, providing a cradle for your dog, while some are just flat sheets which act as a ‘wall’.

3. Stop for rests

If you’re going on a long drive, rests are essential. In the case of your dog, rest breaks allow them to stretch their legs and go to the toilet. 

If your dog is quick to get their energy back, stop at a service station and take them for a walk on a lead so that they can exercise safely before getting back into the car. It’s best not to stop by the side of the road or in a lay-by for a rest break, as fast passing cars create unsafe conditions.

Dog looking out of car window

4. Temperature control

To ensure that your dog doesn’t overheat or get too cold, change the temperature of your car to a comfortable setting using your fans or air conditioning. 

Because dogs are covered in fur, it’s easier for them to overheat. If your dog is too hot, they will start to pant. You should keep an eye out for this clear indicator and change the temperature of your car immediately, as a dog that is too hot can become dehydrated or get heat stroke. 

It’s unlikely that you’ll set your car to a temperature that is too cold for your dog, as you will probably become uncomfortable much before your dog does (thanks to their fur).

5. Manage anxiety

If your dog is not used to travelling in a car, or they find it particularly stressful, you may want to use some techniques to manage their anxiety. All dogs are different, and what works for some may not work for others, but some tips for managing travel anxiety include:

  • Slowly introduce your dog to your car with rewards, such as dog treats
  • Start off with a series of short journeys with your dog in the car before embarking on any long journeys
  • Provide your dog with something familiar during the car journey such as a blanket or cushion from your home
  • Keep them occupied with their favourite toy

We hope these tips help in keeping your dog safe and happy on your car journey – wherever you’re going! If you would like to visit the wonderful rural and coastal county of Suffolk on your next break, find out more about our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages here, and our Unique Dog-Friendly Dutch Barges here. Lastly, discover more about our dog-friendly ethos here.

Posted on

Crash on Planet Trash

Jason and James - Crash on Planet Trash

What is Crash on Planet Trash and what does it have to do with Holiday Cottages? Well, kind of nothing, except that it is an amazing Suffolk based educational project that my friend James is a key part of. So we are trying to help raise some funds. Pleeeeease read on….

Ok, the really quick answer is that a friend of mine is an amazing illustrator and he uses his iPad to draw. He has suffered from depression in the past and his drawings really helped him through some dark times. He’s used them to raise money for MIND, and has now joined forces with Jason, the writer of a children’s book, who asked James to illustrate it. The goal is to get this book into schools across Suffolk, and beyond, to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our planet. It’s a fun book, designed to inspire kids not to litter.

Photo of Jason & James - Crash on Planet Trash
Jason & James – Crash on Planet Trash

Crash On Planet Trash is a children’s book about a pair of lovable aliens called Blip and Boom, who head off on a space adventure but end up on a planet full of trash. The story plots their journey across the planet to try and escape. The book culminates with a section focussing on their top 10 tips on the things we can do to reduce the damage being done to our planet.

Jason is the founder of a small Suffolk based social enterprise called Rubbish Walks CIC. They work to raise awareness about the issues of single use plastics, litter and waste in general. One of the key ways they do this is by engaging with, educating and inspiring as many children as they can. 

The two have collaborated to bring the book to life via a Crowdfunding campaign to get Crash on Planet Trash going, and they have done amazingly well! They hit their original target and have stretched the campaign so that they can roll the book out further afield.

We’re doing our little bit to help but I asked James if he could put together a short video especially for ‘Woodfarmers’ to explain a little bit about his work and the project.

It would be amazing if anyone reading this felt compelled to go to their Crowdfunding page and just donate just a few pounds for this incredible project. I’m really confident that they will have a positive impact on the children reading the book. It’s so professionally done and carries such an important message.

Blip & Boom - Crash on Planet Trash
Blip & Boom – Crash on Planet Trash

Thank you so much for reading and I do hope you can give a little to help this wonderful project reach a wider audience.

Click here to support ‘Crash on Planet Trash’…

Posted on

Visit England Gold Awards all round

Visit England Gold Awards for Woodfarm Barns & Barges

Visit England are, as the name suggests, the authority on tourism standards in our fair country. And for the sixth year in a row they have awarded us their Gold Standard for all of our Barns and Barges!

We are so pleased that the Visit England inspectors are continually impressed with what we do. Keeping on top of our maintenance and housekeeping regimes is paramount to us here at Woodfarm. It’s what keeps these guys happy, and more importantly, keeps our guests happy.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “it ain’t rocket science”. All I have ever done since the beginning is offer Barns, and then Barges, that are presented and equipped how I would like them if I was a guest. And we seem to keep getting it right.

Visit England Gold Awards for Woodfarm Barns & Barges
Visit England Gold Awards for all seven of our Barns

As I write this on a cold and drizzly Friday in the middle of November 2019, 60% of our guests this weekend are returning customers. We are immensely proud of this as this means people come and stay, they love it, and they come back. Not only that, but they tell their friends about us too as we have guests every week that have been recommended. And the nice people at Visit England know this. 

Visit England Gold Awards for Woodfarm Barns & Barges
Visit England Gold Awards for both of our Barges

Receiving the Gold Awards all round for the quality of our accommodation is great but they also mark us on our level of customer service. With hundreds of Five Star reviews on Tripadvisor, Facebook and Google, we seem to be hitting the sweet spot there too. And again, Visit England are aware of this.

It is a real team effort at Woodfarm, both with our Barns and Barges, so it’s great that Visit England recognise the work we put in

Posted on

Dog Passport – your dogs become OUR guests

Dog Passport - VIPooch

With a Woodfarm Dog Passport when they stay, your Dog becomes our VIPooch. What on earth is a VIPooch I hear you ask? Well, we all know what a VIP is, and at Woodfarm we value our human guests and prospective guests. However, we like to go one step further for your furry family and let returning Dogs come and stay for FREE as ‘our guest’! Because they are VIPooches!…

Dog Passport?!?! Or should we say ‘Pawsport’? (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

You don’t have to have a Dog to come and stay at our Barns or Barges (though some people think you do!) but the majority of our guests are Dog owners. That’s where we’ve built our reputation. We understand that your Dog is your ‘VIPooch’ and we’re known for providing them with a warm welcome, as well as catering for their needs and ensuring that you can relax.

We have thousands of rave reviews from happy Dog owners and have featured in a number of Dog Magazines, The Times, and on the TV!

VIPooch - The Seal of Approval
VIPooch – The Seal of Approval – your Dogs are Royalty around here!

With fully-enclosed gardens at the Barns, and a fully-enclosed 2 acre Meadow for our canine guests to run around in and meet each other, your VIPooch will have a great time. They’ll get loads of exercise amongst the wild grasses, with the scent of rabbits, muntjac deer, pheasants and lots of other wildlife.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes have fun in our meadow
Dogs of all shapes and sizes have fun in our meadow

The Barges are a different proposition obviously as they don’t have gardens, but your Dogs will still receive their very own Dog Passport and return for free. You do have room for them to join you in the fresh air on deck, with breath-taking river views. Ok, they may not rave about the views as much as you, but they’ll love all the amazing smells and sounds! You do have incredible walks right from the gangplank of both Barges too, which they will love!

Happy Dogs aboard our barges
VIPooch – Dog-Friendly Woodfarm Barns & Barges

We welcome up to three Dogs in each Barn and Barge and they’ll each have their own Dog Passport, as well as doggy treats. We have a small charge of £15 per Dog, per stay, to cover the extra work required in our cleaning and maintenance regime, when Dogs have been to stay. We charge as we believe it is fairer on our guests without Dogs that way. However, when they come back, they will be our guest!

Once your Dogs have been stay with us, then they will stay for FREE as ‘our guest’, the next time you come!

Yes, that’s right. Once your Dog has been to stay at Woodfarm, they’ll return as a VIPooch, free of charge next time, as our guest.

They will get their very own ‘Principality of Woodfarm’ Dog Passport when they stay, with lots of valuable information inside, such as Dog-Friendly beaches, walks and vet info etc. It also has the codes to ensure they come back FREE!

Dog Passport - VIPooch
VIPooch Doggy Passport from the Principality of Woodfarm

After your stay, we’ll drop you a line to remind you, to make sure your Dog comes FREE of charge next time.

Would you like a Dog Passport ( or 2 or 3) in the post?

If you’ve stayed with us before and you’d like your dog to have their own Woodfarm Dog Passport, just drop us a line and we’ll pop one in the post for each dog.

We have so many Dog-Friendly Pubs & Restaurants that your Dogs will love to visit, they’ll be wanting you to re-book as soon as you leave! CLICK HERE to see a few of our faves nearby.


Please note:
This is a brand new incentive, with affect from October 2019 and under no circumstances can we apply it retrospectively to any existing repeat bookings. It’s a new thing. It’s a bit like popping into Debenhams and seeing the jumper you bought last week is now in the sale; you can’t ask for the difference.  Sorry, we just can’t do it.

Posted on

Dog Showers with all our holiday cottages!

Dog showers for Mucky Pups at all our cottages! With a hot and cold water supply outside every cottage, come rain or shine, we’ve got it covered for your furry family.

Drizzly days with puddles & muddy fields? Not a problem. We laugh in the face of the British weather! Our Dog Showers are the perfect antidote for your filthy fur-babies.

Dog showers at Woodfarm Barns
Dog Showers are a must at certain times of the year for certain pooches!

The big blue buckets with our Dog Showers double up as paddling pools to cool off in the Summer, as well as baths in the winter. Sorry if your dog doesn’t fit in it but with hot and cold mixer taps in all our cottages, they will still have a lovely shower, whatever the weather!

Dogs are such a big part of what makes Woodfarm what it has become. We spotted years ago that dog-owners, who are looking to holiday in the UK, do like to have somewhere nice to stay for them, as well as their dogs. It’s not rocket science.

With the emphasis on warm welcomes for pooches and people alike, we’ve worked hard for a decade now (2019) making sure our cottages, and latterly our Barges too, are as high quality as we can make them. Other than providing you with dog treats, towels, bowls etc, for your dogs, we also have fully enclosed gardens with each of our Barns, as well as our amazing doggy meadow too! 

The dogs get to run around in 2 acres, mostly set to long wild grasses and wild flowers, with a path mown all around the perimeter. Have a look at our fab video here…

But all this outdoor fun comes at a price, which is usually muddy paw prints during the Autumn and Winter, because Woodfarm is for life, not just for the Summer! So how do we solve the muddy problem?

Dog Showers at the Mucky Pups Shower Station with every Barn and Woodfarm House

Dog Showers at Woodfarm Barns
Dog Showers with Hot & Cold taps at Woodfarm Barns

Each of our Barns, and Woodfarm House, comes with a Mucky Pups Shower Station, with hot and cold taps and a spray gun to ensure your mucky pups come back in with you all nice and clean. And the great bonus for them is the hot water tap to get the temperature just right in the colder weather!

Working with our friends at Doodledales

As if all that wasn’t enough, we also have dog shampoo supplied by our friends at Doodledales, just round the corner at Stonham Barns. They also supply the tasty, healthy dog treats we leave for your dogs too!

Please do visit them during your stay as they offer a FREE TREAT BAG with every purchase to our guests as part of our Preferred Partners scheme. 

Posted on

Brambles Animal Sanctuary

Brambles Animal Sanctuary is a not for profit animal sanctuary in neighbouring Norfolk. And we’d never heard of them until yesterday. Here’s how….

Brambles Animal SanctuaryBrambles Animal Sanctuary in Downham Market, Norfolk was completely unknown to us until a twist of fate caused by the weather. Due to heavy snow this week in Buckinghamshire, some first time guests who were really looking forward to their stay, couldn’t make it out of there. All was well in Suffolk with a light dusting and clear roads.

Fortunately they had taken out ‘Booking Protect’, which is an insurance policy we offer when booking. This covers all sorts of things, including adverse weather conditions so the good news is they get their money back. As gutted as both they, and we, were, they will be re-booking soon with us.

This all happened on the Friday morning they were due to arrive. Although it was really last minute I decided to see if we could offer the weekend break at a knockdown price but give all the money to a charity. I quickly put together a newsletter to send out to what we call our ‘VIP Rewards Group’, explaining the situation. I really didn’t think we’d be able to get anyone as it was such last minute. Boy, was I wrong!

Brambles Animal Sanctuary in Downham MarketI like to think we’ve done our bit over the years for various charities, so decided to offer the incoming guests the opportunity to choose where the money went. 

My phone didn’t stop ringing for hours and we had sold the break within ten minutes! Karen and Alan booked and headed down from Norfolk in the afternoon. I asked Karen where they would like the money to go and they said Brambles Animal Sanctuary in Downham Market, Norfolk. It’s a privately operated, not for profit, animal shelter near them and they have helped out in the past. I was really over the moon at this, as everything they do relies on donations and having dug a little deeper, it looks like they do amazing work! As you can see, they really do help all creatures, great and small.

I met Karen and Alan in the afternoon and they told me all about the great work that Sue does at Brambles, so they will be taking a cheque for £200 back to her when they leave.

Brambles Animal Sanctuary in NorfolkI’m really pleased that we could do this and make the most of a bad situation. Our original guests will be getting their money back from the insurance company, we had some new lovely guests who managed to get a bargain weekend, and most satisfying of all, a not for profit animal sanctuary will be get a little extra cash this weekend. All because it snowed. 

So if you live in or near Norfolk and are able to help them in any way, please get in touch with them by clicking HERE to visit their Facebook Page.

I’m humbled by the sheer volume of email replies I got from people saying that they couldn’t come but that it was a nice gesture. Thank you to all of you who took the time and trouble to do so. I really appreciated that. I only did it because I could.

It’s nice to be able to do things like this from time to time, so please make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter if you don’t want to miss out in the future. We use this to drop you a line every couple of weeks with news about things to do in Suffolk, as well as cancellations and exclusive offers. We didn’t put this out on social media. It went to one of our VIPs. Don’t worry about the GDPR guff, we NEVER share your info and you will only EVER hear directly from me. I worked far too hard to build our database to do stupid things with it! You can unsubscribe any time you want to miss out on all this stuff. 

If you’d like to subscribe to our newsletter and get £25 off your first stay, then click HERE

Oh and the real spooky thing? Karen and Alan came to stay on the same weekend as their friends, also called Karen and Alan. It was a pure co-incidence and they only found out following a random text to wish one of the Alans’ a happy birthday!

Posted on

Suffolk Holiday Cottage business with 600 Five Star Reviews!

Suffolk Holiday Cottage business with 600 Five Star ReviewsFree Break giveaway to show our thanks

Our Suffolk Holiday Cottage business now has 600 Five Star Reviews! I am so humbled to read every one of them as they come through. What it means to me is that our guests do our advertising for us, without us having to!

I hardly ever post on social media or write newsletters trying to ‘sell, sell, sell’. All we ever do is ‘set out or stall to tell prospective guests what we do. It’s almost ten years since I set up my Suffolk Holiday Cottage business. And over that time I consider myself very lucky to have had so many people not only recognise what we have set out to achieve, but also to acknowledge it by taking the time and trouble to tell the internet. 
How many people have a business where their strongest, most powerful advertising is done by their customers? I have! Yes of course it strokes my ego, but I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to not have to launch into a massive sales pitch every time you do something. We just let our customers do it.
We have thousands of guest book reviews from our Barns and Barges now, but to hit 600 Five Star Reviews in the public domain is so mind-blowing!
When we started getting these I was amazed when we hit 100. I absolutely LOVE reading every single one of them. We now have 342 on Tripadvisor, 59 on Google, and 199 on Facebook.
Suffolk Holiday Cottage reviewsThis is a Google one from Lisa, one of regular guests. It’s a comprehensive one but if you want to know what we are all about, without us telling you, then read on. This pic is from Lisa too.

“A little piece of heaven!

We have stayed here several times since 2015 and every time we stay Carl is a fantastic host! Woodfarm Barns has just a handful of Barns for couples to stay with the added bonus of a hot tub as well.
Suffolk Holiday Cottage with a fully enclosed 2 acre meadowThere are not many places to stay which you can take your dog but Woodfarm Barns acknowledge that they are part of your family. With this in mind Carl has gone the extra mile, with spare towels provided, a dog bowl provided to have a drink in the garden, doggy treat on arrival and the best bit now there is Woodfarm Meadow. A large meadow opposite Woodfarm Barns for you to take your dog to run around!!! There is also a small section fenced off for those dogs who would like to have their own space. My dog just loves it so much he just lay’s down on his blanket and relaxes.
Carl provides a lot for a self catering accommodation. Firstly there is a welcome hamper full of fresh local produce so you can have a good breakfast but that’s not all. There is Tea, Coffee, Sugar, Cookies which is great after you arrive from your journey. Carl also provides some basics, salt n pepper, tin foil, washing up liquid, towels, dressing gown & slippers if you have a barn with a hot tub. Shower gel, shampoo, hairdryer the list is endless.
Suffolk Holiday Cottage with private hot tubThere is a BBQ in the garden which is fab, this means you can buy some local produce to cook weather permitting. However if you don’t want to cook there are lots & lots of places to go to which accept dogs. Woodfarm Barns provide a welcome folder with lots of places they recommend but also previous guests have a folder who can also recommend places for you to go with your dog.
If you are wanting a special touch for example your going stay for a Birthday, Anniversary or you want to pop’ The Question’ to your other half then Carl is your man!!!! Just give him a call and he can arrange a cake, balloons, a pamper session or even scatter rose petals & pop a bottle of champagne in the fridge.
Nothing is too much trouble for him and his team at Woodfarm Barns. Thank you Carl for being such a fabulous host, it is great to see you every time we stay and have a good catch up!! Look forward to seeing you again soon x”
So there you go! Huge thanks to Lisa and the other 599 guests who’ve taken the time and trouble to write us a Five Star Review. I’m very lucky to have all of these, as well as an amazing team to help me run my Suffolk Holiday Cottage business
Posted on

Dog-Friendly review from a unique perspective

Dog Friendly review

This Dog-Friendly review from a unique perspective took us by surprise when it came in the other day. We like to think that Woodfarm Barns & Barges are universally appealing, and it’s this reason that we get all types of guests staying here. Read on and you’ll see why we were taken aback with this review!

Dog-Friendly Cottages in SuffolkWhether you’re a couple or a family, coming from near or far, searching for adventure or a peaceful break, our Suffolk-based luxury cottages are versatile enough to suit your idea of a holiday, whether you need dog-friendly or not.

Recently, we received a message from a guest who stayed at Woodfarm Barns with his family for a weekend exploring the Suffolk countryside. It wasn’t long after his short break that he got in touch to leave us a review, and as he gave such a unique perspective we thought it was only right to publish it (with his permission) on our blog. So, without further ado:

“I have never visited anywhere quite like Woodfarm Barns. My family and I live in London, and although we regularly head to the countryside for short breaks, we haven’t been spoiled with such tranquil surroundings, plush cottages and excellent amenities before. This was a real treat for us.

Dog-Friendly Cottages with a fully enclosed 2 acre meadow!

Arriving into Woodfarm by car, we were greeted by the owner, Carl, who helped us with our bags and showed us the amazing 2 acre, fully enclosed doggy meadow before showing us to our cottage. We stayed in Alde Barn – all of the barns in the meadow are named after local rivers (how quirky!) – which was a delight as soon as we walked in. The first thing I noticed was the excellent level of cleanliness; I’m very fastidious and have a sensitive nose, so I was worried I would see or smell remnants of previous canine and human occupants, but that wasn’t the case!

Dog-Friendly Cottages with private hot tubsAs we looked around the cottage we spotted a range cooker in the farmhouse-style kitchen (perfect for my mum’s delicious roast chicken) as well as plenty of workspace and a Nespresso machine – a nice touch even though I’m not a coffee drinker. A walk through to the living room revealed a comfy settee with a TV and a log burning fire (I fell asleep in front of this each evening, as it was just so cosy). Upstairs we spotted a mezzanine bedroom with an attractive sleigh bed, and outside we stopped to appreciate the huge hot tub, which my parents were very excited about.

For me, it was all about the spacious, private garden. Spending time outside is a must for me, being from a city apartment without even so much as a balcony, and this was perfect. I had my own privacy, and with Suffolk having such agreeable weather, we had no rain during our stay.

Being an adventure-loving family, we spent lots of time exploring the local area. From the dozens of nearby walking trails to the charming, clean beaches, there was plenty for us to see. We visited a couple of dog-friendly pubs along the way, where we indulged in some delicious local cuisine. I recommend Aldeburgh’s White Hart Inn and The Golden Key in Snape – I spent most of the time under the table, but from what I could tell, the atmosphere was lovely.

Dog-Friendly Cottages with a fab breakfast basket

After long days spent walking around, we were glad to come back to our homely cottage where we could put our feet up. Woodfarm provided us with a bountiful breakfast basket full of local goodies as a gift – and there was even a treat for me, too! How very thoughtful.

I would happily return to Woodfarm Barns in a heartbeat. I felt more welcome here than I could have wished for. The entire cottage was comfortable, clean and well looked after.

Nothing seemed to be too much to ask for the staff. All in all a real gem in the Suffolk countryside.”

Max, age 21 (3 in human years)

Thanks Max! You’re welcome back here any time 

(Pics 2 & 4 by Emma Bearman, with Alfie Bear)

Posted on

Dog Agility Champ Fen; the English Springer Spaniel

Fen's dog agility awards - August 2018

This blog post is all about dog agility champ Fen; a 5 year old working English Springer Spaniel.  

Fen, the Woodfarm Dog Agility champFen is a regular guest at Woodfarm Barns, coming every year for a dog agility event held locally. He seems to simply hoover up the awards! He does bring his humans with him.
He came to live with his owners when he was 10 months old, direct from a gun dog kennels where he was bred.  They didn’t think he had the potential for a top trialling dog so he was offered for sale to a pet home.  He had only known a kennel life so a house was very scary and he did eat the Lino in the utility and door frame in his first few weeks with them!  

Fen, the Woodfarm champ of Dog Agility

He didn’t know what a toy was or how to play.  That soon changed and he now is obsessed with balls, oh and water.  
He started doing agility after they’d had him a few months and took to it like a spaniel to water.  In the last year he has progressed to grade 5 (there are 7 grades) and has recently had his first G5 competition this.
Here he is enjoying the weaves in the Woodfarm Meadow.

Fen's dog agility awards - August 2018

He competes a couple of times a month between Easter and October, largely in the South West and Midlands.  His owner, Debbie has been coming to the Dogs in Need at Trinity Park, Ipswich for the last 21 years.
We’ve seen what he’s capable of when he stays every year and scoops up enough rosettes and awards to open a shop! As you can see from this display in August 2018, he’s pretty good at dog agility! It’s amazing what one little fella can pick up in a week.
When he’s not doing agility Fen loves his walks, toys, water and mud! 
The 2 acre meadow at Woodfarm HQ is a real hit with our human guests as their dogs absolutely love it. We put the weaves in, not really knowing if anyone would use them much. The idea of the meadow is just to let off steam, not start a dog agility training school. But as you can see from this video, Fen really knows his stuff. 
Nice use of the bench Debbie; that’s for sitting on!