A bit about us:
Church Farm Country Cottages began in 1992 by Steve and Trish Bowles. Old Cow Byres were converted into 5 cottages (Burys, Hayleaze, Rickbarton, Stapeley and Vellum Stone). These proved popular with our guests, so we decided to convert two more (Moncrate and Lime Kiln) a few years later. We didn’t stop there; now we let out the nearby Old Granary and have our indoor heated pool.
Steve runs a working sheep farm, with a flock size of 250 breeding ewes. We have a variety of breeds, but mostly texels and lleyns. Spring lambing starts in late March. This is our busiest time, but also the most rewarding. If you visit around this time be ready to help feed some lambs! Our lamb is reared and sold at the neighbouring family farm, Hartley Farm.
The Farm Camp is a new venture here at Church Farm. This is a glampsite, about ½ a mile away. This is owned and run by Steve’s son, Tim Bowles.
The Bowles family have been farming in Winsley for five generations and in the area since the late 1400s. Great Grandfather Bowles also used to own the village pub, the Seven Stars, which is still very popular today. Legendary ‘Pappy’ Bowles has left a memoir of his life in the village, for those who are interested to read it.
We seek to provide high quality accommodation for our guests, and we will go above and beyond to make their stay at Church Farm as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. We strive to achieve a high standard of customer satisfaction by offering a friendly and professional service.
We have been awarded with a green tourism award, and are very proud in doing so. Every effort is made, both in the cottages and on the farm, to be as green as we can: recycling, solar panels, biomass boiler, the products we use and promoting alternative transport. We urge our guests to be green when staying here.
We love our location and would love our guests to enjoy it as much as we do. We are available and happy to help with any questions you may have.
Life on the Farm
Lambing 2017: We are returning back to normality after a very busy lambing season. 220 ewes gave birth to a mixture of singles, doubles, triplets and a few quadruplets! The lambs are now growing fast, and doing very well out in the fields.
The ‘lambing live’ tours proved to be a massive hit with our guests. We bottled fed lambs, put matching spray paint marks on the ewes and lambs and went for a walk around the fields.
We were joined by Emma from Visit Wiltshire on one of the tours. She wrote a blog about the tour:
At Church Farm Country Cottages we are committed to acting responsibly to ensure the protection and preservation of the local environment, its wildlife and plant life. We want to minimise the use of fossil fuels, water and the amount of waste generated that cannot be recycled. To this end we have introduced a number of green measures as we strive to achieve our long term commitment to our planet, on a local level. To date these include:
- Biomass Boiler: In December 2014 we installed a wood pellet boiler which heats the cottages, Indoor Heated Pool, office and buildings at Church Farm
- Solar Panels: Church Farm installed on the farm an array of 104 solar panels during July 2012 to produce electricity for the cottages, pool and National Grid.
- Brochure Printing: For our new brochure, we used a local green printers called Park Lane Press where our printing was FSC certified stock, using fully sustainable, vegetable oil-based inks, power from 100% renewable resources and waterless printing technology.
- Woodland planting: We have planted 5,500 new trees in our woodland which we are creating around the farm. These include Ash, Oak, Field Maple and shrubs including hazel, spindle, dogwood, viburnum and guilder rose. Regular maintenance is carried out annually in the early years.
- Rainwater Harvesting: We have installed a 10,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank which is used in association with our swimming pool and farm use. Our 7,000 litre underground rainwater collection tank is used for the swimming pool, watering plants and car cleaning also.
- Recycling Facilities: We are continually improving our extensive recycling facilities. We calculate we recycle nearly 50% of our waste.
- Cyclists, Walkers, Public Transport: We encourage the use of bikes, walking and buses as opposed to driving at every available opportunity. Walkers’ and Cyclists’ folders are provided in each cottage.
- Energy Conservation: We have under-floor and roof insulation, double glazing and good levels of sound insulation in all our cottages. Each cottage has its own thermostatic controller with radiators having individual thermostatic radiator valves where appropriate
- Lighting: All our cottages have low energy lighting where appropriate. Our games room and pool hall have been upgraded to LED lighting with motion detectors where appropriate which have produced staggering savings.
- Recycled materials: We use recycled toilet paper and kitchen towels.
- Local Business: We encourage guests to support our local facilities at the neighbouring farm shop/cafe, village Co-operative shop and village pub which are all less than 1/2 mile away. Our home-produced lamb is available for sale at the farm shop
- Washing Liquids: Ecover washing up liquid and eco-friendly hand wash and body wash are provided in all our cottages.
- Christmas Lights: Our large outdoor seasonal Christmas tree, which is erected outside the farm entrance every year, is fitted with 3,000 LED lights using a total of only 240 watts. The cost to light the tree is £10 for the whole of the Christmas season… Previously £100!
- Nature Diary: Each cottage has its own Nature diary which we encourage guests to fill in during their stay. We have a collection of nature books for reference and identification purposes. These are suitable for all age groups. A Nature and Sustainability folder is also available in each cottage. Local pub sample menus are also displayed.