Introduction

Check out www.manxfarmhols.com ,follow us on Facebook at Smeale Farm Cottages or Instagram at @SongOfTheHawthorn.

You will find Smeale Farm nestling close to the northern coast of the Isle of Man with just the thin sliver of the Ayres National Nature Reserve between it and the ever-changing sea. The farm has been owned by the same Manx family for over 500 years. “Farm like you will live forever” has been the approach for many generations of the Martins of Smeale and their ancestors the Teares.

In the 1970’s land was set aside for wildlife conservation by Tom Martin, a keen wildlife photographer. A pond was dug out and trees planted. Bee hives thrive in the orchard area and pay rent in honey. Over the years work has extended out from here to provide wildlife corridors north up to the Nature Reserve and south of the meadow. Team Mick Brew, Brian Mylrae and Tim Loton manage this area with support from the present farmers, brothers Steve and Chris Martin. Planting is ongoing and there are exciting plans to extend further.

Steve and Chris also plan their farming operations with wildlife conservation in mind. Smeale Farm has twice won the Chough Award for Commercial Farming alongside Wildlife Conservation. The mature wildlife oasis has provided much satisfaction and pleasure over many years to the family and those who have taken a tour or attended an event on the farm.

The animals who share this special landscape with us provided the inspiration to write these tales during Covid 19 lockdown.  With time on my hands when the farm’s holiday homes were closed to guests, I began to research, record and craft the short stories that had wafted round my head for years partially formed, like a teasing perfume I couldn’t pin down. Manx folklore regards the hawthorn tree as a plant with magical properties. Their song sets the scene and the animals pick up the baton.  I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I appreciated finally writing them out.

Smeale Farm Cottages is a proud partner of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man which celebrates what a special place our island is.

Beth and husband Steve provide two delightful  self-catering holiday cottages on Smeale Farm. View www.manxfarmhols.com or follow us on Facebook at Smeale Farm Cottages.