Social Distancing Farm Style

Getting Ready for Business

Updated 24/06/2020

We are delighted with the recent news that self catering holiday cottages are able to re-open on the 4th July where it is safe to do so. Whilst we were waiting for confirmation from the Government of our re-opening date, we had been working on plans to ensure that when we were able to do so, we could re-open responsibly and with the required Covid-19 secure measures in place that are there to help keep us all safe. 

Providing a safe stay has always been a priority and there have been many changes made already to the way that we operate. We will continue to respond to guidance as it evolves but above all your holiday has to be fun, so changes made to date have been implemented carefully and with consideration, adapting positively to allow you to have the best possible holiday experience whilst keeping you and all your family safe.

We are especially aware that we need to consider those families with children with additional needs.  Any change can be confusing and cause anxiety so we will make sure we provide new social stories to support you and make all changes sensitively.

We will be adhering to guidance from the UK Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and can confirm that the following measures will be taken:-

  • Risk Assessments

    • We have produced a thorough COVID-19 risk assessment for all areas of the farm in accordance with Health and Safety Executive guidance. We have already shared this with our whole team and are providing appropriate training with them to ensure new cleaning measures will be carried out correctly. The risk assessment will be also be made available to all our guests on our website shortly.
    • As part of an assurance scheme we have completed the `AA COVID Confident` assessment which requires businesses to provide their risk assessments and confirmation that the many requirements for opening for business have been completed.  We have also completed a similar scheme by Visit England and have already been certified as `Good To Go`
    • Due to the demand for the scheme it has taken a little longer for the AA to complete the many assessments it had to undertake.  We have now (10th July) been issued with our certificate to stand along side that of Visit England.

We're Good To Go - Visit England 

  • Restructuring

    • We have re-designed our childrens farm enabling us to provide a simple and safer one way system reducing contact points (other than with the animals!) enabling us to support social distancing recommendations.
    • We will continue to provide twice daily feeding sessions, we will achieve social distancing through the use of simple allocated time slots to prevent congestion. Detailed information will be sent out prior to arrival.
    • Donkey rides and Activity of the Day sessions will continue in a reduced format to allow us to maintain social distancing. Detailed information will be sent out prior to arrival.  Click for a larger pdf version of the map below.

Social Distancing on the Childrens Farm

  • Hygiene

    • Hand-washing and hygiene procedures. This has ALWAYS been such a key part of our farm holidays and hand wipes (hospital grade) and washing facilities have always been available. New wall mounted alcohol based hand sanitiser dispensers will now also be located at convenient points around the farm as well as outside each cottage (please take a look at our site layout for their location).  Our childrens farm hand washing station will be re-fitted with non touch sensor taps.  Washing your hands is a simple yet important measure we must all do.  Please ensure you and your family wash (or sanitise) your hands regularly and before touching surfaces – for your safety and that of staff and other guests.
    • Because some items in your cottage will be very difficult to keep clean, we will temporarily remove the following:-
      • Non essential soft furnishings
      • All books/games(available from the games room but must be returned for cleaning and not left in your cottage on departure)
      • Guest information folder to be removed and replaced by a downloadable digital version (sent out prior to arrival) or laminated sheets that can be easily cleaned 
    • Our welcome and show-in will now be a welcome in the courtyard as normal (respecting social distancing) then directing you to your cottage where you will be left to enter on your own.  As we would normally show you arround your cottage we will produce a `welcome video tour` which we hope you will watch prior to your arrival (details will be sent out prior to your arrival).
    • Guests to bring own pillows for enhanced hygiene.  While it isn't necessary, we would suggest you bring your own pillow case to avoid accidentally take ours home with you (we know how easy it can be).  Don't worry if you forget to bring these as we do have a small supply of extra pillows and obviously many pillow cases that will have been kept unused for more than 72 hours.
  • Deep cleaning and disinfecting

    • Our cleaning standards have always been high. In addition to adhereing to the regulations for cleaning in non-healthcare settings, issued by the UK Government, we will also be complying with specific and new Covid-19 cleaning protocols as part of the Visit England Certification scheme.
    • All cleaning products will comply with BS EN 1276. Quite simply- many products claim to kill 99.9% of the germs, however products with the BS EN 1276 certification kill 99.999% of the germs (known as a 5-log reduction).  In addition our cottages will each be 'Fogged' to hospital grade standard between every stay prior to our cleaning staff starting work.  You can find a copy of our new cleaning plan here.
    • Our experienced housekeeping staff will be provided with appropriate PPE and premium cleaning products.  Busy areas around the farm will be also be cleaned with enhanced frequency.
  • Social Distancing

    • Where possible, staff and guests at the farm should maintain two metres distance.  Our farm benefits from lots of outdoor space so hopefully this will be very easy to maintain.
    • There will be engaging signage around the site to encourage good practice without it becoming overwhelming.
    • Please do not invite another guest in to your cottage or hot tub.
    • The UK Chief Medical Officer has stated that the risk is substantially reduced when outdoors, to enable families to benefit from this we have produced a list of 22 open space ideas which you can find on our March 18th News Page.
  • Facilities

    • To help implement social distancing requirements, our Games Room will be limited to one family at a time with hand sanitiser available both outside the entrance as well as in side. Please help us make this work by ensuring only one family uses the facility at a time and being considerate by not spending too long in there.
    • Our under 7's indoor Playbarn will regretfully be temporarily closed until further notice because it will be impossible for us to keep all of the toys clean. We will however be providing bespoke toy truggs (one for each cottage) to any children under 7 so that they do not miss out on the fun! The toy truggs are free of charge and are for you to keep in your cottage for the duration of your stay. We will collect them on the night before your departure so they can be sanitised before being re-used.
    • Our laundry room will remain open but only one person at a time please.  We have positioned a hand sanitiser at the door and have provided cleaning products for you to wipe down surfaces and equipment once you've finished.
    • Hot tubs will remain operational, cleaned thoroughly prior to your arrival and checked twice daily as normal.  Chlorine is a very effective disinfectant against COVID but we would ask that you do not invite any other guests or their children to share your hot tub.
    • Out door play areas will remain open and cleaned regularly.  We would ask that you supervise young children at all times and ensure they either use the alchohol hand sanitiser provided or wash their hands prior to/following use of the equipment.  Social distancing to be observed as normal.  Please remember that the risks are substantially reduced out doors.
  • Arrival

    • As mentioned, our welcome tour will be slightly different which we will make possible by the production of a `welcome video tour` of each cottage.
    • We will still carry out our hot tub instruction (maintaning social distance).
    • Your welcome pack of flowers/cider/apple juice and cream tea will be waiting for you as normal.
    • Any condiments left by the previous guest (salt, vinegar etc) will be removed so please bring any condiments you might need.
    • Care Packs

      • A Complimentary Covid-safe 'pack' will be placed in each cottage for your arrival to use on local days out.  This will consist of:-
        • ​100ml 80% alcohol handrub
        • Disposable face mask for each person in your cottage
      • We are currently sourcing some fun fabric face masks that will be available to purchase with funds raised going to the NHS.
    • Our shopping deliveries will still be possible although due to cleaning pressures please ensure that you are here to receive and unpack your own shopping.  With delivery slots in short supply you may find it easier to bring your own shopping.
    • Our local Farm Box service offering fruit and veg as well as produce from local farms will still be available as a service.  These can be ordered for delivery prior to your arrival or for during your stay.
  • Departure

    • The evening before your departure:-

      • We will come to your cottage to collect your trugg of toys (please help us by ensuring all toys are returned in the trugg) and drop off an extra dishwasher tablet and bin bag (if needed). 
      • We will also drop off a laundry bag for you to use.  Our new cleaning protocols mean that we will need you to strip your bedding and place all laundry in the bag provided.  Please leave the bag near to front door in your cottage for us to collect once you leave.
      • We will remind you to leave your windows open (slightly if raining) when you leave to allow the cottage to air before being cleaned.
      • Please (as usual) take all rubbish to the bins in the car park and remove all perishables
      • Finally and this is very important due to time constrants, we will need you to completely fill your dishwasher with not only your breakfast items but also (if space permits) with clean items from the kitchen as we need to wash every single item in the kitchen before our next guests arrive.  Your help would be really appreciated with this.
  • If You Feel Unwell

    • If before you start your journey to us or during it you feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms then please let us know and either stay at home or return home.
    • If you feel unwell during your stay with us then we will require you to stay in your cottage, contact us by phone and return home as North Devon only has one hospital and may be unable to cope with any extra demand.  If you require a topup of fuel for your car to avoid stopping at a petrol station we will fill a jerry can and top up your car at no cost.

Throughout this process we have been aware that if we have removed a facility we will try and replace it with an alternative where we can.  We have also been certain that this has to be workable and fun.  We believe we have achieved our goals and hope our changes will meet with the approval of you all and that you will understand the need for these changes and support us.  Like all tourism businesses around the world we look forward to welcoming back guests.

Further details relating to your stay will be sent out to all our families prior to arrival, we look forward to seeing you all and are determined to have a fabulous 'safe' summer!






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