Exclusive guided tours of South Elmham Hall and the Minster (including refreshments) are on offer on specific dates only, through the Historic Houses ‘Invitation to View’ scheme.
This was created by a cooperative of owners of private homes of specific historic interest.
The Invitation to View scheme has recently come under the umbrella of Historic Houses.
Online and offline booking is through the Invitation to View section of their website / through their telephone booking systems.
For full details and to book and pay online for these tours of South Elmham Hall through Historic Houses Invitation to View, CLICK HERE »
Article published by East Anglian Daily Times 7 Dec 2018 by Chris Hill.
Could East Anglia's farmers achieve more for wildlife if they were only paid by results?
Farmers in East Anglia are growing flower-rich plots for wild birds and pollinators under a pilot "payment by results" agri-environment scheme. “In my farming life I have watched so many species disappear and I hope we can turn the corner," says South Elmham farmer, John Sanderson. Read more »
Would farmers spend more time and effort ensuring their environmental plots delivered for wildlife if they were only paid on results? That is one of the questions driving an East Anglian pilot for a new agri-environment scheme, whose results were discussed at a conference at Wingfield Barns, near Diss.
The Results Based Agri-Environment Payment Scheme (RBAPS) has been running for two years in an area stretching from Norwich to Stowmarket, and from Swaffham to Halesworth – one of only two national trials, with the other in Yorkshire.
Rather than simply being paid to sow plots of wild bird seed mixes or pollen and nectar-rich flowers – as would be the case in existing environmental stewardship schemes – the 15 participating farmers were paid on results instead, measured by placing a square-metre quadrat on 10 “representative” areas of their plot.
If they find a target plant species in at least five of those squares, it could be considered to be present, and ticked on a record sheet – attracting a payment.
The more species are present, the higher the payment, with tiers going up to £842 for five or more sown plants found producing seed, or £705 for flowering pollen and nectar species. But there is an element of risk and reward, as if no plants were recorded which met the criteria, there was no payment.
Vicky Robinson, from the Natural England RBAPS team, said the results for the first two years showed environmental performance is higher using the “payment by results” approach, compared to control plots being managed under other schemes.
Winter bird feed plots had more seed-producing crops, she said, so the average payment tier achieved was considerably higher in both years of the pilot. The payments achieved for pollen and nectar mixes in the trial were also higher than control plots, although the differences were not so pronounced.
She said farmers valued the incentives to produce better results, and the flexibility of a scheme which contains no prescriptions for how the targets must be achieved, allowing them the freedom to use their own local knowledge of soil type and climate to get the best results. But there were concerns over the risk of no payment in the event of a crop failure.
“One of the interesting points was this zero payment rate,” she said. “I had quite a lot of challenge over that in the two years. I had a lot people saying it is too much risk and they didn’t want to do it, but the results show that the farmers have produced crops that perform and they are nowhere near the zero payment rate... so the question is whether this is a perception or a reality, because the result is showing that this maybe it is not quite the risk that it appears to be.”
Visitors to the meeting were shown a series of comments from participating farmers, including: “Simply, you have more to lose, so you take greater care”.
Farmer John Sanderson, from South Elmham, speaks at a conference at Wingfield Barns about the pilot results-based agri-environment payment scheme.
One of the farmers in the pilot scheme is John Sanderson, who runs a 450-acre mixed farm at South Elmham in the Waveney Valley.
“I was attracted to ‘payment by results’ because it puts more emphasis on the farmer’s own decisions,” he said. “I think balancing the risk and reward is very important – we are treating it [the trial plot] like any other crop and that is an important part of it.
“The learning process was very important and, having learned how to do it, we want to do it better. Going forward in this brave new world of post-Brexit agriculture, God knows where we will be but, wherever we are, public benefit is going to be important and we need to take that in mind going forward.
“In my farming life I have watched so many species disappear and I hope we can turn the corner. We can make a difference, and I hope farmers will embrace the new culture of ‘public goods’, and I hope payment by results will be a part of that because it has been very valuable to me – I have learned a lot.”
With thanks to EADT / Archant.
We are happy to share a few of our farm diary entries and observations from recent years. They give an insight perhaps into our farming year, including the work with our crops and livestock and our ongoing dedication to conservation projects.
We hope you enjoy reading them.
John & Nicole Sanderson
Winter at South Elmham Hall Farms
January dawn we woke to a mini ice age on the farm. Each dead stem and lifeless branch was brought to glistening life with a layer of hoar frost catching the early morning cold, steely sun and underfoot a layer soft sparkly snow.
I walk every morning in all weathers. The dog demands it. I don’t always take a camera, but a morning like this offers a chance to capture such a familiar place looking extraordinarily exotic. I love most that it covers the brown mud and mess of farming in winter.
There isn’t much to be done outside. In these conditions the sheep need food and water, but are hardy enough to be out in all weathers. It always surprises me how drab and dirty they look against the pristine white background. Keeping the water pipes flowing to the cattle troughs is always a challenge, but the cows are nice and snug inside with deep straw and last summer's pungent clover silage to keep them happy.
On the melt
Yesterday the last snow melted from the dips and dark hollows that don’t see even the weak winter sun. I was doing a ‘Pigeon’ walk with the dog. Which means slogging aross the fields of rape, which were sown in the autumn, slowly accumulating heavy bumpers of clay on each boot.
The oilseed rape is a magnet for the massive flocks of pigeons which land like a thick slaty grey carpet and strip all the leaves off ever plant. It is quite an amazing sound when a thousand plus pigeons fly low right over you - something between a rocky water fall and waves on a shingle beach.
After they had gone, I spied a large brown creature on the far side of the field - probably a Brown hare we have a good population on the farm and they are easy to see through the winter as they love to be out in the open. Once the spring comes, they will be hiding in the crops and raising their young. As I neared the hare, it turned into be a Buzzard (!) which was feeding on a rabbit. We certainly have plenty of those as well. I can’t remember exactly when the Buzzards started colonizing this area again, but I see one or two most days throughout the year. I didn’t want to disturb it so walked along a hedge line to disguise my silhouette. I looked back, just I was leaving the field, to see it joined by another one, so maybe we have a pair.
It reminded me of hot summer's day in 2011. We were getting the barn ready for a wedding. The florists were hard at work arranging scented lilies and English tea roses and I heard the unmistakable sound of Buzzards calling to each other. I looked up to see four birds, slowly circling right above our heads. I think as it was late summer.They were most probably a family ... well, I hope so.
Spring is in the air at last!
It's the first warm sunny day of the year. One of our hens thinks it's spring and has hatched two chicks in the old cart shed. Worrying that they would freeze overnight or worse be taken by a rat or fox, we have moved her to a purpose-built run with plenty of straw in the nest box and a bowl of chick crumb to help them grow.
She is a bantam-cross and fearlessly protective of her chicks, so moving her required some skill and a pair of gloves! This task was all done with no fuss by Dennis, our only full-time farm worker, who must have done this job countless times in the 30 years he has worked on the farm - and probably helped his Dad, Albert, do it when he worked on the farm. He also managed, between the chick-wrangling, to get all the oilseed rape sprayed - not easy when you have to wait for the snow to clear and get on before the rain comes. He had a one day weather window and worked late to get it finished. Overnight we had several millimetres of rain and with the ground already saturated, our little valley was flooded again on Thursday.
Wet & windy weather has returned
After the lovely warm sunshine and crisp clear nights, it's rather depressing to return to mud, flood and snow! All the sheep which lambed last week are back inside. Having been settled on some fresh grazing, we decided in the early hours of the morning with the rain falling heavily and snow forecast to bring them all in.
Although even lambs a few days old are fine, if i'ts just cold, the wet and cold together can chill them very quickly and if they get separated from the ewe and don’t feed regularly, they soon get in trouble and if not found, could easily die. We had a very busy night with two sets of twins born, with little assistance from us, and rounding up the 30 ewes and lambs from the meadow as the sun was coming up, and getting them settled back in the sheep shed.
We divided the shed in half, so those that haven’t lambed are easy to see at a glance, even when you half asleep at 3am. Its now late evening and snow has settled ... well, settled everywhere that isn’t flooded. Next week we had planned to get the last of the fields ready for sowing sugarbeet, but that will now have to wait until we dry out again. In the meantime, the sheep will be staying in until this weather clears and we can get on with the even-present paperwork.
Spring at South Elmham Hall Farms
Spring is on the way- hopefully
Lambing is the start of the working year and certainly the most exhausting sign that spring is on its way.We started last week and certainly when you're up at 3am under a clear, star-spangled sky with a the chill of morning frost in the air, it doesn’t feel like spring at all!
Our first lambs have been out in the sun this week, watched by our ever-present buzzards who have taken to displaying over the meadow, a rather spectacular closed-wing plummet to the ground, then at the last minute, wings open and they glide off as if nothing has happened. Every other bird and mammal having dived for cover including our lambs, which after a few thousands years of domestication and only a few days old know a predator - or the warning signs - when there is one around.
On the farm, we have been giving all our wheats a feed and harrowing our organic cereals to knock the weeds back and allow the crop to get a head start.
The huge pigeon flocks, which have plagued us all winter, are still eating into the rape, but the longer, warmer days are encouraging fresh growth and it won’t be long until its way above their heads and out of reach and they will disperse.There is plenty of spring bird song with Great Spotted woodpeckers hammering on the hollow oaks that fringe the orchard, and even a solitary yellowhammer singing in the warmth of the midday sun in the sheltered valley below the farm house.
Lots of little woolly jumpers...
Early April and we are nearing the end of lambing, which is both a relief (because of the sleepless nights and all the problems sheep bring) and a sadness as it’s an amazing experience seeing new life born. Sheep bring their own special challenges to our lives and no more so than at lambing time. We have had every style of presentation this year; backwards, upside down, one leg back, both legs back and sometimes two trying to come at once. You really could do with x-ray vision to untangle and help deliver them, but you have to rely on feel, instinct and a little bit of luck. Most will be up and feeding within a few minutes of being born, but some need a little help and a few don’t make it, which is hard, but part of farming.
The weather has been kind this spring and it’s been dry and warm, so once they’re bonded with mum and are feeding well we get the lambs outside, which is better for their health and the fresh grass improves the ewe's milk production.
And wedding dresses too
Grass is a feature of life at the moment as the wedding season is about to start in our converted medieval barn, and after a long, mild winter the lawns around Bateman's Barn and South Elmham Hall need a lot of work to get them into shape.
Married couple to be, Jenny and Mike, popped in today to drop off some props and lovely homemade vintage bunting for their day. They seem rather surprised that it was me flying up and down on the mower - but that's just one of the many jobs I do in a normal week!
At Bateman's Barn, we like to have bunting in advance as its easier to lay it all out and put it up before bringing in the furniture before the main set up day which will be later this week. Jenny and Mike will be back with flowers and table decorations. We will finish it all on Friday with a full rehearsal of the ceremony.
I hope, on the wedding day, we will have the weather to get out to the meadow and have a few pictures with the lambs. Some of the sets of triplets I have been supplementary feeding, so they are quite tame and will hopefully oblige and pose for a few photos!
Summer at South Elmham Hall Farms
Make hay (& hold weddings) whilst the sun shines
It’s the busiest time of the year - the height of the wedding season - and then along comes harvest time. Strangely, they have similar timetables as most couples, including Philippa and Keith who get married tomorrow. They booked their day with us last Autumn, and at the same time we were readying the fields and sowing the crops that are ripe now. Weddings and harvest have another thing in common - they're are both better with good weather!
Today is fine and warm. John and Dennis have checked the moisture levels in the wheat and have made a start on harvest. They will work into the night and early morning until it gets too damp to continue.
I worry that the dry weather needed for harvest, is no good for the gardens that surround the barn. Today I have watered to keep everything looking good for this week’s wedding couple. I know Philippa and Keith chose our venue because the pretty outside space and the gardens were high on their list of priorities, so I have watered overnight and cut the grass twice this week. All is looking good now and today they arrived to make a start on decorating the barn and covered courtyard marquee for their reception.
Instead of the more traditional favours of chocolates or sweets, they have grown pots of herbs for all their guests to take home tomorrow, so the whole venue is scented with summer herbs.
They had an idea to decorate with some wild flowers, but had not been able to source any so I took them on a walk and we did some foraging along our hedges and conservation areas and filled a few big buckets with a lovely selection of Oxeye daisies, Rosebay willow herb and frothy heads of wild carrot and giant hog weed.
So now we have brought a little bit of the landscape into the barn, ready for tomorrow's big day. In the morning I'll add a few stalks of wheat and join our two working lives together as well!
Want to know how it all went? Read Phillipa and Keith's kind words here»
Autumn at South Elmham Hall Farms
Misty mornings & wedding walks to the Minster
September has arrived today with an amazing mist sitting snuggly in our little valley.
The cows are restless as the grass has stopped growing now and they bellow and stomp at the gates to be moved to fresh pastures whenever they see us.
We got up early to move the cows for another reason, as today was Tom and Masha's wedding. We had hoped for good weather and got it, as we do for all the weddings, but especially today as they planned to head off across the fields with all their guests in tow for a photoshoot at the Minster.
What an amazing and wonderful day made more special as Masha is originally from Russia and had flown her family over to join Tom’s, who live just up the road in the next village to us. A bit of Glasnost came to Suffolk.
It is a great privilege to host weddings as they often bring a diverse range of people from all walks of life to this place. The island and the Minster have themselves seen so many people brought together over the centuries and it's just like adding another chapter to its long history.
Just a few more weddings to host this season, then we will bring in the cows to rest the meadows, so they recover a little before winter sets in. Then, after a well-earned break, it will be time to start coppicing hedgerows and repairing fences.
Want to know how it all went? Read Tom and Masha's kind words here»
An overview of the history of South Elmham Hall, for those who like their facts and figures in some sort of order!
2nd bishop after Felix based here or at North Elmham (Norfolk)
Herbert de Losinga in residence here
Losinga gave the Manor of South Elmham to Norwich Cathedral Priory
Chambers of South Elmham Hall decorated with wall-paintings with similarities in style to those in Norwich Cathedral.
Bishop Roger de Skerning dies here.
Complaints about deer poaching on the episcopal estate are voiced
King Edward II comes to stay for 10 days en route to Norwich
Abbess of Flixton complains about hunting parties from the Bishop’s Hall trampling her abbey’s gardens!
Bishop de Despenser granted a licence to crenulate South Elmham Hall / Palace
Bishop de Despenser holds court here
Alterations made to the Hall and property is re-roofed
Dissolution of the monasteries / Reformation sees South Elmham Hall acquired by Edward, later Lord North, Treasurer of the Court of Augmentations.
Sir John North writes from South Elmham Hall to Mr Gauley of Gauley Hall, complaining of an illness and asking his for a recommendation of a good doctor.
Manor sold to Sir John Tasburgh - the Tasburghs are an unpopular catholic family
Becomes part of the extensive Adair family estate
In his 'History & Antiquities of Suffolk', Alfred Suckling reports how George Durrant, Estate Manager at Flixton estate residing at South Elmham Hall, has had the gardens landscaped and the lands around the Minster 'dug over'.
Sanderson family farm here as tenant farmers
Sanderson purchase the farm here
Pre-war pilgrimage by local parish from South Elmham Hall to the Minster.
Some of the parkland put under the plough
John Sanderson, the current owner, takes over the family farm from his uncle and father
Medieval barn is sympathetically renovated for use as a wedding, meetings and conference venue. John names it Bateman's Barn after an early bishop who had a certain fondness for this place.
(Excerpts from Alfred Suckling's 'The History and Antiquities of Suffolk', published 1846 )
Historical theories aired as Minster grounds & mighty moat 'dug over'
Alfred Suckling's accounts of George Durrant's landscaping of grounds and land around South Elmham Hall make interesting reading and are worth sharing on several levels.
George Durrant was the Estate Manager of Flixton estate who owned the Hall at that time and George had it for his home. Today Durrants (same family) is a recognised name in this part of Suffolk / Norfolk as they are a local estate agent!
George's 'findings' should perhaps be treated with some scepticism ... Current owner, John Sanderson, adds: " I do not believe that our friend George Durrant ever had the minster dug to a depth of 5ft - that smacks to me of a man who does not want a load of Victorian historians poking about and getting excited about temples to Wodin. Also I have never come across jars of burnt bones in jars. There is evidence of brick kilns which you do see in the plough, it may lead to that supposition. There is an 18th century reference to finding cremation jars but again very hard to pin down as to where."
ALFRED'S WRITING ABOUT THE MINSTER
"Mr. George Durrant, the present occupant of South Elmham Hall, informs me, that he caused the whole interior to be dug over, five feet deep, about four years since, but discovered nothing besides a few bones, and a small piece of old iron, with one or two ancient keys.
It then appeared that the foundations of the walls are full five feet thick at the base, rising with two sets-off to the surface of the soil. Such is the "minster," which I confess myself visionary enough to ascribe, from its ecclesiastical locality, its rude architecture, and its Saxon appellation of the "Minster," to the piety of Felix, to whom the estate was first given in 630; or to one of his immediate successors.
It could not have formed the chapel to Bishop Herbert's palace, built after the see was removed to Norwich, because the adjoining site is entirely free from any foundations but those of the "minster" itself; while the frequent discovery by the plough, of urns filled with burnt bones and ashes, seems to confirm the voice of a tradition very current in the village, that the "minster" occupies the site of a pagan temple.
Nor is there any absurdity in supposing that a spot dedicated to Wodin or to Thor was purposely selected, in early days, for the situation of a christian church; for among the prudential admonitions of Pope Gregory to his missionary Augustine, he especially advises him, as we learn from Venerable Bede, "not to destroy the heathen temples of the English; but only to remove the images of their gods—to wash the walls with holy water—to erect altars, and deposit relics in them; and so to convert them into christian churches; not only to save the expense of building new ones, but that the people might be more easily prevailed on to frequent those places of worship to which they had been accustomed."
How long the "minster" has been disused as a place of worship is unknown; but it must have been desecrated for a very considerable period, as a large oak tree grows from the foundations of the south wall, which from its size and appearance of maturity must be, at least, three hundred years old."
Alfred Suckling (1846), 'The History and Antiquities of Suffolk' Vol 1, pages 221 - 226
ALFRED'S WRITING ABOUT THE HALL GROUNDS
"From the lapse of time, and the vicissitudes which the place has experienced, we seek in vain for any considerable remains of Spencer's mansion, once calculated, no doubt, to accommodate the numerous retinue of feudal state and rude magnificence.
The present house, which occupies a part of the site, and retains the name of its statelier predecessor, is, in all probability, a portion of Bishop Spencer's "kernellated manorhouse," though externally modernized and modified to existing circumstances; the durable materials and strong construction of its massy walls referring it to an early period.
Its site, which is high and commanding, is encompassed by a broad and deep moat, enclosing about three acres. Within this area arose a vast quadrangular mansion, entered through a lofty gateway-tower, the remains of which were almost entire in the latter part of the seventeenth century. This gate-house was approached by a long and wide avenue of oaks, most of which are still flourishing and majestic, although planted by Bishop Nix in the year 1520.
The lofty hall and gigantic kitchen have left no traces to identify their position, and that of the various minor apartments defies speculation. A small room on the west side of the quadrangle, and immediately opposite to the great gate-house, is pointed out to visitors as the chapel of this extensive pile; but no appropriation can be more misplaced. Without noticing its inadequacy to accommodate one quarter of the numerous retainers of the prelates, the proofs of its having been a private and low apartment are evident; and its position, close upon the postern gate and drawbridge, the piles of which were discovered a very few years since, when the moat was cleansed, refer it, with more probability, to a porter's lodge.
The room is open to the elements, in its present ruined state, but terminates towards the north in a lofty and acute gable, in which, at regular heights, are holes left for the reception of floor-beams. A wide well of rubble-stone and mortar has lately been laid open, and the pavement of several apartments discovered at the same time, which seemed to have been appropriated to inferior purposes.
The tenacity of ancient masonry is strongly exhibited at this place, where several portions of old foundation walls are lying in the garden, some of which measure three or four yards in length, and have been dragged by horses from a distant quarter of the area, and deposited entire in the spot where they lie.
When the moat was cleansed a few years since, by the present occupant, between three and four thousand cart-loads of mud were scooped from its bed; but the only discoveries made were a few earthen jars of a comparatively modern date."
Alfred Suckling (1846), 'The History and Antiquities of Suffolk' Vol 1, pages 207 - 212
(Abbreviated report from local newspaper, published,Tuesday June 21 1938)
IMPRESSIVE SPECTACLE AT SOUTHELMHAM - NEARLY 1,000 WALK IN PROCESSION
Nearly 1,000 people who had travelled from near and far by motor coach, car and cycle were present on Sunday afternoon at the pilgrimage service held amid the ruins of the Old Minster at Southelmham near Bungay, a church traditionally associated with St Felix, the patron saint of East Anglia.
The occasion was the fourth annual pilgrimage of witness of the Suffolk Pilgrimage Society…
Fine weather helped to ensure a large attendance… A long procession … passed across the fields from the site of old episcopal palace to the Minster of St Felix. Capes worn by some of the clergy and red and mauve cassocks of the choristers and others taking part, helped to create a colourful spectacle.
HYMNS EN ROUTE
Loddon Town Band played hymn tunes and the people in the procession, representative of many parishes, sang as they made their way to the Minster, where towards the close of the service, the Rev. Dudley Symon ( head master of Woodbridge Grammar School) gave an address…
Choirboys, nuns, cross bearers, banner bearers…(end) Stewards were recruited from local churches. Members of the 1st Bungay Girl Guides sold copies of the order of service. Three members fo Bungay Division of St John Ambulance Brigade were in attendance with the ambulance car.
In the course of his sermon the Rev… said: “ We have come here to honour one of the earliest shrines of the Christian Faith in this country. In all probability the ancient Minster is the remains of that Cathedral which was the centre of the Diocese, established here in 673, the Northern See of East Anglia… Such a place as this is surely as holy and as worthy of our reverence as those great places of pilgrimage which in old days held the actual bodies or relics of the Saints or those which a special divine revelation was granted such as Walsingham, now happily restored to its former purpose.”
“Long before the days of the English Bible, the Christian religion was taught and diffused here by men whose lives proclaimed their faith, whose words came with the authority of a living Church and whose hands build these altars that men might worship thereon a living Christ … And if it is to witness to the same Faith, it is in the and to that world that has the same need of it. What substitutes does the modern world offer? Do the new gods inspire us with any confidence for the future? Humanism – belief in man’s unaided powers and salvation by progress; nationalism gone mad, worship of the State, Communism and a universe from which God is ruled out. Man remains sinful weak and selfish; as ever he stands in need of redemption, power and charity. Is he to find these things in some limited allegiance, in some fantastic exaltation of nation or race which can only ultimately find its fulfilment in war?
HOPE OF CIVILISATION
“ There is only one faith which aims at raising a man beyond self…And once more … it stands to-day as the hope of civilisation and the true home for the soul of man. So, in the presence of our forefathers in the Faith and these stones which still stand as the memorial of that which unites us through the long years, we dedicate ourselves afresh to the Rock of Ages…”
After the service the procession made its way back across the fields , more hymns being sung. The Rev… thanks his ‘fellow pilgrims’ for the presence which he said, testified to the ancient faith of this land and to the face that they were Christians willing to come out into the open and witness to the same at a time when there was so much unbelief and faintheartedness in the world.
Find out more about the History of South Elmham Minster A treasured landscape - The Minster»
South Elmham Minster is a Scheduled Ancient Monument on private land which can be visited by the general public freely and without specific permission.
The site is managed by its owners who believe in sharing this fascinating place. There is some limited interpretation, although the mysteries of the Minster are constantly unravelling through ongoing archaeology and research, so information may be now considered inaccurate.
Over recent months, we have decided to close our permissive paths. This has come about for variety of reasons, including the withdrawal of funding from Natural England; a desire to protect wildlife from disturbance; the increased concern of livestock clashing with dogs/people.
The very best way to experience this enigmatic ruin and learn of its history is through one of our house tours.
Tours of South Elmham Hall or group tours booked through the Invitation to View scheme include a guided tour to the Minster through the beautiful ancient woodland pasture which was once a medieval deer park. This route to the Minster is private and otherwise not accessible.
Otherwise, access to the Minster is available. It is on foot only through our farmland. We would respectfully ask you to observe the Country Code.
Walkers may access South Elmham Minster by parking at the top of Debbs Lane, South Elmham St Cross. Walk down the byway, along the meadows on the public footpath, or along the field edges and back the same way. You may of course continue along the network of public footpaths.
Dogs are welcome, although they must be kept on a lead or under very close control at all times. We provide alternative routes, where possible, avoiding fields with livestock. Please follow diversions and take care not to disturb grazing animals. If you are walking through a field of cattle with a dog on a lead and the cattle become curious and get close, it is safer to let the dog go and walk calmly to the nearest gate. Call you dog once you are safely out of the field.
There is no public access to the farm yard or car park.
Be safe, plan ahead & follow any signs
Even when going out locally, it's best to get the latest information about where and when you can go. For example, your rights to go onto some areas of open land may be restricted while work is carried out, for safety reasons, or during breeding seasons. Follow advice and local signs, and be prepared for the unexpected.
Leave gates & property as you find them
Please respect the working life of the countryside, as our actions can affect people's livelihoods, our heritage, and the safety and welfare of animals and ourselves.
A farmer will normally leave a gate closed to keep livestock in, but may sometimes leave it open so they can reach food and water. Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs. If walking in a group, make sure the last person knows how to leave the gates.
If you think a sign is illegal or misleading such as a 'Private - No Entry' sign on a public footpath, contact the local authority.
In fields where crops are growing, follow the paths wherever possible.
Use gates, stiles or gaps in field boundaries when provided - climbing over walls, hedges and fences can damage them and increase the risk of farm animals escaping.
Our heritage belongs to all of us - be careful not to disturb ruins and historic sites.
Protect plants & animals & take your litter home
We have a responsibility to protect our countryside now and for future generations, so make sure you don't harm animals, birds, plants or trees.
Litter and leftover food doesn't just spoil the beauty of the countryside, it can be dangerous to wildlife and farm animals and can spread disease - so take your litter home with you. Dropping litter and dumping rubbish are criminal offences.
Discover the beauty of the natural environment and take special care not to damage, destroy or remove features such as rocks, plants and trees. They provide homes and food for wildlife, and add to everybody's enjoyment of the countryside.
Wild animals and farm animals can behave unpredictably if you get too close, especially if they're with their young - so give them plenty of space.
Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property - so be careful not to drop a match or smoldering cigarette at any time of the year. Sometimes, controlled fires are used to manage vegetation, particularly on heaths and moors between October and early April, so please check that a fire is not supervised before calling 999.
Keep dogs under close control
The countryside is a great place to exercise dogs, but it’s every owner’s duty to make sure their dog is not a danger or nuisance to farm animals, wildlife or other people.
By law, you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife. On most areas of open country and common land, known as 'access land' you must keep your dog on a short lead on most areas of open country and common land between 1 March and 31 July, and all year round near farm animals.
You do not have to put your dog on a lead on public paths, as long as it is under close control. But as a general rule, keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on its obedience. By law, farmers are entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals.
If a farm animal chases you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead – don’t risk getting hurt by trying to protect it.
Take particular care that your dog doesn’t scare sheep and lambs or wander where it might disturb birds that nest on the ground and other wildlife – eggs and young will soon die without protection from their parents.
Everyone knows how unpleasant dog mess is and it can cause infections – so always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly. Also make sure your dog is wormed regularly to protect it, other animals and people.
At certain times, dogs may not be allowed on some areas of access land or may need to be kept on a lead. Please follow any signs. You can also find out more by phoning the Open Access Contact Centre on 0845 100 3298.
Consider other people
Showing consideration and respect for other people makes the countryside a pleasant environment for everyone - at home, at work and at leisure.
Busy traffic on small country roads can be unpleasant and dangerous to local people, visitors and wildlife - so slow down and, where possible, leave your vehicle at home, consider sharing lifts and use alternatives such as public transport or cycling.
Respect the needs of local people - for example, don't block gateways, driveways or other entry points with your vehicle.
Keep out of the way when farm animals are being gathered or moved and follow directions from the farmer.
When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down for horses, walkers and livestock and give them plenty of room. By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse-riders on bridleways.
Support the rural economy - for example, buy your supplies from local shops.
The Terms and Conditions of using this website are as follows:
Definition of terms
‘Bateman’s Barn SOUTH ELMHAM (Hall)’ will be referred to as ‘We’ or ‘Us’ within this information. Any users of the www.southelmham.co.uk website and any parties making enquiries by email, telephone or post are referred to as ‘You’ or ‘Your’.
Use of / access to our website is subject to acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. If you do not agree to these conditions, you should stop using the site at once.
Accuracy of information
Reasonable effort is made to ensure that information presented on our site will be accurate and up-to-date. This is done in good faith and we do not accept any liability for error or omission with regards to site content. Our privacy statement only applies to our own websites.
Even where there is a hypertext link from this site, we do not accept responsibility for the content of any third party site. For third party websites, please refer to their own privacy statements.
We shall not be liable for any damages arising in contract, tort, or otherwise from the use of or inability to use this site, or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this site or any such material.
These Terms and Conditions are governed by English law.
Information we may collect
As with most other websites, we collect and use the data contained in server log files. The Bateman’s Barn SOUTH ELMHAM (Hall) website does not require membership at present. The information in the server log files include your IP (internet protocol) address, your ISP (internet service provider), the browser you used to visit our site (such as Internet Explorer or Chrome), the time you visited our site and which pages you visited throughout our site. This information is not linked to any information that is personally identifiable.
How information is used
We will analyse the information gathered to help us understand how well the website is performing.
The internet is an open public facility and no security measures are guaranteed. The Bateman’s Barn South Elmham (Hall) website uses reasonable security procedures to maintain the confidentiality of the information you provide.
Information collected via online / electronic enquiry
If you contact us with an enquiry electronically, we may collect and hold electronically contact information including name, telephone number and your email address.
We will use this information to:
• provide the requested service(s)
• monitor and improve the quality of our service
• profile and understand our customer base
We may need to pass some or all of the data collected to our UK-based service providers (eg banks, consultants or mailing houses) to enable us to provide the requested service. These third parties do not use your information other than as necessary to provide the requested service. We will also comply with requests for information from government agencies (UK or overseas) for law enforcement and compliance purposes. It may on occasion be appropriate to release this information to identify, contact or bring legal action against a person who may be causing injury or interference with another person’s rights or property.
Links to other websites
The Bateman’s Barn SOUTH ELMHAM (Hall) website may contain links to other websites of interest. Once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Bateman’s Barn SOUTH ELMHAM (Hall) cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. Please exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
Data Subject Access Request
You may ask us in writing for a copy of the information we hold about you (for which we may charge a fee) and to correct any inaccuracies in your information. We aim to respond to you within 31 days from the receipt of the request.
How to contact us
Unless otherwise stated, the copyright and any other rights in all material on this site are owned by Bateman’s Barn SOUTH ELMHAM (Hall) unless otherwise stated. You are only permitted to download and print extracts from this site under these conditions:
• No part of this site may be reproduced or stored in any other website without prior written consent of Bateman’s Barn SOUTH ELMHAM(Hall).
• Use of documents and related images on this site is for information and/or personal, non-commercial use only.
• Copies of these pages saved on any storage medium may only be used for viewing purposes / to print extracts for personal, non-commercial use.
• The Bateman’s Barn SOUTH ELMHAM(Hall) copyright notice must appear in all copies.
• Documents or related images and materials on this site are not to be modified.
What are cookies?
Taken from www.allaboutcookies.org
Also known as browser cookies or tracking cookies, cookies are small, often encrypted text files, located in browser directories. They are used by web developers to help users navigate their web sites efficiently and perform certain functions. Due to their core role of enhancing/enabling usability or site processes, disabling cookies may prevent users from using certain web sites.
Cookies are created when a user's browser loads a particular web site. The web site sends information to the browser which then creates a text file. Every time the user goes back to the same web site, the browser retrieves and sends this file to the web site's server. Computer Cookies are created not just by the web site the user is browsing but also by other web sites that run ads, widgets, or other elements on the page being loaded. These cookies regulate how the ads appear or how the widgets and other elements function on the page.
What cookies do we use on this website ?
We use the following essential and performance based cookies on our website:
Google Analytics give us statistical information about visits to our web site. We use this information to make improvements to our web site by analysing this information. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited.
__utmz Further information can be found by clicking here
Cookies can be enabled or disabled in your web browser. For further details please visit www.allaboutcookies.org or the help menu in your browser.
Some useful information can be found on the following websites:
Bateman’s Barn South Elmham (Hall) thankfully acknowledge all its wedding couples and their guests who have been kind enough to agree to share their photographic memories to a wider audience as well as the following named parties whose images are also in use on this website:
Daniel Lightning; Phil Barnes; Tatum Reid; Simon Buck; Liz Bishop ; Hannah Hall; Lindsay Want at Xtrahead; Invitation to View; Darin Smith ( courtesy of Suffolk Wildlife Trust).