COVID-19 News & Temporary Operational Changes
As a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, we have had to implement some temporary changes to our operational procedure. These are to ensure the safety of both our guests and our staff. We will continue to update this page to ensure all relevant information is available to guests at all times:
- We reopened for the third time post lockdown on 12 April, initially to single social bubbles only. Our reopening will follow the Government guidelines with the current anticipated relaxations on 17 May and 21 June.
- Please refer to our terms and conditions page for details on the cancellation policy.
- We will require names and contact numbers for all guests (not just lead bookers). This will be collected via email prior to arrival. We will not use these details for anything other than if we need it for track and trace purposes related to COVID-19.
- We will require the lead guest to confirm before arrival that none of the guests are showing none of the symptoms of coronavirus (fever, dry persistent cough, loss of taste or smell).
- We like to extend a warm welcome to all of our guests at Beech Farm. The first time guests arrive, we usually offer to show guests round the site and their cottage to ensure they know where everything is and how everything works. We will still endeavour to be on site when you arrive and to offer you a socially distanced smile, but we will not be able to offer you a personal tour. Consequently, in our pre-arrival information, we will email you with instructions on where the pertinent things are (both on site and in your cottage).
- Temporarily, check-in will be from 3:30pm and check-out by 9:30am. We kindly ask guests to respect this to enable us to ensure the cottages are 'Covid-secure' for our next guests.
- We currently ask our guests to open windows when they check-out, to leave the keys on the hooks inside the cottage, and to put all used bedding and towels in laundry bags which we will provide.
- We appreciate that the two items above are an imposition to our guests so we don't ask lightly. It does however enable us to follow procedures ensuring the safety of yourselves, future guests and our staff.
- We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of our cottages and we never compromise on this. However, there are some changes to our changeovers that we will be implementing during the pandemic:
- We operate in an eco-friendly manner at Beech Farm and try to use environentally-friendly cleaning products. In the short term however, we will be replacing our sanitising products with those which meet the WHO guidelines for fighting coronavirus.
- During cleaning, we will ensure that all common 'touchpoints' - eg door handles, light switches, remote controls, keys, kitchen surfaces etc - are sanitised thoroughly at the end of the cleaning shift.
- 'Fogging' - we have bought a fogging machine that enables us to disinfect curtains, sofas and chairs. This will be done in every cottage at every changeover.
- We have conducted a thorough risk assessment using guidelines produced by the Government and relevant professional trade associations to form a new rigorous set of cleaning protocols. We would not be open if we were not confident that we could do so in a safe way, and we have both the AA and VisitBritain kite marks to say that we are Covid-secure.
- The pool is open, but with private sessions only.
- Historically guests are able to use the pool whenever they want at Beech Farm. However for the foreseeable future, all cottages will be allocated a one-hour session every day. This enables us to manage guest numbers and the cleanliness of the pool building safely.
- Please note that this does mean that not every cottage will necessarily get to swim on the day they arrive and unfortunately nobody will get t0 swim on the day they depart.
- We reserve the right to change the policy around the use of the pool as we learn what delivers the best overall guest experience (in our opinion).
- A full schedule of slots will be emailed to all guests with their pre-arrival information.
- Each cottage will have their sessions split across all times of the day (between 9am and 7pm). We will try to help facilitate changes if required with swapping sessions, but this relies on other guests wanting to change too so is not guaranteed.
- We ask guests to come to the pool building 'beach-ready'. Guests should shower and change in the cottages before going to the pool and not use these facilities in the building (all of the cottages are a very short walk away from the pool building).
- The toilet in the pool building should also not be used.
- We usually have a supply of pool toys and swimming aids for use during people's stays. These have had to be temporarily removed but we have a small stock available for purchase and you are welcome to bring your own. If you do use your own toys, please remove them from the pool building after use as they obviously should not be used by people from a different group.
- The sauna is within the pool building so can only be used during your allocated sessions.
- All animal sessions - sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs are currently scheduled and 'by appointment only'. This will remain the case until Covid guidelines are relaxed sufficiently for us to be able to accommodate everyone safely at animal sessions.
- The number of sessions you are able to attend will depend on demand but you will have at least one for a weekend booking and at least two for a week-long booking.
- We can still arrange 'farming chores' in addition to the above if guests are particularly keen on getting involved with the animals. This is certainly not glamorous, and neither is it expected. Examples of what we do include mucking out the chickens.
- Part of our new indoor playroom is dedicated to small animals. This currently houses two rabbits and two guinea pigs. We are unable to safely do full sessions with these (as it is impossible to do it socially distanced). However, we are running sessions approximately every other day where guests can go in to meet these, feed them and stroke them (while we supervise from outside). Details on when the next session will be are on the blackboard outside the office.
- We will ask whether you are interested in your animal feeding preferences when we contact you with your pre-arrival information. From there we will draw up a schedule for your stay.
- We opened our indoor playroom on 12 April.
- Guests are free to use this facility between 9am and 9pm provided there is nobody else using the facility - ie one cottage at a time.
- Sadly, some of our intended plans for the playroom - kids' movie nights, guided crafting sessions etc - cannot be done until Covid restrictions are relaxed.
- The playroom is also the new home to our book and toy library. Please feel free to borrow any of these items and either leave them in your cottage when you depart, or return them to the quarantine box in the playroom.
- We will supply sanitised table tennis equipment to borrow upon request. Please keep this for the duration of your stay and leave it in your cottage when you depart.
- There is now a sanitising station near the table tennis table in the walled garden so guests can sanitise the table and the barbecues which are stored nearby.
- Please wash your hands before and after use, and/or use the sanitising station at the entrance to the playground, and respect social distancing guidelines.
- Please only one family at a time inside the guest laundry.
- There are sanitising wipes inside for use on the machines.
- Leaflets are available but we ask you to take away with you any leaflet you touch.
- There are numerous outdoor dining spaces at Beech Farm.
- Every cottage has at least a bench outside their cottage - please do not use any seating outside any cottage that is not the one you are staying in.
- There are shared outdoor dining spaces in the walled garden, on the pool terrace, and on the playroom deck. These spaces are more than enough for when we are completely full. These will be regularly sanitised.
- There is outdoor hand washing available behind the playroom.
- We have set up a sanitising station in the walled garden area, next to the table tennis area. Guests should sanitise the table tennis table and barbecues before use.
- There is also a sanitising station by the entrance to the playground.
- And we have set up a sanitising station in the guest laundry (which also serves as the honesty shop).
- And finally there is sanitiser available outside the office, and in all the cottages.
- If you need sanitiser to take with you, we have travel-sized bottles in the honesty shop.
What is, and what is not inside your cottage?
- Some non-essential items have been temporarily removed from the cottages/guest areas:
- Welcome folders: the information from these will be emailed in advance of your stay instead.
- The Government classifies hairdryers as non-essential items so these have been removed.
- DVDs have been removed from the 'library' - all cottages now have smart TVs so you will be able to access Netflix, Prime, BBC iPlayer etc as well as the Freeview channels. Please remember to log out of any accounts before you leave.
- We usually supply a homemade cake, some tea, coffee, sugar and milk for all guests upon arrival. This will temporarily be supplied inside a bag that more than two days before your arrival so you can be assured that it is 'safe', with the exception of the cake, which will be wrapped, but still freshly baked.
- If you require anything like cots, high chairs, stair gates etc, please let us know in advance. This means we can safely put them in your cottage before you arrive and therefore not enter your cottage when you are there.
- If you have any problems in your cottage, you can either contact us on site (we are there every day) or by calling us. However, if there is something that needs to be fixed in the cottage, if possible, we will do this when you are out. We will do this in the safest way possible for both you and ourselves.
We thank you for your understanding.
Graham and Kirsty