Who are we?

We are Sue and Angie, and our joint mission here at Brackenwood is to re-wild, conserve and protect the land and lake as best we can.

We have travelled the world together,  mainly in search of wildlife, and have become increasingly concerned with the state of our planet. As with many others, we have made changes in our lives: reducing waste, recycling, and so on, but we wanted to achieve more. Brackenwood has given us the chance to do exactly that.

We aim for everything here to be environmentally sound and have minimum impact with maximum benefit, so, we are busy planting trees and shrubs, creating a safe haven that is as self-sustaining as possible. A portion of the money you pay goes to Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT), so that we can help them to keep up the wonderful work they do.


It’s not as simple as just letting the land go back to nature, it takes careful planning, hard, mucky work and a lot of research. Choosing trees and plants that are right for the land type and support the species we have, not just planting new wildflowers, but encouraging the ones we already have. Knowing which ‘weeds’ are good and which are not. Creating safe spaces for insects and mammals to thrive so that animals further up the food chain will also do well. We’ve done so much already, but there’s lots left to do. That’s why eco-friendly camping and glamping makes absolute sense to help us to continue the work we are doing here, whilst also giving others the chance to enjoy the fabulous results and get back to nature.

Healthy land

We have spent a lot of time, and sometimes back-breaking effort, removing debris, old and new from the site, to make sure the land is healthy and can support wildflowers and the wildlife we are inviting in.

The right planting

We have planted 900 trees and hedgerow shrubs on site so far. All native species and all specifically chosen for their beneficial qualities to either the land or it’s inhabitants, from food sources, to nesting and shelter – all play the part.


Whilst we want the area to remain as natural as possible, we do have to give a little support, creating the right kind of habitat for nature to thrive, such as building a floating island to encourage birds.

Planning ahead

We are planning for the long term and we have lots of ideas, but one of the things we will continue doing is creating more stoat walls, made from the rocks and stones we have gathered from the land itself…

Our growing family

Sue Dawson

Sue and I (Angie) set this venture up together during the Covid Pandemic. We always had a plan to do something ‘worthwhile’ environmentally, some kind of legacy that would benefit all involved… and Covid just brought it forward a little.

Sue worked for a medical equipment supplier but has recently given it up to focus on our work here and is our resident bird expert.

If you see someone surgically attached to a pair of binoculars, lurking in a corner, that’ll be Sue. Don’t worry –  its the feathered visitors she is stalking!

Any questions, interesting sightings or other bird related minutiae… Sue’s yer gal!


Angie Davies

I was always a country girl at heart and when the opportunity arose to return to Devon after too many years away and live out the ‘back to nature’ dream, well, I couldn’t get here fast enough. Sue and I shared the same plan for our forever home and so, hard work as it was, we loved setting this place up.

We can’t wait to see how Brackenwood grows and thrives and if we can make our guests happy whilst helping protect and conserve the land here then we are doing our jobs.

I am a graphic designer so, if you see any signage that you don’t like or information that you can’t read properly, then let me know as it’s probably my fault!


The soppiest of our adorable Pygmy Goats, born locally in January 2021. He joined us at 3 months old and is the cuddliest little monster of them all.
He loves attention and will jump up to get it so just make sure you are prepared for dirty hooves if you go anywhere near… He also has a fixation on toggles and anything that dangles off your clothing plus he can surgically remove them with ease, so please don’t tempt him, for his health and your clothes sake! 


Pure mischief in a tuxedo, mayhem follows her wherever she goes, but she is a delight all the same. We welcomed this bundle of chaos in 2018. We think she’s a dog in a cat’s body, she will follow at your feet and sit by your side (until something else grabs her attention). However, obedience is not in her nature.

Pixie is permanently playful, the eternal kitten really. She keeps Mac and Mouse on their toes and is happier outdoors than in…  She loves nothing better than to explore the woods, unless the sun is shining of course, and then she might find a warm window sill to snooze the day away on.

Bonnie & Clyde

The newest rescues here at Brackenwood – Bonnie a white Texel cross, was one of three and mum just couldn’t raise them all. Clyde, was an accidental birth, a Zwatble cross and so we took them on at just 10 days old and bottle fed them until they were old enough to be weaned.

They are now out in the paddock during the day and come in to the barn with the boys at night (very pampered sheep!).

Bonnie and Clyde are one of the few rescues here who actively contribute to the day to day maintenance, by mowing the grass!


The youngest of the herd – Ollie came to us as a rescue. Having lost his mum and being heavily bullied, he was depressed and underconfident when he arrived. Now he is a changed goat.
He loves nothing better than zoomies and has a huge personality to match his energy.
He is a year younger than the others but what he lacks in age he makes up for in sheer enthusiasm. He enjoys brushes, tickles and general  fussing, but on his terms and when he is in the right mood he is a gentle, lovable bundle of mischief.


Loki (God of mischief) is the leader of the herd, and he is a proper Dude. He is def in charge of the herd and likes to make sure everyone knows it.

His fave thing is to rub his horns up and down a brush handle, but if there isn’t one to hand, he may decide to use your shins!

He is not quite as vocal (but once he gets going he can bleat louder than most!) as the other three, but he is the most thuggish. He loves a head rub and a head scratch, just don’t grab his horns (they don’t like that!) and be aware that if you bend down he likes to pull and eat your hair!


Thor (God of Thunder – NOT) is the most timid of the boys, born on boxing day 2021, he defers to his brother (Loki) for most things and he will often hang behind until he knows it’s safe. He does have a love hate relationship with Flint though and they often tussle over hay rights.

He is probably the noisiest of them all and will bleat incessantly as you walk away.

He is generally very gentle though and if you give him a scratch, pretty much anywhere, he will stand still forever couple that with a treat and he might never leave you alone!

Mac & Mouse

Rescued Bengal Cats – Mac and Mouse (Born in 2007) were owned by a private breeder and were, along with over 50 cats, rescued by the RSPCA. We saw their story and drove to Kent to meet this incredible pair.

Mouse chose us (or the Dreamies in my pocket!) and after being in RSPCA care for nearly 2 years, we were very happy to provide their retirement home.

Both are a bit skittish around loud noises or fast movements, but they do love a fuss and they are incredibly vocal. Don’t be surprised if they ‘talk’ to you, even from a distance.

Rescued ducks

We have a number of ex-commercial rescue ducks as well. A mix of Aylesbury ducks, Khaki Campbells and the morrisons 3 – so named as they were hatched from Morrison’s eggs if you can believe it.

There are two drakes (Morrison’s 3) who help protect our ladies and generally keep everyone in check.

They lay the best eggs and if you want to try them for yourselves, they are available in the honesty box.

We have one disabled Aylesbury ‘Marigold’, best friend of ‘Poppy’. She has trouble with her legs, but ducks, unlike hens, are patient and gentle and will often wait for Marigold to catch up to them before moving onto the next patch of grass.

Rescued commercial hens

The ladies (and 1 Bantam cockerel) –  some call it madness, we call it rescue with no boundaries. The hens are named after women (and a man) in songs and although we started with just 5, we now have a proper flock! They are nosy, messy and utterly addictive. Some love attention others just like to be around you, but they are all great entertainment value.

If you buy any eggs from us during your stay, this is where they will have come from. If you want to say thank you, they love any kind of green leaves, or native fruits, especially salad. Just make sure there’s no dressing, seasoning or  sauce on anything you give, it has to be raw and natural and please check with us first.


You may notice a strange type of low, netted enclosure in our back garden? Well that is the home (in summer months) of Cyril, the spur thigh tortoise.

He was found wandering the streets and through a series of events he found his way to us.  We did eventually find his owners, but they did not want him back. He was captive bred in around 2007, so he is still a young man and is likely to outlive us!

He is full of character and loves nothing better than to sun himself and make sure that all intruders are chased off! He can move quite fast for a little guy. He will do anything for quince blossom, loves dandelions and hates pigeons…