May 2024 at Stourton

Our first wedding of the season and the force was strong!

Our first Wedding of the season was held on May the 4th & the force between them was strong! The sun shone on this really lovely couple who celebrated their love surrounded by their family and friends. Many chose to spend the night under canvas on the old hall lawn and woke up to see the deer in hall park.

With weddings hosted throughout the summer months, if you want to find out more about hosting a wedding or other special occasion here at Stourton please get in touch.

Venison – Try something new now the BBQs are out!

Our venison is going down a storm at the moment! Our steaks were sampled recently by Louth YFC on a farm visit, & our burgers were cooked to perfection at the YFC rally too!

stourton estates venison burgerWhilst you could buy burgers ready made from us, why not get the kids involved & make your own? Here’s our very simple and cost effective recipe:

Just order a pack of venison mince, add an egg yolk, season to taste and combine before shaping into pattie shapes and grilling on the BBQ – you can’t beat these for a healthy, quick & simple supper…

We have most cuts in stock at the moment. To place your venison order simply phone or email Tina on 01507 578236 or contact@stourtonestates.co.uk and she will get your order ready for you to arrange collection from the farm at LN9 5PB or if we are out delivering landscaping products in your area we’ll pop them on the delivery route.

Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival Activity Day

It was wonderful to see so many visitors and families taking part in the LWOF Activity Day that we organised & held here on Sunday 12th May. There were so many activities on offer and our visitors wasted no time getting stuck in and trying out new things.

We’d like to thank all of the exhibitors who helped us to showcase the amazing breadth of activities in offer in the Wolds. We’d also like to thank our food and beverage vendors who helped us to keep the crowd well fed and hydrated! Last but not least, our thanks go to Team Stourton who, as ever, helped the day run very smoothly.

Please click here for the full gallery of photos taken on the day!

 

Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival Talking Walk

As part of the LWOF with donations to support LRSN we held a talking walk here at Stourton. The guided walk around the estate took in the woodland, lakes and deer parks and Antony explained to the walkers how we manage the venue and care for our herds of red deer living in the parks. We also explained why we are moving to a regenerative farming system as well as our diversification projects.

Lincolnshire Young Farmers County Rally

Lincolnshire Young Farmers County Rally held on 18th May was very well supported from YFC’s across the county. They competed as clubs against each other in a multitude of activities from tug-of-war to flower arranging and more besides. Congratulations to Harmston YFC who took the win on the day! At night we also hosted the after party.

The YFC rally raised funds for EDAN Lincs Ending Domestic Abuse Now and  was sponsored by Irelands Farm Machinery, Kubota & Stewart Trailers.

Josh Addlesee from Corringham YFC was Rally Chairman and did a great job of setting up, running the event and taking down.  YFC is a great club to get involved with so if you’re aged between 13-25 do get in touch with Lincolnshire Young Farmers for more information and to find a club local to you.

 

Book Now! Somatics Self Care DAY – June 7th & 8th

If you are after a day of self-care and relaxation we are now able to take bookings from our website directly, for this event being held by Nicki Marshall the Somatics Coach here on both Friday 7th & Saturday 8th June.

This calming and relaxing day is designed to introduce you to somatics; a practice which helps you to restore your freedom of movement and calm your nervous system. It really is wonderful and we strongly suggest you come along to see what its about!

The day includes 2 somatic movement sessions, a delicious lunch and time to explore the beautiful surroundings of Stourton woods.

To book your place please click here.

 

Food and Drink Fayre – 8th September – Booking Exhibitors now!

We are so excited to hold our first Food & Drink Fayre at Stourton Woods on Sunday 8th September!

This event offers more than just a fabulous market, with a wide selection of quality Lincolnshire food & drink producers showcasing their goods in and around the Roundhouse in the woods, visitors can also really make a day of it with:

  • Demonstrations and Talks being held in the Safari Tent
  • Farm Safaris – on the tractor and trailer around the estate
  • Picnic area and space in the arboretum – for families to enjoy freedom and nature in this enclosed area
  • Waymarked self-guided trails to explore around the beautiful estate – ranging from 1km, 3km & 5km (well behaved dogs on leads are very welcome)

So if you are a food or drink business and would like to bring your business and exhibit at this event please click here to complete our application form.

This is a date to reserve in your diary – it promises to be a fabulous event – more detail will follow soon!

 

On the Estate

We’ve recently had James Dalton here with his chipper tidying up the timber felled in the woods as part of our woodland management plan. With the chipped wood we will be creating some of our landscaping products. The brash also goes through the chipper and we use this lower quality chip as our heating chip for the kiln which will dry our logs that will be ready for autumn. Thank you to GCS Machinery for the hire of the trailer.

 

On the Farm

Since the last blog we have completed all fertiliser applications around the farm. The spreader is now in the workshop with Ken painstakingly rebuilding the transmission due to some failed bearings. While we have it in pieces we are replacing all bearings and seals. Hopefully it will do a good few seasons now before needing any more attention.

The sprayer has been busy applying fungicides to cereal crops and herbicides to the beet crop. We are relatively happy with the broadleaved weed control within our beet crop now. The next application will be to try and control grass weeds and cereal volunteers in the crop as well as a pass with a tractor mounted hoe to remove weed beet and oxygenate the soil around the growing plants.

Our spring crops have established well, as they move through their growth stages we will soon be applying some T1 fungicides alongside some foliar plant nutrition products as well as herbicides to control broad leaved weeds where required.

As mentioned in the last blog we have some stewardship options to establish, this should be happening within the next few weeks when weather, soil conditions and seed allow. Fingers crossed we keep getting a few warm rains and these will fly out of the ground when we drill them.

We are recruiting for a new farm manager!

Sadly Oli is leaving us after harvest so we are looking to recruit for a working farm manager. This is a key role for us here at Stourton which involves the management of all arable operations. The prospective candidate needs to have an interest in regenerative farming and livestock, be self-motivated with excellent communication & team management skills as well as experience of operating a fleet of modern farm machinery.

If you are interested in this role please contact Robert Bell & Co via landagency@robert-bell.org to register your interest and to receive the full job description.

 

Deer Diary

Our favourite time of year is here! We are delighted to announce that the first deer calf of the season was born on 20th May! Here are a couple of photos, and more will follow as the new young gang grows over the next few weeks,

In preparation for the calves’ arrival we have been managing weeds in the deer parks to optimise the grazing for the feeding mothers. We have been mowing some thistles and nettles but crucially leaving large nettle clumps for the newborns as these are their mums’ favourite spots to hide them from predators.

We have also cut our herbal sileage which is now being baled and then moved to the yard where it will be carefully stored for winter deer food.

April 2024 at Stourton

April 2024 has been a very busy one at Stourton. There has been lot of behind the scenes preparation for our forthcoming events and things are slowly starting to move on the farm and with the deer.

Outdoor Festival Activity Day – Sunday 12th May

We are ready to launch the Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival at Stourton Woods & this event is going to be a smasher!

We have planned so many activities on site for you to have a go at or take part in and the best part is that most FREE OF CHARGE or very heavily subsidised.  From bushcraft to seated yoga, storytelling walks to beekeeping, archery & axe throwing and woodland craft activities for our younger visitors there really is something for everyone!

We will also be hosting our famous farm safaris in our accessible tractor and trailer. We recommend that you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

All of our self guided trails are open on the day so you can stretch your legs and enjoy a 1km, 3km or 5km walk. Dogs are more than welcome to join you for the day, all we ask is that you keep them on leads and pick up after them.

Plus, there will be top quality street food vendors on site to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.

 

Gates are open from 10am until 4pm and there’s a car parking charge of just £5. If you are struggling to get to us or don’t want to drive there are buses to & from the centre of Horncastle to the event and these are free of charge.

For more information about all activities, bookings (where needed) please go to our website:

https://www.stourtonestates.co.uk/product/events/outdoor-festival-activity-day-12th-may-2024/

 

Lincolnshire YFC County Rally – Saturday 18th May

We are delighted to host this year’s Lincolnshire Young Farmers’ County Rally.

You can come along and support your Lincolnshire YFC’s and cheer them on in the many competitions taking part throughout the day.

This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved & join in the fun with an after party taking place in the roundhouse in the evening.  For more information and to book after party tickets please keep an eye on the YFC Lincs facebook page which you can find here.

 

Somatics Self-care Days – Friday 7th & Saturday 8th June

Enjoy a day with Nicki Marshall, The Somatics Coach for a day of self-care and relaxation.

Somatics is a gentle movement practice that is suitable for all ages, you do not need to be flexible or fit to take part.

You will take part in 2 somatic movement sessions and enjoy a delicious lunch provided by Holly’s Garden Kitchen.  There will be built in time-out to explore the beautiful estate at Stourton Woods too!  No experience is necessary to enjoy these days.

Contact Nicki at hello@thesomaticscoach.co.uk to book your place or for more information.

 

Landscaping products delivered to your door

stourton estates play chip and tealby playgoundDid you know that most of our landscaping products are made from timber from the estate or other local Lincolnshire woodlands?  We have a great range of products available to spruce up your garden or make your play area safe.

For your convenience we bag these up in builders bags and we deliver direct to your door (20 miles radius of LN9 5PB) in our transit van with a mini crane and very friendly driver!   You can order these online here.

 

On the Estate

What a busy time it is on this side of the business at the minute!  With the deer now enjoying the grass and space frolicking in the deer parks, we have cleaned out the roundhouse & pressure washed the concrete base to make it event ready – certainly no mean feat!

Antony has also planted another 500 of mixed species native trees, (alder, oak, hazel & silver birch) to thicken up belts of woodland and replace any that haven’t made it through the winter & recent weather.  We have a further 25 pot grown trees from Crowders Nursery to be planted around the roundhouse and then we are done for this year – hopefully the wetter ground will help these get away.

Some of the grass around the arboretum, old hall lawn and car parking area has had it’s first couple of mows and is starting to look a little more managed.  We always leave large sections of grass un-mown for the wildlife and to encourage wild flowers – in fact Jim from Wilderness ways found at least 30 different species suitable for foraging in one small section of the arboretum – you can learn more about this at one of his sessions at the Outdoor Festival Activity Day!

 

Weddings at Stourton

Our first wedding this season is almost here on 4th May. In preparation the safari tent has had a thorough spring clean both inside and out. The internal floor has been re-treated, the internal doors and furniture has all have a lick of paint and we are pleased to say it is now looking in tip-top condition for all celebrations and events taking place here this year.

We love hosting weddings here in our special woodland venue. If you would like to find out more about a Stourton Woods wedding the please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

On the Farm

Since the last farm blog we have been able to make a good amount of progress. All of our spring wheat, spring barley, sunflowers, and sugar beet is now in the ground. Conditions have been incredibly tricky and we have had to be extremely patient while some of the land has dried sufficiently to drill in good order. Even then there are certain areas we have had to go round which are too wet to travel or too wet and heavy to create a suitable ‘seedbed’.

All round a very challenging spring to get things right. However on the plus side, thanks to some incredibly hard work from Ken and Dan we are almost ‘back on track’ albeit with crops established a month after we would ideally do so.

Next on our agenda is to get some fertiliser applied to all of our spring sown crops. This will be in the form of a ‘compound’ fertiliser containing Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potassium and Sulphur. This product allows us to apply all key crop nutrients in one pass, saving time in what is a very tricky and late season. While the April showers have frustrated at times we are hopeful they continue a little to allow the fertiliser to be dissolved in order that the crops can access it.

The sprayer will soon be very busy with fungicide applications to the winter cereals. We have already applied our ‘T1’ (first fungicide) to our winter barley crop which will give us around 3 weeks of disease protection before we have to apply a second fungicide to take us through the key growth and development stages of the crop. Other job the sprayer has on at the moment include applying herbicides to the sugar beet crop and the final small dose of nitrogen to the earlier drilled (October) winter wheat crops.

We will also need to catch up on a few other jobs such as re marking footpaths, repairing tracks, and general farm maintenance. On top of this we have a few areas to establish stewardship options, but have a bit of time flexibility on these. Never a dull moment here on the farm though!!

 

Deer Diary

So the deer are out in the parks, however they look rather shabby at this time of year!  As they lose their winter coats and then roll around in mud, swim in ponds – take it from us they are very happy animals they just look very scruffy!

We are working to create a circular system to link up all the deer parks so that we can move them into the handling centre and onto fresh pasture around the estate more easily.  This means some forestry work to create race-ways around the back of the woodland and then fencing and gates so it is all go with this too at the minute.

With the incredibly wet weather our forage crop that has been growing quite happily for a couple of years, has taken a bit of a hit.  Our forage crop is important as we mow and bale it to produce silage that keeps the deer fed and nourished over the winter months. To help restore the health of our forage crop Jamie has spent a couple of days (!) aerating this field with a spiky roller and has re-seeded parts of it with an herbal mix.

 

We look forwards to seeing you in a couple of weeks!

Antony & Helen

March 2024 at Stourton

Protect your loved ones as they play with our premium play chip

Play bark loose playgroundDid you know that we sell wood chippings specifically for play areas? It’s perfect for laying underneath your swing sets in the garden or for larger commercial outdoor play areas.

There are no additives or waste products used in the production process – simply pure roundwood logs grown and sourced from our own woodlands. The chip is than graded, screened and tested to be fully compliant with British Safety Standard Ref BSEN 1177.

To place your order and to work out how much chip you need for your chosen area (the depth you lay is very important!) please visit our website.

 

Leaflets to share

We recently attended an event organised by ELDC in Woodhall Spa where many local businesses shared their leaflets and we heard presentations from Visit Lincolnshire, Destination Lincolnshire and the Arts Council who are all working hard to promote & encourage visitors to Lincolnshire. It was lovely to meet other local businesses and share what’s going on here this year.

If you’d like to spread the word and have a supply of our leaflets to share with your guests / visitors please get in touch & we will happily send you some!

 

Activity Day, Lincs Wolds Outdoor Festival  – 12th May 2024

Our first event this year is on 12th May and is the Activity Day as part of the Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival being held at Stourton Woods.

Find out about Beekeeping, Gliding, maybe have a go at a taster session of Seated Yoga.  There’s also Archery, Knife, Axe throwing and Crossbow, Sound Bath, Bushcraft, Foraging, Football, Tennis, Walking Netball, Woodland Activities, Storytelling Walks, guided rambles and much more… There will be something for everyone here with many activities provided free of charge, subsidised or at highly reduced cost to ensure maximum participation!

There is no entry fee just £5 per car for parking for and you can enjoy the whole day here.

We are running our famous farm safaris on the day. We recommend you book in advance as these are very popular. You can do this by clicking here.

Venison – 10% discount on selected products!

Venison Haunch JointWith inflation still rising, albeit more slowly, we have held our venison prices from 2023 into 2024.  If you’re looking for an alternative joint for the family a haunch joint is a great option – you might even find it cheaper per kg than English lamb!  Plus with our 10% discount on selection packs still on this month whilst stocks last – it’s a great opportunity to fill up your freezer and enjoy some lovingly reared healthy venison.

To place your order please call us at the office (Mon-thurs 9-4) on 01507 578236.

 

Estate News

With the wedding and events season just around the corner we are praying for some dry weather so the estate trails are not so waterlogged & muddy – we soon need to start mowing them!  We are also having a proper spring clean of the safari tent both inside and out as well as cleaning and treating benches, putting up the festoon lights and getting everything that was safely stored away over the winter out again.  Our first wedding is taking place here on Saturday 4th May. We don’t want to give too much away but we can’t wait to share some images from this couple’s celebration with you.

portico at entranceWhen you next visit Stourton Woods you will notice some changes – we finally have a new entranceway welcoming you into the arboretum which we’re rather pleased with.  The wood clad shipping containers which serve as an impromptu office on open days now have a portico roof giving shelter as well as leading you into our woodland venue.

When you visit, you might also see evidence of timber operations in Lodge wood that are set to take place shortly.  This is the last part of our 10 year woodland management plan to restore the parkland.  As you might expect, nothing is wasted here – the timber will soon be chipped for landscaping products and to fire our kiln to produce kiln dried logs this summer ready for the log season starting in the Autumn.

 

Deer Diary

Dotty inspecting the new portico having slipped the new gates!

roundhouse with gatesJust as we take delivery and finish installation of all the very smart gates around the roundhouse, the deer are ready to be released! Typical! Dotty does keep managing to evade the gates though….hopefully the young ones aren’t learning too much from her!

The calves will move from the roundhouse into the lush green grass in the deer enclosures in early April, all being well.  Before then we will busy copper treating the hinds before calving begins in May.  The copper bolus ensures the hinds have all of the valuable nutrients they need as they calve and then feed their young, as well as ensuring the calves are healthy and strong at birth.

 

We look forwards to sharing our April news with you next month and then being able to open up for the summer season!

 

Antony & Helen

Round house gates at Stourton Estates winter deer enclosure

February 2024 at Stourton

Order your landscaping products to get ready for Spring

Bag of woodchip for sale at Stourton estatesWe’re feeling that spring is just around the corner and we are fully stocked up with bark, woodchip and playchip ready for all your gardening projects.

Woodchip is incredibly versatile. From keeping your borders tidy and suppressing weeds to laying a chicken run, or drying out a wet area such as a gateway or pathway this product is ideal.

To see our range of landscaping products and to place an order, please click here.

 

Willowglow Briquettes – a great alternative to logs (which are now out of stock)

willowglow briquettes available to purchase through Stourton estates alternative to logsThanks to all our customers who have ordered kiln dried logs, however unfortunately we are now OUT OF STOCK (Tina will be in touch with you directly if you have been on our waiting list).

We won’t have any more logs to deliver now. We anticipate that log deliveries will start again in September.  We do have kindling and Willowglow briquettes available to order.

Willowglow briquettes are made from 100% British Willow with only 8% moisture content. They burn with a long-lasting heat output with no additives or chemicals.  Each pack contains 7 full size briquette and they are packed in re-cycled plastic. They are easy to modify in size to fit any Multifuel Stove, Open Fire, Firepit or BBQ free from spitting or sparking.  This is the perfect product to use all year round.

To place an order please click here or you can get in touch with Tina (Mon-thurs 9-4) on 01507 578236.

 

Quality Assured Venison Available to Order now

Now is the time to stock up on delicious healthy and lovingly reared venison.  We ensure our deer are managed to the highest standards and we offer a consistently high-quality product in terms of taste and texture, which – if you have ever eaten wild venison you will know cannot be guaranteed!   In fact, we have recently passed our quality assurance audit by SAI global assured venison with flying colours so you know you are eating meat that is not only extremely tasty but has also had the best care and attention.

We have a number of mixed selection packs available containing casserole steak, mince and frying steaks…on which we are offering a 10% discount so that you can enjoy delicious meals as well keeping your freezer stocked up.

Please phone Tina to place your order and arrange collection from Top Yard Farm LN9 5PB or home delivery can be arranged FOC with any other log / landscaping product.

 

Events for 2024:

We have a full programme of events for your diaries this year, more details will be on our website and socials soon, in the meantime SAVE THE DATES!

 

On the Farm

The theme of the past month is yet again weather issues. We had a nice settled period at the end of January/beginning of February which as mentioned in the previous blog post allowed us to get on with a little more drilling. Since the beginning of February however the great British weather has continued to delight with more rain! The wheat we drilled in January is largely now emerged but is struggling in a couple of areas due to waterlogging or slower draining parts of fields. However we are mostly happy with the progress of this late sown wheat to date, especially given the weather we have had.

Horncastle flood alleviation scheme in action November 2023You may remember previous mention of the Horncastle Flood Alleviation Scheme on our and a neighbours land. This has been busy (and operating correctly now) on a number of occasions this winter. When it was constructed we were told that the modelling was for it to come into operation once every 5 years. Since September, it has come into operation on 7 occasions! Since its ‘opening’ in 2018 it has come into operation on around 20 occasions!

There appears now to be some drier weather in the forecast, all being well this will allow us to make progress out on the land. We have a field to plough ahead of sowing sugar beet, as well as possibly one ahead of spring barley. The rest of the fields will either be lightly cultivated and then sown, or direct drilled depending on conditions. Before that though we need to get some fertiliser put on the autumn/winter sown crops. This will consist of a couple of separate applications in order to provide the crops with fresh phosphate, nitrogen, and sulphur. Here is a brief guide from Yara outlining some of the considerations we have in managing nutrition of our crops heading into spring.

In the more immediate future we are busy creating another SFI application to improve our environmental offering on the farm alongside our productive farming. We have now successfully transitioned between our 14 year old Environmental Stewardship agreement to a new Countryside Stewardship agreement, the SFI (sustainable farming incentive) will run alongside and complement the ‘CS’. We have always been very environmentally minded here at Stourton, and these new schemes are a fantastic way for us to extend what we already do and farm in a more sustainable way.

One of the more exciting things that has happened in February has been the interviewing of candidates from Harper Adams University for a year-long placement starting this July. This role will be a very broad one, encompassing all aspects of the business here at Stourton. We will do a full introduction of the successful candidate in July.

 

Deer Diary

Round house gates at Stourton Estates winter deer enclosureNew gates are being installed shortly around the roundhouse and it will be soon looking GrATE!!  Having feed barriers will make daily feeding much more efficient and less troublesome for the deer as we won’t have to go into their segments to feed them… although Dotty (our 3 year old hand reared calf) might not be happy. She was moved into the roundhouse in early January with the calves and has relished the opportunity to trot in & out of the whenever she feels on any particular day.  Last week she managed to escape the deer enclosure entirely and was wandering about in our garden until she was tempted back across the arboretum following Antony with a bucket of barley!!

clean feeding tractor at Stourton estatesWhilst the ground in the parks is still fairly sodden and muddy conditions are challenging so we (or Jamie!) has taken the opportunity to clean the feeding tractor (see the before & after images on whatsapp) so hopefully it won’t get in quite the same state again for quite some time!  On the plus side we can see the grass in the parks greening up as we look ahead to deer turn out in April, all being well.

 

On the Estate

The continuation of wet weather and storm damage is really delaying a lot of winter tidying jobs as it is very easy to make more of a mess!  However, we have removed many fallen branches and some dangerous trees and hope to have moved the brash from deer enclosure no.10 so that we can move the deer around the parks once they are all out of the roundhouse.

We have also started to plan our programme of work to spring clean and refresh the safari tent ready for weddings and events starting in early May so that it looks in tip top condition.

So, in summary, whilst we are not yet busy with events we are being kept very busy behind the scenes in preparation!

January 2024 At Stourton

A new batch of Kiln Dried logs will be ready soon!

Bags of logsWe’re getting towards end of our log season. We have a freshly dried batch coming out of kiln shortly and then another at the end of February. These will be the last bags of the season so if you’d like some please either place your order online here or phone Tina in our office on 01507 578236 between 9am-4pm on Monday to Thursday.. Don’t miss out!

 

Venison – available to order now!

stourtone estates venison lasagneIt’s still the weather for comfort food and nothing beats a lasagne on a cold, rainy day. You can use some of our delicious venison mince as an alternative to pork and beef in your lasagne recipe.  Take a look at our venison lasagne recipe here.

If you’re sticking to a healthy eating plan for January then look no further than venison as a great source of protein. It’s incredibly low in fat, and its levels of saturated fat are much lower than in other red meats like beef. It also contains minerals that are good for our health, including iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc as well as vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine*.

As well as mince, we have a fresh supply of various cuts of venison in our freezer ready for you.

If you’d like to order some please phone Tina in our office on 01507 578236 between 9am-4pm on Monday to Thursday.

*Source: The British Deer Society

 

Events for 2024

Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor FestivalWe’re working on our programme of events for 2024 and will confirm events and dates ASAP.  A couple are definitely in the diary and we can tell you about now. The first is the Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival Activity Day which we are organising . This will be held at Stourton Woods on Sunday 12th May.  This will be a great event with plenty of have-a-go activities on offer… you’ll find out more about exactly what in the next few weeks.

The Lincolnshire Young Farmers Club will be holding their county rally here on Saturday 18th May, so if you’re a member of YFC we will look forward to welcoming you here then!

In the meantime keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels and/or sign up for our newsletter to make sure you’re among the first to find out what are plans are.

 

Around the Estate

Like the rest of the UK we have been rather battered by the recent (10!) storms.  This has added to our usual winter workload on the estate and clearing up debris, branches and trees is a constant job at the moment. We’re looking forward to some spring-like settled weather soon….please!

 

On the Farm

Perhaps unsurprisingly I will start this blog mentioning the weather! We have had 10 named storms during the current ‘cropping year’; Agnes in September 2023, Babet in October, Ciaran and Debi in November, Elin, Fergus and Gerrit in December, and Henk, Isha and Jocelyn in January 2024. As mentioned in previous blogs this has made things incredibly tricky to manage on farm.

We have however now had some more settled weather and have been able to lift some more sugar beet…. There is a ‘but’ here though! Having lifted some, we were then ‘frozen out’ (the beet lifting machine couldn’t penetrate the frozen ground) for a week. The low temperatures have caused some damage to the roots but all being well the beet still in the ground will be ok until it is lifted and delivered.

This week we have started sowing a little more wheat, we are ploughing and ‘combi-drilling’ for this. Combi drilling is basically working the land and sowing in the same pass. On our better land up around the Caistor high street this is a useful practice to establish a little more wheat to take the emphasis off growing a large acreage of spring barley. As we move to our more difficult land towards Hatton we will require a lot more patience to establish crops in good conditions!

We are currently reviewing our farming practices, we are looking to move in a more ‘regenerative’ direction. Watch this space as this develops!

 

Deer Diary

With all the rain at the beginning of January the ground underfoot for the deer has been a little challenging. The hinds have coped well with the wet weather but are certainly happier on the drier ground now that we have moved them.

As it’s their first winter, our summer-born calves are kept in the roundhouse during the coldest months to acclimatise them to the cold and wet weather. The calves have settled well into roundhouse living and are enjoying sheltering there over the winter.

Some of your may remember Dotty, our deer calf that we had to hand-rear back in 2021 after being rejected by her mother. This year it is possible that Dotty is in calf for the first time, however it’s still early stages in the hinds’ pregnancies and as yet we cannot tell if she’s pregnant or not! We are delighted to report that she is just as friendly as ever though and loves nothing more than to come over for a ‘chat’ when we go into the enclosures to feed them.

 

October & A bit of November 2023

Enchanted Lights 2023 – Thank You’s!

At the time or writing it has been a week since our 2023 Enchanted Lights event.  It was fantastic to see visitors enjoying the lights and entertainment on offer at this event!  Despite some slightly ‘challenging’ weather over the course of the four days we were well stocked with wood chip and spent the daytimes ensuring that the trails, event areas and car parking spaces were topped up with chip by laying this in the ‘squelchiest’ spots.   Since then, we have been busy tidying up and taking down.

A huge thank you to everyone who came along to one of the 8 time slots we had available and to the myriad visitors who posted or messaged us afterwards to share your reviews, pictures and experiences.  It really is lovely to see these.

Putting on an event like Enchanted Lights takes a huge amount of effort with a small team of people working exceptionally hard to ensure we offer visitors a quality experience. The event wouldn’t be complete without our spectacular fire and LED performers as well as Tooley’s who brought their lovely carousel and the captivating story tellers – so thank you for supporting us.  A big thank you to all of our food vendors who kept everyone warm, fed and ‘hydrated’ in style! And last but by no means least, a huge thanks goes to all who joined the Team at Stourton who have tidied, installed, trimmed, shoveled & polished… & more(!) – we couldn’t do it without you!

We are still finalizing the total that was kindly donated to the Wishing Fountain for St Barnabas Hospice, both through change and via the QR code & as soon as we can, we will let you know the grand total raised across the four nights.

We were also a tiny bit flattered that we were featured in Homes & Antiques magazine alongside Belvoir & Leeds Castle as well as Chatsworth in their Bonfire Night events feature.

 

With everything so fresh in our minds we are already planning the 2024 event!

 

Logs – order Soon to guarantee pre-Christmas delivery

Kiln dried logs at Stourton EstatesAs we mentioned a couple of months ago in our news, we have a limited logs stock this year. So if you want a log delivery pre-Christmas please place your order as soon as possible.

To find out more about our kiln dried logs and to order please click here.

 

Christmas Trees – Order now!

It’s fast approaching the most wonderful time of the year and this means that Christmas trees are now available to order for home delivery.

We have 3 sizes of tree available to order from 5ft through to 7ft 6 and prices start from £45.

Our Christmas trees are freshly cut Nordmann Fir trees. These trees hold their needles well and are beautifully shaped.

Place your order before 28th November 2023 and we will delivery your freshly cut tree on 30th November. Delivery is free within a 20 mile radius of the farm.

For more information and to place your order, please click here.

 

Venison

It’s the time of year for warming casseroles and roasts. Whether you are entertaining a crowd or just cooking a family meal venison makes a delicious and healthy alternative to pork or beef.

You can order some of our home grown, lovingly reared venison to enjoy your favourite seasonal meal with a twist.  To place your order please contact us & Tina will arrange your order, payment and collection/delivery for you.

 

On the Farm

We signed off the last blog by asking for luck with the great British weather… however having received over 220mm of rain since then, the theme for October and for our autumn drilling programme has been wet to say the least!

In short, from the end of September it has rained on most days.  There was a very brief dry window and we managed to get all bar 40ha of our winter wheat sown here at Stourton.   BUT then… on 20th October arrived Storm Babet and with it a biblical amount of rain!  Our weather station measured 80mm for the day but others not far away measured 115mm and it has rained in some way almost every day since.

We know this has had a devastating impact on homes in Horncastle and other local communities whose homes and businesses flooded and send our sympathies to all those affected.  Clearly this was not helped by the sensor fault on the Horncastle flood scheme managed by the Environment Agency which is partly on land here at Stourton.

Unfortunately, the rain has also massively impacted our crops.  The winter barley and wheat which was sown in the first half of October is faring relatively well.  However, those drilled towards the middle of the month and in the week leading up to Storm Babet sadly aren’t faring so well. With that amount of rain there have been several different effects.

One of the main issues is seed has taken on too much water during germination and has simply died and rotted away. This is prevalent on heavier patches of ground as well as headlands where there is a bit more ‘traffic’ from machinery. Also, in these areas slug activity is quite high. Slugs feed both on the seed and growing/emerging plants and with ground conditions unsuitable to access fields to apply slug pellets there is not much we can do!  We will just have to wait and see which crops grow and we will make a decision on those that don’t fare so well and have to re-sowed with spring crops. Managing patchy crops is incredibly tricky and will have a knock-on effect right into next harvest from a yield, management, logistics, and rotation point of view.  Whilst we have no option but to work with the hand we are dealt, it’s a nightmarish start to the cropping year.

In other news we are continuing to lift sugar beet.  All tractors and trailers and the beet machine managed to keep travelling over the land but due to the wet conditions the headlands of the field are wrecked and the dirt tares (the deductions for soil attached to the beet) are as high as I can remember on this farm. The beet is being delivered into the factory at Newark, and all being well if things dry up the next lift will go a little better.  In the meantime we are busy with the digger repairing field drains that have ‘blown’ (either blocked with roots or the old clay pipes which occasionally collapse).

Let’s hope the next month is drier for all of us.

 

Deer Diary

Copyright – Russ Telfer Wildlife Photography

After much noise and testosterone fuelled behaviour the annual deer rut is finally coming to an end. All 3 stags are looking a little bit weary, are less interested in their ladies and are more interested in their food, which is always a clear sign!

Here’s Harry looking majestic courtesy of Russ Telfer Wildlife Photography.

We will shortly begin putting together our winter deer housing in the roundhouse. Gates, fences, troughs and bedding all needs to be hauled down to site and erected before the end of the month so our summer-born calves have a nice, warm dry home to keep them out of the worst of the winter weather. Something tells me November and December are going to be busy months!

 

That’s all for now folks!

Helen & Antony

September 2023 at Stourton

September Artisan Market – WOW!

What fabulous day we had on Sunday 17th September for the Autumn Artisan Market! The atmosphere on the day was just lovely and the weather was very kind to us. Thank you to everyone who came along to support the event, the turnout was incredible. We are also delighted that all of the winners in our car Park Prize Draw have come forward to claim their prizes. We hope you enjoy them!

A great big thank you goes to our joint organiser Jodie at Lincolnshire Makers. The stalls at the event were of such high quality with such a large range of products on offer.

We hope that we can host these events next year and that we can count on your continued support.

 

 

Enchanted Lights – Tickets are selling FAST!

We have had a great response to the launch of our Enchanted Lights event for 2023.

Running over 4 nights this year from 2nd – 5th November come along and enjoy an enchanting walk through our arboretum, lit with soft lights and atmospheric sounds. You can take in our LED & fire dancing performances. You can also make a wish whilst donating to a great charity in St Barnabas Hospice with our wishing fountain. Also, brand new for this year is fairground carousel as well as a story telling tent – perfect for your little ones and big kids alike!

We haven’t forgotten about your tummies! As well as buying marshmallows to toast on our specially designed fire pits you can buy a hot or cold drink from one of our two bars operated by Ferry Ales Brewery and enjoy food and refreshments from a wide variety of street food style vendors each night.

Tickets are still available – however Saturday 5-7pm night has already sold out so if you want to come along please don’t hesitate to book or you may miss out.

To book your tickets of for more info about the event please click here.

 

We’ll be at the Lincolnshire Day School’s Event at the Showground

We are delighted to be able to support the Lincolnshire day’s school event at the showground on Thursday 5th October. This event provides a farm-to-fork education to KS2 pupils from around the county.

The day aims to provide a comprehensive insight into all things Lincolnshire, with hands-on activities for all students to enjoy including food, farming, sport, heritage and culture. Students take part in a carefully timetabled day, working in small groups across a selection of unique hands-on learning workshops led by businesses such as ourselves. We look forward to meeting some of your children there ?

 

Logs – Please order soon!

Kiln dried logs at Stourton EstatesAs the weather takes a turn for the, if not chilly, certainly unpredictable, it’s time to think about getting your log order placed.

We have a very limited supply of logs this year, so please order soon to avoid disappointment.

Each bag of logs sold by us are made up of the highest quality kiln dried hardwood, all seasoned, graded to remove dust and kiln dried on our farm in Lincolnshire. Each kiln dried bag of logs are made up of hardwood varieties including ash, oak, and sycamore.

The firewood logs are sold in builders bags sized at approx 0.7 cubic metres.  Our logs are cut to around 10 inches/25 cm.

For more information or to place your order please click here.

 

We’re Lincolnshire Food and Farming Award Finalists!

We are absolutely delighted that we’ve been selected as finalists in the Lincolnshire Food and Farming Awards in the Farming Innovation category.

The work diversifying what we do on the farm here at Baumber has been a labour of love (& is an ongoing challenge!) which has only been possible with support from the fantastic team that work with us.

Just to be recognised alongside other amazing businesses in these awards is a huge privilege.  Please keep your fingers crossed for us on 17th November when the award winners are announced.

 

 

On the Farm

Since our last blog post we have been busy in between showers with land work to make ready for next year’s crops. The only harvesting we have remaining is our plot of sunflowers and the sugar beet which we have made a start on.

Firstly sugar beet, we’ve lifted just over 30 acres which is around 20% of our area. The sugar content of the sugar beet is relatively poor at the moment, sitting around 15%.  Whilst this is not unusual for this time of year, it unfortunately means we receive a lower price from the factory.  However, it does mean we can quickly drill another crop – so we have only lifted what we have with the aim of establishing a decent crop of winter barley behind it.

I mentioned we have been busy working land. All ‘primary’ cultivations have now been completed for all winter crops and for some spring crops too. We are now picking through which fields need a little more work before we drill. The aim is to start drilling winter barley imminently before moving on to winter wheat. We have an approximate 4 week ‘window’ which is optimal for establishing our winter cereals. The higher the black grass risk/burden in any particular field the later we leave sowing if the weather allows.

We have also been late sowing some oilseed rape. Due to the wet weather at the beginning of harvest we were unable to sow oilseed rape into an ‘early’ window. For the past few years we have had significant establishment challenges in the second 2 weeks of august. Firstly because of dry weather, but mostly because of cabbage stem flea beetle. Their main ‘migration’ (where they grow wings and move into a new host crop) tends to happen in the 3rd/4th week in august. If you have emerging oilseed rape cotyledons at this time the flea beetle can move in and destroy the crop. The only tool we have in our armoury at that point is broad scale applied pyrethroid insecticides to which the majority of the beetle population have developed resistance. As a result of this we decided to sow our oilseed rape in the middle of September if we had some moisture.   Therefore, we have our planned area sown and are hopeful it will establish well, the flea beetle pressure is lower but there is still some grazing present. Given our rape plants are so small going into autumn we really hope there won’t be too many early frosts. Time will tell whether later drilling was a wise or foolish move but we had to do something different to try and make this increasingly risky crop work for us.

All being well by the next blog we will have finished or almost finished winter wheat drilling, wish us luck with the great British weather!!

 

Deer Diary

The herds have been treated and separated and are almost all in the right place ahead of the Rut which is about to start. If you are local or passing on foot, you may hear quite a lot of noise in the next few weeks as the boys: Winston, Nelson & Harry – ahem, do what they do best!

We hosted an event with deer farmers from around the UK last week.  It’s always a nerve wracking experience showing your stock off to a delegation of deer farming professionals but they seemed to have enjoyed the tour and were all very complimentary – phew!

August 2023 at Stourton

Pop-Up Pub Night – a great time was had!

We’d like to thank everyone who attended our pop-up pub night at the Water Tower on Sunday 27th August. Despite some slightly dodgy weather during the day so many of you came out to support us and we stayed dry! Our happy campers were transported to the Tower in style on our tractor and trailer taxi and it was great to be able to support Kira Hodgson’s debut gig. She now has enough money to buy a new amp – keep an eye out for more local performances from her!

We managed to raise £155 for St Swithin’s Church in Baumber. We hope to raise more funds for the church by holding a series of autumn walks more on this to follow soon….

 

Forthcoming Events at Stourton Woods

Autumn Artisan Market – 17th September 10am – 4pm

Sunday 17th September sees the return of our Autumn Artisan Market.  We are delighted to host over 90 (!) local Lincolnshire creatives, artists and food producers who will be exhibiting their wares on site, in the shelter of our Roundhouse in partnership with Lincolnshire Makers, a collective of over 1600 businesses headed up by Jodie Mason.

If you like to support local and shop handmade, quality products, this is the event for you! Expect a huge range of items on offer from fused glass to fudge, macarons to melts, spices to sea glass and alcohol to art! Talented local musicians will provide a musical atmosphere – we’ve local guitar duo Nigel and Teri, and saxophonist John entertaining visitors throughout the event.

Enjoy a great variety of street food on site, including fully loaded fries from Oh La La Fries, freshly made pizza from The Roaming Dough, burgers from Gourmazin, sweet and savoury crepes from Fleurs’ Kitchen, onsite bar from Ferry Ales Brewery plus hot drinks from Jackalope Joe Coffee Co and Dancing Dungarees and delicious desserts from Barney’s Churros and ice cream from Nocona Gelato! We’ve even options for gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan diets too.

Picnic benches will be dotted throughout the grounds or please do bring your own picnic blankets along! Deer safaris will run throughout the day and are wheelchair accessible. Deer Safaris be booked online in advance via our website.

The event is dog friendly and entry is free of charge for visitors, although a small car parking fee of £5 will apply – every penny of which is reinvested into the ground’s maintenance and automatically enrols you into our raffle to win some great goodies from Stourton Estates including a Land Rover Farm Safari for Four, 2 Adult & 2 Child tickets to the Enchanted Lights event on 2nd November and a hamper full of goodies!

Take time whilst visiting to hunt for gnomes, get competitive with our lawn games, scout out items on our scavenger hunt or enjoy a woodland walk around the extensive grounds! With such a wide array of Lincolnshire creatives, food producers, makers and artists together in a beautiful setting this is an event not to be missed!

Enchanted Lights – 2nd, 3rd, 4th  & 5th November 2023

We are in the process of finalising suppliers and attractions for the return of our Enchanted Lights event. It will run across FOUR nights this year on 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th November 2023 and as usual we will be running 2 time slots across each night.

Tickets will be on sale in the next couple of weeks. If you sign up to our newsletter via our website we will let you know as soon as they are available to purchase.

 

Grow your love with Weddings at Stourton Woods

The last wedding of 2023 was held here on Saturday 2nd September. It’s been a great wedding season and we have been overjoyed to welcome our couples to help them to celebrate their special days.

We attended the wedding fair in Horncastle at Stanhope Hall on Sunday 3rd September. It was great to meet so many couples who wanted to find out what we can offer for weddings and special celebrations at Stourton Woods! We gave out some special seed cards with all our information on, kindly created for us by Hedera Artistry. We’d love to see the results once you have planted them.

 

On the Farm

Harvest…..what a slog it has been, dodging showers, not being able to ‘get going’ for days at a  time…but it’s in! It has not been an easy ride this year, but it has been a really fantastic team effort. We take our hats off to the extended AW Smith team as well as our own who worked some LONG hours to get finished. We’re now busy harrowing, mowing margins and prep for drilling next year’s crops.

 

Deer Diary

As summer turns to autumn we are preparing for the rut. This involves de-antlering the stags so that they don’t cause the hinds or anyone else any harm in this testosterone fueled period! We also give them all a copper bolus supplement. Deer have a high copper requirement so they are supplemented to support their bone and coat health and boost their immune systems. Once they are all supplemented we will get the boys into position and the noisiest time of the year on the estate can begin!

We hope to see you soon at either (or both) our Artisan Market and the Enchanted Lights event.

 

Antony & Helen

July 2023 at Stourton

Sunflowers Galore!

July has been all about the sunflowers for us. We have been patiently waiting for them to flower, worrying that they might not be at their brightest fullest bloom for the planned weekends.  Then it rained torrentially and we unfortunately had to cancel the first event on 23rd due to conditions in the field. However, Sunday 30th proved to be a great success and we saw many people stream through our gates.

As the weather still looked a bit iffy we changed plans to make sure that refreshments, children’s activities, information and goodies were available undercover in the round house. A tractor and trailer shuttle ride then took people from the roundhouse directly to the field where they could take in the trail through the flowers and take some stems from the dedicated picking area.

Thank you to everyone who came along and also to those of you who shared you experiences, photos and lovely comments with us on social media. It means a lot to us to that people take the time to let us know what a great time they’ve had with us.

“Stunning , thank you so much for sharing your beautiful sunflowers with us”

“It was wonderful – thank you”

“Wow!  it was stunning, Thankyou!”

 

August Bank Holiday Weekend Camping & Water Tower Pub Night

Our next event to look forward to is our August Bank Holiday Camping weekend with additional pop-up pub night at our water tower!

Camping is available from £20 per pitch per night for the weekend (Fri- Sun inclusive) in our sheltered arboretum and whilst we don’t have electric hook up, water, fully flushing loos and waste disposal facilities are available on site as well as a communal fire pit in the evenings. You will also get a complimentary tractor and trailer ride up to the pop-up pub night at the water tower on Sunday 27th.

Our pop-up pub night on Sunday 27th August is open to anyone who wants to come along, not just our campers and there’s no need to book. Our water tower has been sensitively restored and a trip up the Victorian spiral staircase offers beautiful views across the Lincolnshire Wolds and river Bain valley. On the ground floor is a quirky bar from where we will serve local ales as well as wine and soft drinks.  There’ll also be a BBQ, live music and even a quiz.

For more information about this event and to book camping pitches please visit our website.

Date for your Dairy: Our Next Artisan Market – 17th September 2023

Sunday 17th September sees the return of our very popular Artisan Market, in conjunction with Lincolnshire Makers. The market brings some of Lincolnshire’s best artisan producers together to showcase their wares. So from top quality food and drink to gift items, home accessories and jewellery the market has it all.

However, it’s not just a market, it is a whole day out. Being held here means that you can:

  • wander the market,
  • enjoy some lunch or a treat from one of many (and even more than last time) food vendors,
  • take in a deer safari (book here),
  • enjoy a wander around one of our way-marked trails including the gnome trail which is great for little ones.
  • Live music will be playing all day around the event and quiet picnic spots are available in the arboretum.
  • Well behaved dogs on leads are more than welcome to come along and enjoy the day too.

Here are some comments after our Spring Artisan Market:

“Me and my little boy came from Birmingham to see my Parents and we visited the event. Absolutely brilliant, everyone was so lovely, fab deer safari. We will definitely be back!!”

“Great event, great organisation, great artisan producers, great craftspersons, great food, so yes great!”

“Great Day out we bought lots of lovely things, Stourton Venison, Antlers, some great Candles from Lincolnshire Wolds Living, fantastic Halloumi from Blue Sky Cheese, Rapeseed Oil from R G Taylor & Sons to name but a few. Event was very well organised look forward to visiting again”

Make a note of this date in your diary – it’s not to be missed. To find out more please click here.

 

On the Farm

Well, what has happened to the weather? The rain and generally cooler conditions are really delaying our harvest. We did manage to briefly get going into some oilseed rape but the showers and lack of drying sunshine means that it is, so far, very slow going. Fingers crossed for a dryer spell soon.

 

Deer Diary

Work has been underway to fence our last deer enclosure. The (not so) small job of removing overhanging branches along the fence line involved a father & son chain saw & digger effort. Once the last enclosure is complete we will be able to move deer into the handling centre much more easily rather than moving then back through 4 separate fields!!

We are delighted to now have around 100 healthy deer calves running with the herd and enjoying the lush green grass that is growing in this warm wet summer. You can see our lovely deer herd by booking a deer safari on Sunday 17th September at our Artisan Market. Click here to book your place.

June 2023 at Stourton

Events and Visitors Galore in June!

We’ve certainly had a very busy month at Stourton Woods.

At the end of May we welcomed Lincolnshire Co-Op who held a celebration day as a thank you for their walk leaders and they made good use of our roundhouse, the old hall lawn and arboretum. They had a great morning with archery, walking cricket, mini golf and garden games to entertain them as well as free health checks followed by a walk (of course!) in the afternoon. Food was provided by two lovely high quality local food suppliers: Curry Jacks and Amy Jobe’s Lincoln Russet enjoyed in the shade of our roundhouse.

We then hosted some night walks as part of the Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoors Festival which gave visitors the chance to see the estate and woodland at dusk.

We rounded off the Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoors Festival with our very own Picnic in the Woods event. We opened the door to campers who had the use of the estate from Friday evening until Sunday evening. Then on Sunday we opened our gates to visitors to enjoy garden games, walks around the estate trails, and try their hands at orienteering whilst enjoying food from the Choowee Cookie Company and Gourmazin. It was a lovely day and always great to welcome visitors to enjoy what we have the pleasure of walking around almost every day. If you attended the event we’d love to hear your feedback.  Please take a moment to complete our survey and be in with the chance to win a goodie bag!

Nicky Marshall, the Somatics Coach held a somatics self-care day in the safari tent and around the arboretum. If you haven’t heard about somatics before it’s well worth investigating. It involves gentle, simple movement to aid rest, relaxation and recovery.

However, there’s no rest for the wicked and we are in July looking forward to hosting some private parties, group visits and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School from Horncastle, which we’ll fill you in on in our next news story.

 

Dates for your Diary:

Stourton Sunflower Experience – Sunday 23rd & Sunday 30th July

Well, actually setting dates for this one is quite hard as we are completely reliant on mother nature to work her magic…. however, we are fairly confident that the sunflowers will be blooming on these dates.  You can book to come and enjoy the Stourton Sunflower Experience via our website here with a tractor and trailer ride taking you directly to (& from!) our Sunflower field.  The Sunflower field features a 1km (approx) walking trail through the field of sunflowers.  You can enjoy them at your leisure in full bloom taking some wonderful photos of the sunflowers along your way. There will also be a designated ‘picking area’ of the field to cut your stems & take home – so don’t forget your secateurs/scissors!

The tractor and trailers will drive to and from the sunflower fields continually so once you get here you may need to wait a short period of time for your ride. Once up at the field refreshments and a portable loo is available and you are free to loiter for as long as you wish to enjoy the beauty of the flowers in the sunshine.

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for images of the field in full bloom!

 

August Bank Holiday Camping

Want to go away for August Bank Holiday weekend? Then look no further. We are offering camping for tents, caravan and motor homes at Stourton Woods from Friday 25th August until Monday 28th August. You can enjoy the peace and quiet of the woods with access to our walking trails and, being on the edge of the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds with easy access to both the coast and historic Lincoln, you can use our location as a base to explore the surrounding area.

You will be able to book ‘wild’ pitches within the beautiful arboretum online soon – whilst there is no electric hook-up there is access to water and fully flushing loos. Keep an eye on social media to book your place soon!  You can even get a free tractor & trailer ride up to the Water Tower Pub night (& back) on Sunday evening…

 

Water Tower Pub Night; Sunday 27th August

On Sunday 27th August, (bank holiday week-end) we are hosting a pub night at our Water Tower. Open from 6pm til dark everyone is very welcome!  There will be a licensed bar with local ales, wine and soft drinks with venison burgers on offer as well as live music and a fun quiz. There’s no need to book.

Tractor and trailer drop offs and collections will be available for any Bank Holiday campers who are staying in the arboretum & wish to join in the fun on Sunday night.

We hope to see you there!

 

Weddings at Stourton Woods

As well as all of the above parties, events and tours, wedding season is in full swing and we are welcoming lots of happy couples over the summer months to the woods to celebrate their love for each other with their nearest and dearest. We have recently received a lovely review from one the couples who recently celebrated here so we will allow them to blow our trumpet for us:

“5 stars doesn’t seem enough! The most beautiful, peaceful and incredible wedding venue! Julie went above and beyond both before and on our wedding day we would have been lost without her! I can’t recommend this venue enough if you want a relaxed fun beautiful wedding”

If you’d like more information about our wedding packages or would like to book a tour, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Try Venison on your BBQ this Summer!

Venison BurgerOur very popular venison BBQ Pack is back in stock. It is the perfect selection for everyone to enjoy grilling at home and great to feed a hungry family. Costing just £30 the BBQ pack contains:

  • 6 meaty sausages,
  • 4 burgers,
  • 2 haunch steaks; and
  • 2 frying steaks

These BBQ packs are available to order online for collection from farm office.

 

Estate update

As we continue to manage our woodland and clear up after winter we are busy converting any removed or fallen trees into woodchip. Once through the chipper we grade, process and bag the products ready for delivery.  In just a few hours the chipper and the trailers had almost filled the shed at the farm!

Just before our Picnic in the Woods event, we managed to successfully complete the timber cladding on our shipping containers sited at the entrance to the arboretum. They not only look much smarter but we think that they fit into their natural surroundings much better!  Well done team!

 

On the Farm 

We are waiting with baited breath for the start of harvest. Our first stop will either be rape or our winter barley crop. The dry and warm spell of weather that we have recently enjoyed is certainly helping the crops get ready. Fingers crossed it lasts.

In the meantime, we are readying ourselves for the busy harvest period. We are clearing out and cleaning all our corn storage from last year and ensuring that all of our equipment is in tip top condition.

 

Deer Diary

Our deer calving season is coming to a close and we have nothing to report other than lots of happy, healthy calves pronking around our deer fields, gaining confidence every day.  Red deer are very natural mothers and almost all of our new mum’s have taken to their parental duties very well. It really is our favourite time of year and whilst we check on them regularly unfortunately, we seldom get the opportunity to watch them all day which would be lovely!

 

May 2023 at Stourton

Picnic in the Woods – the countdown is on!

We are counting down to our Picnic in the Woods event which takes place on 11th June (the last day of the Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival). We have designed a really lovely day out. The ticket price includes loads of free nature crafting activities and garden games to keep your little ones entertained and, for bigger kids there will be orienteering across the estate with some hidden controls for you to find.

Our walking trails will be open so you can bring your four legged friend with you for the day. In the arboretum, as well as the garden games and crafting, there will be a couple of food vendors with burgers and cookies available as well as live music throughout the day so you can soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying a cold drink or some lunch.

We will also be running deer safaris on the day where you will be able to see our red deer herds up close, including hopefully some new born calves!  Please note, these deer safaris are subsidised at £4 per person and bookable separately.

Camping tickets are also available for the weekend and campers are welcome to pitch up from Friday 9th (4.30-6.30 p.m) so you can really make a weekend of it.

To find out more about the event and to book your tickets please click here. There are a limited number of family tickets for Sunday only available. Under 2’s are free!

To book your deer safari on the Sunday please click here.

 

Stourton Night Walks as part of the Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoors Festival

The Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival is underway and there are loads of walks and activities taking place across the area over the next 3 weeks!

Not only are we rounding the festival off in style with our Picnic in the Woods event, but we also have two very special night walks on offer. The walks are 3 miles long around Stourton Woods and will give the opportunity to ‘see’ and hear the dusk and night time goings on. Keep your eyes peeled and bring a head torch!

The walks take place at:

No booking is required. To find out more click the links for each event above.

Somatics Self Care Day – Friday 16th June

On Friday 16th June we are hosting a Somatics Self Care Day. The Somatics Coach, Nicki Marshall, is running the day, designed to restore your freedom of movement and calm you nervous system. The day runs from 9.30 – 2.30/3pm and includes:

  • 2 Somatic movement sessions
  • A delicious lunch by Holly’s Kitchen
  • Built in time out with friends to explore the beautiful estate and woods.

Tickets cost £70 per person. To book onto the day please email hello@thesomaticscoach.co.uk.

Artisan Market & Ambucopter Fundraiser – a round up and some biiig thank yous!

On 7th May we held out first Artisan Market of the year. The sun shone, the roundhouse was filled with talented makers and hoards of people came along to enjoy the market and a potter about the walking trails and enjoyed some refreshments in the arboretum. We had some fantastic feedback on social media so if you posted about the day or sent us a message thank you very much.

A great big thank you goes to Jodie from Lincolnshire Makers (our co-host!) and the extended Stourton team, who helped out on the day making sure that everything ran smoothly – a fabulous team effort!

Our next Artisan Market will take place on 17th September, so save the date and keep your eyes peeled for more information in the run up to the event.

On 18th May we held the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance fundraiser in the safari tent (post spring spruce up, see below) with delicious home-made sausage rolls, scones and cakes all with copious cups of tea / coffee and a terrific tombola – was everyone a winner?! The weather was kind and we managed to raise over £1,000 for Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance.

Thanks to the team of wonderful volunteers who worked really hard to make this event happen. Other than a lost pair of glasses and some errant walkers it was a very worthwhile day!

 

On the Estate:

Our trusty safari tent has enjoyed some TLC, getting her in tip-top condition for our forthcoming events and weddings. It’s had a proper spring clean and revamp: Leaves have been cleared; the outside has had a wash; the roof and windows have had a clean. Whilst inside any cobwebs have been dusted away, festoon lights wiped and the wooden FLOOR is now newly treated.  A big thank you to Carl Coupland, painter and decorator who carried the work on the floor over a weekend at very short notice. By the end of this week, the fire pit will be in place. The festoon lights down the path to the car park installed and we will be ready to rock!

Meanwhile, the new entrance in the car park is taking shape with wood cladding, being applied to the containers before the roof and hopefully solar panels will be added during the next phase… going a long way to making our venue more sustainable.

 

Landscaping jobs to do? Take a look at our landscaping products

Bag of woodchipAs well as everything else we have going on, the team are out and about delivering your landscaping chip orders. Whether you are looking for woodchip to mulch your beds or to act as a weed suppressant or need to reinvigorate a play area before summer we can help. We can deliver in 0.7m³ builder’s bags or as 0.7m³ loads as 15kg bags for easier handling and storage. So if you have a wood chip requirement please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

On the Farm:

Very shortly after the last blog post we completed sowing our spring cash crops. With a bit of rain after drilling the barley and sugar beet crops flew out of the ground. Even the crop of barley on our heaviest field has emerged very evenly, which is a rarity in the spring to say the least.

The couple of slight downsides to spring crop establishment is that a couple of heavy patches in another field following a winter cover crop have suffered a little from grazing by slugs. Also and the high winds we have had has meant some of the sandy land where the sugar beet is growing has ‘blown’ and the sugar beet in these areas is struggling.

All nitrogen, hosphate, Potash, and sulphur fertilisers are now applied to all crops. Our oilseed rape is rapidly heading out of flower, the next pass through the rape will be to apply a pre-harvest desiccant to even the crops and to bring harvest forward by a couple of weeks to manage harvest workload. The winter barley crop is fully in ear now and generally looking good, bar a few patches which have laid wet over winter and all spring.

Dan is currently busy applying our ‘T2’ fungicide spray to our winter wheat crop. This application aims to protect the ‘flag leaf’ which is the final leaf the wheat plant produces before the ear emerges. It is a very important leaf as far as building yield in the ear goes so we aim to coat it with a protectant fungicide once it is fully emerged. With crops developing at an incredible rate, hitting the right timing can be very tricky.

Following the T2 spray on the wheat we have a grass weed spray to apply to our sugar beet crop. Ken is busy in the workshop as well as sowing our stewardship mixes designed to feed wild birds over the winter. Although incredibly, and having moaned about it being wet for so long these seedbeds are a little dry!!!

I’m at risk of moaning a lot about the weather now so we will leave it there!!

 

Deer diary

In the quest to keep our lovely, red deer well fed, as well as giving them some extra shade in the summer Antony decided to plant some short rotation coppice. A brilliant idea! However, it wasn’t something that Helen really expected to be helping with on a Sunday in order to meet the planting deadline!

Then with the arrival of some sunshine and drier weather, we decided to silage the forage that we need for the deer this winter.  Thanks to Chris Frick for jumping onto this at short notice. This has now been bailed and it was a team effort to get the field cleared and silage stored away so that we’ve got plenty of food for the deer later in the year.

And the most exciting news of all, on Sunday 21st May we welcomed out first deer calf of the season. Mother and baby are doing very well and have since been joined by a few others. Luckily, unlike other livestock, deer tend to calf very easily, calmly and quietly, however at this time of year we step up our rounds to make sure that all is going to plan and that none of the mothers are in any distress and that all the calves are being well cared for by their mothers.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read our news story and we hope to see you at Picnic in the Woods on 11th June.

Antony & Helen

April 2023 at Stourton

We have already held our first two events of the year and it is great to be open again for 2023.

We have some fantastic events in the pipeline:

7th May – Artisan Market in conjunction with Lincolnshire Makers

Last year we held two of these markets, bringing together the best of Lincolnshire’s artisan makers under one roundhouse sized roof! We were delighted by their success and they are back again this year. Whether you are a foodie or are looking for original home ware or jewellery then this market is for you.

On the day the estate is also open for you to enjoy. You can take in the walking trails, enjoy a deer safari (bookable here) and once you have done that you can enjoy refreshments from a selection of food and drink vendors.

Entry to the event is FREE, you just need to pay £5 per car for parking. If you keep your parking ticket you can be in with the chance to win a private deer feeding experiences on board  our series 3 LandRover!

To find out more please click here – we hope to see you here!

 

18th May – Air Ambulance Fundraiser – Please Book

Enjoy a morning or afternoon on Thursday 18th May at Stourton Woods with home-made light refreshments all whilst raising money funds for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

You are very welcome to bring your dog (on leads please) and walk along one of the self guided trails across the estate and spot the red deer. Then arrive back at the safari tent for a morning coffee (or tea!) served at 11am with one of Pauline’s legendary home-made sausage rolls. Alternatively, if the afternoon suits you better arrive then and enjoy a cream tea (or coffee!) with a delicious home-made scone, jam & cream at 2pm and then walk it off!

There will be a selection of prizes on offer for you to win in the tombola. Please bring some money to support this & remember all proceeds and money raised will go to the Air Ambulance. The kettle will be on throughout the day so you can help yourself to a re-fill and keep hydrated!

PLEASE BOOK TICKETS FOR THIS EVENT HERE

 

11th June – Picnic in the Woods – Please Book

Enjoy a relaxed Sunday (or weekend) at Stourton Woods on 11th June.   Experience the laid back atmosphere of the arboretum with good food, live music playing all day and activities included – the day is yours to spend as you wish!

You are welcome to bring a picnic and you also have the option of purchasing delicious savoury & sweet food & drinks from local vendors in the woods.

Your day ticket also includes:

  • a chance for the whole family to play a variety of garden games (skittles, tin can alley, splat the rat and more),
  • craft activities for younger visitors to make leaf necklaces, nature crowns, bug hotels & crafting to their hearts content,
  • the chance to have a go at orienteering and find controls hidden across the estate,
  • subsidised deer safari tickets (£4 pp) see the deer close up on a tractor & trailer ride, running throughout the day (buy in advance here)
  • access to walk all the way marked trails across the estate, from 1km, 3km, 5km
  • free parking all day

You can also choose to stay for the night / weekend with your tent, caravan or motor home with entrance tickets to Sunday included!

For more information and to book your tickets or pitch please click here.

 

Focus Rides at Stourton Woods April 23

Like we said, we’ve already been busy with a host of different events. We welcomed the Lincolnshire Orienteering Group for a fun packed evening on Thursday 13th April. They really enjoyed the challenge of the course around the estate and parkland. We also welcomed Focus Rides on Sunday 23rd April for a somewhat soggy day. We take our hats off to all those who braved the weather and the mud and put their bike through its paces.

On the 23rd April we also attended Countryside Lincs event at the Lincolnshire showground. It was a pleasure to meet so many people and talk about what we get up to. We proudly showed off the new Series 3 Land Rover, being our stand’s star attraction and offered some fun table top play to keep the kids entertained, featuring several model Land Rover’s, of course.

 

Private Deer Feeding Experiences in our Land Rover are now available!

Private deer feeding experiences in the Land Rover are now available to book. Taking approximately 1.5 hours from 9am you can get up close and personal with the deer on our morning rounds as we feed them and you can find out how we look after them and get a tour of the deer parks in style!

Father’s Day is not far off; we think that this would be a perfect gift for up to 5 people to enjoy.

To find out more and to book your experience please click here.

 

Tidy up play areas or pathways with our Playchip – available to order now

As we approach summer perhaps you are looking to tidy up any play areas or pathways.

woodchipOur play chippings are produced from graded soft roundwood and has been screened, tested and is fully compliant with British Safety Standard Ref BSEN 1177: for Impact Absorbing Playground Surfacing when used to the recommended depth. So it is ideal to lay in your play areas whether in your garden or for commercial use.

There are no additives or waste products used in the production process – simply pure roundwood logs grown and sourced from our own woodlands.

For more information re recommended depth and to place your order please click here.

 

On the Farm

After a great team effort in April we are getting towards being drilled up. The wet weather has continued to frustrate! With the last of our heavy land spring crops about to be sown this week it has certainly felt like a bit of a slog this spring. It can be a little demoralising at times knowing that as time marches on both yield and quality are compromised, but not being able to do a single thing about it other than be patient and hit the ground running when conditions allow. It’s certainly been one of the trickier springs that I have known.

Alongside getting the barley and beet sown Ken and Tom have been busy repairing issues with our field drains across the farm. Most of our fields are under drained, some with modern schemes other areas with schemes 100 years old. It’s fascinating; if a little vexing at times dealing with land drains that don’t appear on maps! But very rewarding when you let the blockage go, you can see the wet area dry up in front of your eyes.

Once we have the last few bits of drilling done we will be applying our final dose of nitrogen to our winter wheats. Before we do this we will be using our N-tester to determine how much more nitrogen fertiliser our crops need to achieve optimum yield. More information about the n tester can be found here.

As the crops all develop and move through their growth stages rapidly we need to monitor them for disease. The pressure on the sprayer at this time of year is immense to try and hit the optimal timing for fungicide applications as well as weed control in a variety of crops. Dan is certainly kept on his toes!! By the time the next blog comes around, all being well there will just be a handful more spraying jobs to do before the run in to harvest.

 

Around the estate

We have been busy replacing worn out and weakened fencing as well as installing new gates to enable us to more easily move the deer from enclosure to enclosure for fresh grazing. We regularly rotate them around a number of separate enclosures, leaving some un-grazed for a period of time allowing the grass time to recover.

 

Deer Diary

We had to delay the turnout of our younger deer from their winter roundhouse dwelling because the very wet March meant there was a lack of grass for grazing. We waited another week for the grass to perk up whilst taking the opportunity to give it a pass with the aerator roller which also helps to kick-start growth. We also used this time to roll the silage growing and stimulate that too!

So turnout was a bit of a whirlwind! We were a Dan down so it was a family affair! The deer took a little while to get into exactly the right place but we managed it in the end! It was then another massive team effort to clear and clean down the round house, move fencing and clear the car-parking area. Special thanks go to our son Jamie for fitting in muck shifting around his GCSE revision – heads down now though Jamie!

 

We are really excited about our forthcoming events. Please book any tickets required for either the event itself or for deer safaris at the events as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

 

Antony & Helen

Our products & services

woodchip

Landscaping

Our landscaping products are made from timber from our own and other local Lincolnshire woodlands.  Use …

More
red deer at Stourton Estates

Experiences

Experience a private farm safari tour.  Our experiences make great gifts for someone special... or perhaps …

More
Thumbnail for

We have already held our first two events of the year and it is great to …

More