Reared here on the farm, professionally butchered & packaged for us by local butchers and labelled here, we deliver direct to your door in our veni-van across Lincolnshire, fresh venison is also available for delivery nationwide!More
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
As 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.
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.
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.
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!
As 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.
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!!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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”
Try Venison on your BBQ this Summer!
Our 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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
As 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!!
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!
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!
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.
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.
Our 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.
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.
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
March 2023 at Stourton
As the weather has turned more spring like, demand for ornamental bark and woodchip has increased. These are both great weed suppressants so ideal for gardens and keeping unwanted weeds at bay as well as maintaining moisture in the ground. To view our landscaping products or to place your order online, please click here.
Have you spotted our 2023 events leaflet out & about? We attended a leaflet swap at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall earlier this month to spread the word & hopefully people are becoming aware of what we’ve got on offer here this year. If you are a hospitality business, hotel, B&B or holiday cottage business and would like some of our leaflets to share with your guests please get in touch as we have a big box we’d like to get out & about locally.
16th April – Countryside Lincs
Coming up in April is the fantastic Countryside Lincs Event at the Lincolnshire Showgound – it’s being held on Sunday 16th April & we will be there to launch something new and rather exciting that will be taking place across the Estate this year… find out more when we see you there!!
20th April 2023 – Lincoln Orienteering Group Spring Series
23rd April 2023 – Focus Rides Mountain Bike Race
Both of the above events are bookable directly with Lincoln Orienteering Group and Focus Rides so please click on the links above to register your involvement.
7th May 2023 – Artisan Market – Deer Safari Tickets are on Sale now!
Following the success of the Artisan Markets last year we are holding two more this year. There’s no need to book tickets to actually get into the event, there’s a parking charge on the day but entry to this event is free.
We are running our signature deer safaris on the day and you DO need to book tickets for these. To book your tickets please click here!
This is definitely an event to make a day of. As well as the wares of the many talented Lincolnshire Makers to enjoy, there’s live music, picnic space, deer safaris, walks, a picnic area and a wealth of food vendors. This is an event to get in diary. Find out more here!
We’re working on a project to make Stourton Woods more sustainable going forward. More details & photos will follow soon…., suffice to say it has involved Antony making another eBay purchase as well as a fair amount of angle-grinding, paint and sourcing timber to create this feature.
We’ve been hindered by the weather as it’s been such a wet March we would normally be repairing farm tracks and grading roads but this will have to wait until things dry out!
Woodland Weddings in the Safari Tent
Julie has been busy meeting with prospective couples looking around the venue in the arboretum and those who are having their wedding at Stourton Woods this year. Plans are being finalised and updated to ensure everything goes smoothly ahead of the big day! We take great care to help you every step of the way and it has been lovely to receive such positive feedback from those who have held their wedding here in the past.
“Such a stunning venue that captures you heart as soon as you pull off the main road. Every small decision is yours, what time it starts, where the ceremony is and even what food vendor you want!”
Paula & Karl
“You made our day absolutely perfect”
Camilla & Will
“Every detail of the day was absolutely perfect for us and we can’t get over how magical every single moment was. We cannot thank you enough for every single tiny detail and ensuring the day went as smoothly as possible!”
Amy & Dan
If you’d like to speak to Julie or have a look around the venue please get in touch as we have some Saturday availability in 2024 and we would love to work with you to ensure you have your wedding your way.
On The Farm
The general theme for what has been happening on farm during March is… NOT ENOUGH! However, we did manage to prepare ourselves for sowing spring barley with some seed dressing in early March. Seed dressing is a process whereby a large machine sorts through the seeds and throws out anything ropey before applying a coating to protect the seed ready for drilling. However, after an unseasonably early dry spell in February the great British weather has made up for it during March!
We have been snatching an odd day here and there spreading fertiliser, with all of our winter crops and some of our grassland receiving an application of nitrogen. We are currently applying the second and final dose of nitrogen to our oilseed rape crops, this will be followed by the second pass on our winter barleys but guess what… it’s raining again!
When the weather eventually gives us a decent window we will get on with sowing our spring barley and sugar beet crops, the sooner the better now as we will be losing yield potential the later into the spring we go. The poor weather means that we have a much shorter window than usual to complete the work required which means some long hours throughout April.
In amongst the showers we are applying a grass weed herbicide on a few fields of winter wheat and just starting to think about our first fungicide applications on wheat and barley.
All being well by the time the next blog rolls around we will be drilled up and have the vast majority of our fertiliser applied.
We’ve been busy repairing fences and putting in a new race-way and gates to improve deer handling and make things a bit easier. This will be tested out next month when we release the deer from the roundhouse into fresh pasture and a little more space. We will try & get some video image of this so we can share it with you… it’s a lovely sight but they don’t like being watched & typically decide to go out in their own sweet time!
We’re about to start giving our hinds a dose of copper ahead of calving in May. This keeps them healthy and helps ensure their calves are also strong when they are born.
Payment gateway changes and taking payment over the phone…
If you buy products regularly online from our website you may soon notice a slight change to our internal payment gateway. We are working behind the scenes to move away from PayPal to an alternative payment gateway and shortly hope to accept payments over the telephone. This has been something our customers have been requesting for sometime & we are currently testing this out before Tina can take payments from you over the phone very soon… all being well!
We hope to see you soon at one of our events!
February 2023 at Stourton
Log Season is almost over
We are very nearly at the end of the log sales season and now only have a very limited amount of kiln dried logs left in stock, so if you need to stock up please get your order in. Sales of logs will restart again towards the end of the summer.
During the next few months, we will be converting timber to logs and then using the kiln to dry these during the warmer months. This significantly reduces the energy used to dry timber for the forthcoming winter season, making economic sense as well as reducing our carbon footprint.
On the Estate
The winter jobs on the estate have continued in earnest! Antony, Dan and Guy have been busy trimming back overhanging branches and trees that are growing a little too close the rides -particularly where the tractor and trailer goes through on the summer deer safaris. They’ve also been attending to any dangerous trees, taking them down as well as clearing fallen timber and storm damage across the estate. We are soon to spread some natural fertilizer (muck spread!) across the parks to give the grazing a boost.
We are so looking forward to the warmer weather, when we can open the estate to visitors again!
If you fancy getting active we have two events for you to try:
- Thursday 20th April at 6pm – the Lincoln Orienteering Group are holding a spring series event, open to all where you race against the clock to find the controls hidden across the estate, book your place here
- Sunday 23rd April – Focus Rides Mountain Bike race, all you need is a bike to take part and ride the bike trail running around the estate
In May and June our main events program opens up and we are excited to share more information on these and we have tickets on sale to both the Air Ambulance Fundraiser and the Picnic in the Park (with optional camping):
- Sunday 7th May – Spring Artisan Market (no advance tickets needed, parking on the day £4 per car) with over 80 talented Lincolnshire creatives, food producers, makers and artists showcasing their goods in and around the roundhouse in the woods
- 18th May – Air Ambulance Fundraiser Enjoy a morning or afternoon walking around Stourton Woods with home-made light refreshments in the safari tent! This event is to raise funds for the incredible work done by the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.
- 11th June – Picnic in the Woods (& Optional Camping) – Enjoy a day at Stourton Woods; take in the estate on a walk, join in the activities, crafts and games, visit the deer on a deer safari plus you can enjoy delicious food and music all afternoon in the arboretum. Tickets start at £7 per person. To book your tickets for just the day or for overnight camping please click here.
Parties / Weddings / Corporate Events / Venue Hire
It’s sometimes difficult to remember how our venue looks and the number of options that we have available for your occasion. If you have an event or get together in mind or would like to talk through your ideas we are only too happy to discuss options with you and help you make it happen. We are extremely flexible and have contacts with many high quality local suppliers who love working with us to make your idea a reality. Please just get in touch …..
On the Farm
February on the farm has been a month of muck spreading, training & forward planning!
We’ve been busy spreading farmyard manure on the land which is a great natural fertiliser due to its high organic matter giving nutrients to the upcoming crops as well as being rich in bugs & beasties. In addition, we’ve been using polysulphate fertiliser – a natural mined substance, (ground up rock from under the north sea). This contains four important nutrients for our crops: sulphur, potassium, magnesium & calcium to help them grow strong and healthy. The winter crops are now getting a nitrogen application and in the next week we should have finished ploughing ahead of drilling our spring crops – barley, sugar beet & sunflowers.
Unfortunately due to the widespread frost and freezing conditions that we had in early December 150 acres of sugar beet has suffered devastating frost damage. This has been assessed and is now being ploughed in as it is no longer viable as a crop. Meanwhile the beet that was lifted has caused damage to the tracks around the farm so we are also in the process of re-building these. Not a good beet year all round!
Training has been a key feature this month with both Dan and Guy attending loading shovel training and other refresher courses to ensure farm equipment is handled safely. Oli has been on some courses arranged locally keeping up to date with arable developments, business management and mental health in the workplace. Whilst we are only a small team, farming is often a lonely job, so being aware, spotting any issues and taking a pro-active approach is a good first step to take.
Planning and looking forward we are reviewing our current stewardship schemes and options. We have submitted a Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme application, this scheme aims to help farmers manage land in a way that improves food production and is more environmentally sustainable. We are also reviewing other schemes that we may look to apply for.
We have another month to six weeks to go before coming to the end of winter feeding. On the warmer days the deer calves in the roundhouse have been looking out but there isn’t any fresh pasture available for them just yet! They are mucked out and have a new set of bedding every few weeks and whilst snowdrops have popped up it’s not quite spring-time / turn-out time until April.
We are preparing to sort through the herds and give the pregnant hinds a copper bolus to keep them healthy before calving in May. There are several stretches of deer fencing that need some repair and shortly Charlie Wright from Frontrow Fencing will be on site sorting this out for us… you might even spot some new gates when you visit us next!
January 2023 at Stourton
New Year, fresh start…
Kiln Dried Logs & Recycled Coffee Logs
With the Christmas break and recent cold weather we’ve had a bit of a rush on our kiln dried logs so we’re currently working to a lead time of 1-2 weeks from placing your order to receiving your delivery – so please don’t let your log stocks run too low as we only have so many days in the week to make log deliveries!
***NEW PRODUCT ALERT – COFFEE LOGS ARE HERE***
We also have a great new product in stock that complements our kiln dried logs really nicely… recycled Coffee Logs. These are, as the name suggests, made from used coffee beans collected from UK coffee shops and made into logs.
They kick out some serious heat and we have found that they are great for getting your log burner hot quickly before putting on a log or two to keep it going steadily. You can order them for delivery with any other bagged product for home delivery within 20 miles of LN9 5PB here.
Stourton Woods Events 2023
We are delighted to welcome back Julie Pounds to work with us again, not only managing weddings on the estate but also co-ordinating a calendar of monthly events starting in the Spring of this year.
We can now announce the dates of these events, more details will follow in future newsletters as well as on our website but we are really looking forward to a full calendar of larger events as follows, starting in April:
- Thursday 20th April 2023 – Lincoln Orienteering Group Spring Series
- Sunday 23rd April 2023 – Focus Rides Mountain Bike Race
- Sunday 7th May 2023 – The Lincolnshire Makers Spring Artisan Market
- May 2023 – date TBC – Charity Cream Tea Event raising money for the Air Ambulance
- Wednesday 31st May & Wednesday 7th June at 8pm – Guided night walks with Geoff Newmarch as part of the Lincs Wolds Outdoor Festival
- Sunday 11th June 2023 – Picnic in the Woods & Camping Weekend
- End of July and Early August 2023 (weekends) – Sunflower Trail Experience
- Date TBC – Autumn Firewood Sale – more details to follow
- Sunday 17th September 2023 – The Lincolnshire Makers Autumn Artisan Market
- 2nd – 5th November 2023 – Our Enchanted Lights event
Weddings at Stourton – We’re taking bookings for 2024 and beyond
We are taking bookings for 2024 and beyond. We offer a truly unique wedding experience where you can use our infrastructure to build a magical day that is totally personal to you. Using our safari tent, nestled in our arboretum as your day’s base makes for a very special day. You will work with our events coordinator Julie Pounds who will help you to plan and organise your special day.
We have lots of lovely, healthy, home grown venison in stock for you to enjoy from succulent steaks to slow cooked warming casseroles.
To place your order please phone Tina in the farm office on 01507 578236 from Mon- Thurs 9-4 and she’ll be happy to advise on current cuts in stock and arrange a time for you to collect or FREE delivery if you order any bagged product within 20 mils of LN9 5PB.
Part of our long-term plan is to restore the estate and parkland closer to what it was when the Old Hall was occupied in the late 1800’s. During this time the sweeping park lands would have extended much further into the woodland at the tail end of the lakes that was subsequently planted by the Forestry Commission in the 1960’s. We gained permission to fell this woodland as part of our 5 year Forestry Management Plan and have been carefully taking trees out a little at time, as well as planting new trees across the estate.
Over the last 3 weeks Antony has been putting his updated chainsaw skills to good use and has felled a further ‘chunk’ of woodland so that this area can be re-established as parkland. This timber will be chipped and graded creating our wood chip & play chip supplies ready for the spring landscaping projects that you might have in store…
On the Farm
We are very much in winter mode on the farm. There is the usual tidying up, fence mending and hedge trimming going on. We are also taking the opportunity of the slow season to update our staff’s training.
We can hardly believe it but our original 30 hinds who sprung off the lorry in May 2012 are now over 12 years old! With this is mind we have been keeping a close eye on this herd to make sure that they are still fit & healthy. We have noticed that one or two have lost teeth and struggle to eat enough with the larger group so they are being hand fed separately to ensure they stay strong.
Some of our original hinds have also stopped producing calves and so to keep our breeding hind numbers we have brought in 20 new hinds to supplement our herds. These ladies arrived in early January and, as you can see in the video below, some were a little shy in leaving the trailer, however they soon settled into their new surroundings. For the first day they were in their own enclosure, taking in the lie of the land. On day 2 they met the more established hinds. Despite some initial shyness on behalf of the new arrivals, by the end of the third day they were all munching their sileage together and becoming firm friends!
Thank you very much for taking the time to read our posts. We hope to see you at one of our events in 2023 and/or when we deliver some of our products to you.
Antony & Helen
November & December 2022 at Stourton
Kiln Dried Logs – Last Pre-Christmas Order and Delivery dates
We want to make sure that you are kept warm and toasty over the Christmas period. Don’t forget to stock up on logs for your fire or log burner.
Our last order date for log orders is Friday 16th December and our last delivery date before Christmas is Tuesday 20th December.
We will be closed over the Christmas period and won’t be re-starting deliveries until Thursday 5th January, so if you order whilst we are closed this will be the first possible delivery date.
To place your order please click here.
More Kiln News!
Also this month we have updated the biomass boiler so it now uses spare heat to supply hot water & heating to the farm office – doing our bit to become as sustainable as possible.
Treecycle Scheme – Recycle your Christmas Tree and Support St Barnabas Hospice
Each January, St Barnabas and their wonderful supporters go across the county to collect your Christmas trees and recycle them! All that is asked in return is that you make a suggested donation of £15 to help St Barnabas care for patients living with life-limiting or terminal illness across Lincolnshire.
Their friendly team of Christmas elves will take care of your tree in the most environmentally responsible way, meaning you don’t need to make a trip to the tip or spend time vacuuming needles out of your car.
This year, they are collecting trees from many towns and villages across Lincolnshire including post-codes starting LN9 5 / LN9 6 between the 7th January and 11th January 2023 just click on the link below to arrange:
Supporting Charities and our Local Community
Thank you so much to all our wonderful visitors who have visited us this year, together we have been able to support a number of charities and local community groups; namely Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, Lincolnshire Rural Support Network, the DEC fund for ActionAid, L-CAT, St Barnabas Hospice and St Swithin’s Church, Baumber.
Through holding events in our venue at Stourton Woods we have raised a MASSIVE total of over SEVEN AND A HALF THOUSAND pounds, in fact – £7,703.54 to date which is just amazing.
We have supported these charities and organisations as they really are close to our heart; from those who provide a critical life-saving response to those supporting people living through the war in Ukraine as well as those who provide end of life care.
If you have had an accident, felt anxious, watched with horror the impact the war is having in Ukraine or cared for a loved one with a terminal illness, you will understand how much these charities need our support and every little really does help.
Further to our charitable donations we have continued to work with local schools and community groups and we have hosted 6 group visits, subsidised through our farming Higher Level Scheme, with over 150 people coming to learn how we manage the deer and the farm here.
We look forward to being able to donate more next year through our events and open days.
If you’d like to talk to us about organising a group / secondary school visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Adventures of our Treasured Memory Tree
Talking of recycling… the Treasured Memory Tree which featured at our Enchanted Lights event in November lives on!
Firstly it was moved onto Clays Lane so those visitors to the Walled Garden Baumber will have spotted it on their way in / out. It is now being used AGAIN in the farmers “Christmas Tree Challenge! Can you Beat us? Who wins?” featured on YouTube as a bit of fun before Christmas!
This tree certainly has plenty of stories to tell. It’s last adventure will be via the Treecycle scheme for St Barnabas Hospice.
Due to the wet weather we had during November things have slowed right down on the arable farm. As mentioned last time we have lifted a little more sugar beet, with another lot due to be lifted before we finish for Christmas.
Ken has been busy helping Dan out bagging up products in the log shed amongst other bits and bobs. We have started maintaining some kit in the workshop too.
We’ve also taken the opportunity to update our skills with some training courses; on our telehandler and our mini loading shovel. These day refresher courses demonstrate that we are responsible operators of these machines and are valid for 5 years. Antony is also currently being trained and assessed in felling large trees which is an opportunity for him to update his knowledge and gain advance chain saw handling skills.
We may well make use of the drier frosty conditions to get the last of the spraying for 2022 done. We have an application of grass weed herbicide to make to the oilseed rape to complete before the sprayer can be put away until spring. These frosts will also be of use to apply a little slow release sulphur and potash fertiliser to the oilseed rape.
Over the next few months it will be important to keep pigeons away from the oilseed rape and while doing that ensuring our supplementary feeding buckets around the farm are kept topped up.
As our last event was held in early November we decided to get ahead and make the winter welfare and shelter of our animals our top priority. If you attended the Artisan Markets or any of our events this year you will have seen the round house structure near to the car park. The roundhouse was kitted out with all the essentials including NEW handling gates in the middle making it safer to move the herd around the sections as well as a thick bed of straw, feeding troughs, self-filling water troughs together with fencing and bales around the outside. This gives the calves enough shelter from the cold wind but light enough so they can see out; it’s a rather nice winter home for them! Moving deer is a challenge at the best of times, and Dan & Ken worked hard to make an improved ‘catching pen’ within the deer enclosure before they enter the handling centre… and it worked! In the handling centre the deer are treated with wormer and mineral boluses topped off with a pink tag in their ear so we can track them and comply with our quality farm assurance regulations. They are then moved to their cosy winter home in the roundhouse – and they love it. With the temperature plunging in the last few days, we are really pleased how well they have taken to their new surroundings, they are displaying very calm and contented behaviour.
As a reminder, we are closed from Friday 21st December until Thursday 5th January 2023. We would like to thank all of our visitors, traders, supporters and staff for all of their hard work and support during 2022. We will shortly let you know what our events plans are for 2023. In the meantime we wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Helen and Antony
October (& a bit of November) 2022
Enchanted Lights – a great success, lots of thank you’s & some news about next year’s tickets!
Most of October was spent getting everything ready for our Enchanted Lights event this year. The three-evening event was a real success – with tickets selling out even earlier than last year! For those who missed out this year, read on as we have some great news for the event next year….
Firstly we must thank everyone who came and wandered, marveled at the woodland lights, toasted marshmallows, watched LED & fire performances, supported the St Barnabas Hospice wishing fountain, laughed at the Gnome Party Tree, tied ribbon to the Treasured Memory Tree, had a drink from F.A.B or food from our wonderful vendors Curry Jacks, The Roaming Dough, Fleur’s Kitchen, Gourmazin, The Choowee Cookie Company & Delicious Delights Catering.
Without question, a BIG THANKS goes to the extended Stourton Team who worked their socks off to prepare the site and serve our visitors.
We are also delighted to announce that the St Barnabas Hospice Wishing fountain raised £325.00 over the three nights. Thank you to everyone who made a wish and donated to this brilliant charity.
By Saturday night the Treasured Memory Tree looked absolutely beautiful; twinkling with all of our visitors’ special memories captured as a ribbon. Thank you to everyone who contributed and left a special memory.
We’d also like to thank local photographers Anthony Brian & John Aron who attended the event over the weekend and we have created a gallery of all of the great shots that they took. Click here to have a look.
We love seeing your photos on social media, thank you for sharing your own experiences of the event. If you enjoyed it here please leave us a review on Facebook or Google plus, any suggestions for #enchantedlights2023 are welcome!
Now, drum roll please, for a LIMITED TIME we have put Enchanted Lights tickets for 2023 live on our website, held at this year’s prices. There is a limited number and once we have sold out they won’t be available to buy until September/October next year. To place your order please click here. But hurry, they won’t hang around!
Christmas Trees – Delivered to your door!
We have 3 sizes of tree available to order from 5ft through to 7ft 6 and prices start from £37.50
As in previous years we have a beautiful selection of freshly cut Nordmann Fir trees. These premium trees have the added advantage that they hold their needles throughout the festive season and beyond! Pruned and tendered throughout their growing season, they have a lovely conical shape.
Deliveries for Christmas tree orders will take place on Wednesday 30th November, right in time for you to decorate ahead of the festive season. If you don’t decorate until later we would simply advising leaving your tree outdoors in a bucket of water & it will be fresh whenever you decide to unwrap & move indoors…
If you’d just like a tree delivering (without any other product) it is an additional £5 delivery charge within 20 miles of LN9 5PB.
To order your tree simply click here.
Also, we are delighted to be taking part in St Barnabas Hospice Treecycle scheme this year – we will tell you more about how to register your tree for collection (and make a donation to this amazing charity!) in our next blog.
Venison – more stock coming soon!
Please phone Tina in the office on 01507 578236 or email email@example.com as we have plenty of steaks, smaller joints, mince, burgers and sausages in stock.
In the next couple of weeks we will be re-stocking the freezers with lots more including casserole & braising steak so there’ll be plenty for you to order over the festive season. We will put a post out on Facebook and Instagram letting you know when it has arrived and is ready to order, so keep your eyes peeled!
If you want a particular cut / size of joint over the Christmas or New Year period then please get in touch contact the office and let us know so Tina can add it to the Christmas order list and make sure you have it in plenty of time.
On the Farm
Since the last blog we have finished all of our autumn sowing (all bar 18acres of beans) with wheats and barleys all up and looking well.
With such an open back end to the year, autumn sowing has been relatively straightforward. The one downside to making the best of the weather window that we had is that we have nudged drilling dates forward compared to the last few years and there is noticeably more grass weeds emerging with the crop. All being well some herbicide top-ups will curtail some of the population but as far as ‘cultural controls’ go there really is no substitute for delaying sowing until the second half of October. The risk of doing this is quite large, once the weather turns these days it tends to stay in a certain pattern for a period of time. Some of our heavier land would not be in suitable condition to sow now, so on balance we are pleased to have pushed on when we did.
Attentions now turn, as mentioned to monitoring crops for any herbicide top-up requirements. Any trace element requirements, particularly on the lighter of our land and just monitoring the general condition of all crops entering winter.
We are due any time to lift our next lot of sugar beet, hopefully we can have a period of slightly settled weather so it doesn’t cause too much soil damage. All sugar beet land will now be followed by spring barley.
Ken has turned his hand to the various workshop jobs required. The latest being to change bearings on the tractor mower we use for around the farm, and repairing our old flat roll. Attention will then shift onto the main arable farming machinery, ensuring it is all in good condition and ready to go when next needed.
Since the weather has broken, a few wet patches have appeared so we will do some investigative work with the digger and make good any field drains that require repairing. As well as this, we have started our winter wild bird feeding programme.
We take a seed mix and place it in dedicated feeding buckets around the farm, an important source of food for a plethora of small farmland birds to help them through the winter.
It’s all gone very quiet; it’s much calmer out in the deer paddocks and there’s much less roaring….so we think that the boys’ excitement has died down for another year and that the rut is over! We will move the stags out of their enclosures with the hinds at the end of November. If the boys have done a good job we look forward to welcoming some new deer calves to the estate in late spring/early summer.
In the meantime, we will move the deer calves in late November/December to their winter home of the Roundhouse. This covered area provides then with that extra bit of warmth they need over the winter months and makes feeding them their winter menu of sileage, supplemented with a small amount of home-grown barley, and keeping an eye on their health much easier. Before moving them they will all be given mineral tablets to help keep them healthy.
On the Estate
As our last event of the year is now complete, we are moving into ‘winter mode’! We use the winter months to make any repairs, refurbishments and improvements to the grounds and to the safari tent venue. This also gives our deer herd the chance of a bit of peace and quiet in their Roundhouse. We use this time to plan our events for 2023 and look forward to re-opening in the Spring time.
Once again a great big thank you to everyone in any way involved in the Enchanted Lights event. We will let you know what to expect for an events calendar for 2023 in the Spring. In the meantime don’t forget to pre-order your Christmas tree and get another job ticked off ready for the festive season!
Helen & Antony