Deer in feb 23

February 2023 at Stourton

Log Season is almost over

stacked logsWe 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.

 

Events

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):

  • Picnic in the woods at Stourton EstatesSunday 7th MaySpring 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!

muck spreading at stourton estatesWe’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.

 

Deer Diary

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!

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Log Season is almost over

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