July 2020 at Stourton
The Event calendar for the Year Ahead
It’s great that the world is starting to return to a new version of normality and we can all start to enjoy a bit more freedom. As we are sure you can imagine, we are constantly reviewing what we could do, should do, might do and want to do in terms of our events calendar for the rest of the year.
As a result of lockdown and social distancing regulations we have already had to cancel our Get Active event scheduled for May, our open weekend in June, a pop up pub night at the water tower and, very sadly our event scheduled at the end of July to celebrate 25 years of Stourton Woods.
So it is with a heavy heart we are also going to have to cancel the Autumn Festival scheduled for September. Even if restrictions were lifted to allow for this size of event to occur, we want to ensure that all the visitors, suppliers, musicians, team and volunteers are safe from potential infection from Covid-19 and as you can imagine effectively managing social distancing for this scale of event is almost impossible – especially with the added risk of wet weather. Given it is only little over a month away we also do not now have the time to carry out all the detailed preparations necessary for its success.
We will continue to review our planned events as the time gets closer and will ensure you are the first to know if we are able to go ahead. In the meantime we have our thinking caps on and are trying to find more ways for more of you to safely enjoy a visit on foot to the estate this year (we are running private deer feeding safaris!). Keep your eyes peeled on social media for any further announcements.
We’re Still Open for Delivery
As well as our landscaping products, our venison packs continue to be very popular and we hope that you are enjoying our home reared meat.
We have a very limited number of our prepared venison ready meals made locally by Nicky at Boggle Lane Foods: delicious venison hot-pot and venison meatball medley ready prepared and frozen for an easy meal for you to enjoy at home one evening! Don’t miss out on these meals prepared from fresh locally sourced ingredients with no nasty additives…
The Venison BBQ Pack is ideal for feeding a hungry family and costs from £24 (this sometimes varies depending on steak types and weights) and currently includes;
- 4 burgers,
- 6 meaty sausages and,
- 2 large haunch steaks.
The Venison Steak Selection, for only £29, includes;
- 2 x Sirloin,
- 2 x Haunch, and
- 2 x Rump steaks;
Capable of feeding a family for several days, The Family Selection Pack, for £36, includes;
- a small haunch joint, perfect for an alternative sunday roast,
- a pack of casserole steak,
- a pack of mince; and
- 6 large sausages – perfect for easy hot-dogs!
Another of our favourite ways to cook our very popular venison sausages as a meal is as a tray bake with squash, potatoes and broccoli. For our version of this recipe, click here.
Deer Diary, on the radio!
On Wednesday 22nd July we had the pleasure of talking to Harry from BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s breakfast show on a deer feeding tour around the estate. Throughout the show we were interviewed about the estate, the deer and the deer feeding safaris. Harry saw us feeding the deer, got a nibble from the hinds and tried to catch sight of them taking a dip in one of the swimming ponds. Starting at 7am we were pleased that it was a radio show and not TV!
If you missed the interview & would like to hear more, our starring roles and admirable deer squeak impressions are at: 1:24:55, 1:47:40, 2:24:10, 2:43:55 on this link
Along with Harry, we have had several groups already join us for a Private Deer feeding safari and everyone has thoroughly enjoyed themselves. One visitor left us a great review on our Facebook page, thank you Lexy, we’re really pleased you enjoyed yourself, you certainly managed to snap some great photos!
We went on the Deer Safari today and it was absolutely brilliant. Antony was incredibly knowledgeable and it was lovely…
Due to high demand all of the private deer feeding safaris have now been booked for August. However we are pleased to announce that we are now taking bookings for weekends in September.
As the stags are also now starting to lose the velvet on their antlers it’s advisable not to get quite so close to these herds now as if they decide to rub against you – it can really hurt! However you will see the majestic stags and go into the deer enclosures from the safety of the small people trailer to see the hinds and their calves close up so an opportunity not to be missed – please book online here, if you’d like a particular date do email us to check availability prior to booking.
On the Farm
Since the last blog post we have started harvesting our combinable crops. We usually start with winter sown barley, and have now cut our neighbours malting crops as well as cutting around some crop trials that we have on farm. We have also harvested our oilseed rape (the less said about this the better unfortunately) and now have a short wait for earlier drilled winter wheat and spring barley crops. Other than a small stoppage for some water in an electrical plug, the combine has run smoothly so far; fingers crossed that continues as the pressure comes on!
This harvest will be a rather strange one due to the changes in cropping influenced by the horrendous weather we suffered through the autumn and winter. We ended up drilling a couple of new crops to us this spring; spring oilseed rape and spring oats. The inclusion of these as well as a large area of spring sown wheat will push the end of harvest back this year.
Final preparations for the push into long days cutting wheat and spring barley are now being made with grain store cleaning soon to be completed. Archie and Dan have made a cracking job of shoring up our farm roads, and Ken is happy to be getting on with a bit of land-work on the recently harvested oilseed rape fields.
Not that we would wish time away but I don’t think we are alone in wanting to draw a line under the harvest 2020 season. We are very much looking forward to starting with a clean sheet in readiness for the 2021 harvest season. This year has thrown up an enormous number of challenges which we have tried our hardest to overcome or manage, no doubt we will be talking about 2020 for many years to come!
On the Estate
And now for something a bit different..! As you may be aware Agriculture is coming under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
With this in mind and as we always need stone for track repairs and upgrades, (as well as our various building projects across the estate) July saw the arrival of a weird and wonderful machine. This machine was hired from a firm in Gainsborough (manufactured in Finland) to harvest unwanted rocks from our fields. In 2 days we managed to create a mountain of cobbles and large stones (not to mention the odd horseshoe) from a 25 acre field. This has given us some ideal building material and by taking it from the fields it means there will be less wear and tear on our machinery: a win win!
As ever we hope that you are keeping well and safe. We really hope to see you on one of our private deer feeding tours soon.
Antony & Helen