July 2021 at Stourton

Events Roundup and Dates for your Diary

We began July with our first public event of the year! Depsite an awful forecast we had such a great day on our open day and managed to escape any bad weather. It was lovely to see so many people on site enjoying themselves. The deer safaris went down very well and some even took in a trip to see Dotty.

Deer Safaris Available to book at our 8th August Open Day

We are holding another open day on Sunday 8th August. If you fancy visiting us and enjoying a walk around the woods and trails or just to enjoy the view and get some refreshments in our Arboretum please come along.  Refreshments will be available from Fleur’s Kitchen, who makes the most delicious sweet and savoury crepes as well as serving teas and coffees. We will be running deer safaris throughout the day some of which are available to book in advance, please click here to reserve your spot, alternatively we will also be taking bookings on the day. There is a £3 parking fee payable on the gate.  We look forward to seeing you then!

July also saw our second event of the year in the form of our Camping and Caravanning weekend. The weather was glorious if not a touch on the warm side!  Our campers were very grateful of the dappled shade offered by the pitches in the arboretum.  We sold out completely of ice creams and the home made cakes were kept cool in the fridge after the icing began to melt in the heat!  We had some great feedback from some of our campers who shared pictures on facebook – it’s great to see your photos so thank you for taking the time to post those!

Some of our campers even took boxes of venison and honey home with them to enjoy on their BBQ’s at home over summer.  We are currently developing some new recipes as we speak for our delicious produce and will tell you about them really soon.

If you have been inspired by the inspirational Tom Pidcock bringing home another Olympic Gold medal for Great Britain in Tokyo mountain biking, or even if you just fancy getting out your bike and having a go – our next event, to be held on Sunday 29th August is the Mud, Sweat and Gears Mountain bike racing event. There are various entry categories and the event is open to all levels of ability and age. Camping is also available on site over the weekend.  For more information and to book your place please click here.

Deer Diary

Dotty is continuing to live the high life with us, mainly in our garden. However she did join us (briefly indoors) to watch the Euro’s final, we have created her own little mud bath to help keep her cool during the hot weather we have been experiencing and she is becoming a bit of a media darling!  Antony was recently interviewed by Melvyn Prior on BBC Radio Lincolnshire about her.  If you missed the interview you can listen again here from approximately 32m50 into the show.

Despite being spoiled rotten Dotty is going from strength to strength and she is currently having taster days with the calves and hinds who have accepted her for a short period of time and we hope that she will make her permanent home with the herd at the end of August, although she will continue to have a bottle feed from us morning and night.

On the Farm

Well… we’ve made a start to harvest!! Baumber Park’s winter barley is now safely in the shed. Yields are reasonable by comparison to the last couple of years but there is a question mark over the quality for malting. It is clear there was a great deal of potential in the crop, unfortunately due to the dull June and possibly the dry conditions running through May there are some grains which haven’t ‘filled’ properly. We are waiting to hear from our merchant as to whether there are too many of these ‘screenings’ in the sample. Read more about barley requirements for malting here.

The winter barley we have grown is a variety called Craft which is used to make malt for brewing beer. If it hits the quality specification it will be delivered to Souflett’s maltings in Burton on Trent before being used in Molson Coors Beverage Company’s brewery (also in Burton) to make beers such as Carling and Doom Bar so definitely drink more Molson Coors beer as our spring barley will hopefully also be destined for Burton!!

We now face a few days wait with the combine for the oilseed rape to ripen, hopefully the thunder showers forecast don’t materialise as the pods are very prone to shattering in heavy rain/wind/hail as we found to our significant cost a few years ago.

Elsewhere on the farm the team are working hard on track maintenance, grain store cleaning and general sorting and tidying. We have recently completed a successful second cut of our grassland, with half being made into silage and the remainder being made into hay.

We are most definitely in the ‘calm before the storm’ as far as harvest work is concerned. Our cropping this season is such that the majority of it will ripen within the same 10 day period! As a result the pressure will be well and truly on from the second week in august, we are hoping for the weather at harvest to be a little kinder than last year. Wish us luck!

On the Estate

The second phase of the roundhouse installation is underway. We are currently installing the ring drainage system with the concrete base to follow which will allow for easy cleaning once the deer take up residence.

Our silage has been efficiently baled by Chris Frick and is now safely stored for winter feed.  We have also taken a hay crop from the meadow and have 150 bales for sale if anyone interested please contact us.

The team have been hard at work preparing for our open day on Sunday 8th August.  We have cleared another section of overgrown footpath around the big lake and begun work some more log benches to allow our visitors to relax and enjoy the views!

 

We really hope to see you at our Open day or at the Mud Sweat and Gears event!

Antony and Helen

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