May 2023 at Stourton

Picnic in the Woods – the countdown is on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Stourton Night Walks as part of the Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoors Festival

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

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

The walks take place at:

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

Somatics Self Care Day – Friday 16th June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

On the Estate:

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

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

 

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

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

 

On the Farm:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Deer diary

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

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

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

 

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

Antony & Helen

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Picnic in the Woods – the countdown is on!

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