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A Week on the Estate: Arctic Air, Countryside Code & Toby’s Volunteers

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Spring might be here but the weather has been colder than it looks. Arctic air has spread from the north, and while we’ve mostly dodged the snow and sleet affecting north-western counties, brisk winds have made the weather feel raw at times.

Between Arctic gusts, the soil got warm and dry enough for Ken to drill the final crop of this year’s spring beans. In the meantime, Chris Hall did the ploughing that will help us cultivate and sow more wild-bird food areas.

Closer to home, time and weather have taken their toll on Lime Tree Avenue, where we’ve filled gaps and planted new saplings for future generations to enjoy. The Saturday Club have become dab hands with both planting saplings and stacking logs from deadfall and dieback.  They’ve discovered that boxing off stacked logs with square end sections prevents your morning’s work from rolling away.


working the land

On 1st April, Natural England updated the Countryside Code. We know our readers love and respect our beautiful corner of the Lincolnshire Wolds, so we’ve asked them to cast their eyes over the new guidance and share it with anyone who might be new to walking our footpaths.

The new guidance emphasises:

– consideration for those who live in, work in and enjoy the countryside;

– taking any litter or picnic leftovers home with you and leaving everything as you found it;

– keeping tabs on dogs (and their poo!);

– planning properly.

We’re grateful to Elizabeth Mapleston of Woodhall Spa for this week’s instalment of ‘Our Days’. Elizabeth’s great-grandparents, John and Edith Ely, were tenants of South Ormsby Estate which employed John – and later his son George – as a bricklayer and builder. Elizabeth’s story can be found on our ‘My Days’ page.

Toby gardening

Finally, 21-year-old Toby Ridsdale from Swaby in the Lincolnshire Wolds took time out from working the land to talk about his new Kickstart role as Community Vegetable Gardener at South Ormsby Estate.

“I’ve been doing my new job for about three weeks,” said Toby, whose full story can be found on our ‘Journal’ page. “I work around the village and across the whole estate. So far, we’ve got two plots ready to go and we’re aiming for 20. We intend to grow potatoes, herbs, fruit trees and much more. The community is fully involved and will bring their own ideas for what we should plant. I’m coordinating our group of volunteers and they’re all hard-working and ready to dig in.

“There’s a lot to learn but the benefit of having a range of volunteers is that you can generally find someone with a bit of specialist knowledge. Some of our volunteers have got fencing skills, while one with a background in design will make our sign. It makes the project self-sufficient. We’ve also got lawn-mowing sorted and I’ve made a herb planter.”


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