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A Week on the Estate: Frog Chorus, Tree Compass & Log Piles

Spring has decisively sprung on the estate, bringing a real feeling of rejuvenation. At the pond, the patient listener will hear a choral performance from a thriving population of frogs. Nearby, geese have started laying their eggs. At Keal Yard, the local vet has been making sure the Lincoln Red herd is fit and ready to turn-out and begin grazing the estate in the next few weeks.

 

The fine weather has allowed us to make good progress with maintaining the estate and preparing for summer. Skilled local tree surgeon Andy Hackett is maintaining tall trees at impressive heights. Fencing is being repaired or replaced by various skilled contractors, while two local wood-yards are creating new field gates. The parkland and grazing are being tidied by Mr Bonnett, ready for the Lincoln Reds and fine summer vistas.

In the Walled Garden, a local joiner will create a new gate, a builder is about to start repair-work on the gardener’s store, and the vegetable beds and greenhouse are being prepared for new crops by Mr Bruntlett. Ian ‘Flash’ Gordon at South Ormsby Garage is repairing our lawn-mowers ready for the grass-cutting season.

 

With soil temperatures on the rise, our agricultural contractors started drilling spring oats. The drill didn’t kick up much dust; there’s still plenty of moisture in the ground from the wet winter to give the seed a good start.

 

Spring is also in the air at the Massingberd Mundy Distillery as Tristan Jørgensen prepares to sell his fine, craft gins online. Burrell’s Dry is being decanted into beautiful, screen-printed bottles, while locally sourced fruit is being prepared the old-fashioned way to give the Marie Jeanne pink gin its tantalising taste of summer.

Estate Manager Paul Barnes photographed one of a handful of estate elms bursting into early leaf. Looking west to east, this fine tree has a profile typical of northern latitudes – the bulk of its growth is weighted towards the south. On a cloudy day, these magnificent trees are nature’s own compass.

 

We’ve created log-piles around the estate to serve as new homes for bugs and ground-dwelling mammals. These log-piles will boost our ecosystem by attracting a variety of insect life, which will in turn attract species further up the food chain.

Typically, various beetles will feed on and breed within the rotting interior of the log-pile, and will soon be joined by woodlice, centipedes and millipedes which favour damp, dark boltholes. In short order, predators including mice, hedgehogs and songbirds will discover the buffet; their presence will then draw in higher predators like barn owls, kestrels and other raptors.

 

We’re committed to practising sustainable agriculture while giving our native flora and fauna the best chance to thrive. We look forward to seeing the exciting results in the months and years to come.