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A Week on the Estate: Frostiest April, Resplendent Cottage & Wandering Toit

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This week, the Met Office summarised how challenging this month has been for agriculture. At the time of writing, the UK overall had endured 13 days with air frost in April 2021, beating the previous record of 11 days in April 1970. High pressure, clear skies and northerly winds were all factors, as was the lack of rainfall, with dry soil radiating its heat away more readily.

Weather aside, we continue to plan for a bright future. 2 Brinkhill Bridge Cottage is looking resplendent, with its ground-source heat pump fitted and its refurbishment nearly complete. Steve and the team from Ketsby Sawmill have installed a smart picket fence and this handsome property will soon be a fine new home for one of our estate employees.

The Saturday Club have been busy preparing for summer and beyond. As well as stacking more logs, they raked the seating area at The Old School Tea & Coffee Shop to make it lawnmower-friendly and washed down the benches at St Leonard’s Church.

2 Brinkhill Bridge Cottage and Saturday Club at work

For those readers planning a walk around our beautiful neck of the woods this Bank Holiday Monday, the Old School Tea & Coffee Shop is open from 11am-3pm, Monday to Sunday, and is close to the Sheepdip Paddock temporary parking area. Tea, coffee, soup and tasty treats are available free-of-charge by pre-order only via our website. Should you choose to pay for your drink or snack, your donation will help fund local projects including a church-railing restoration, a local gardening club, training in the community and improvements to walking infrastructure.

Elsewhere on the estate, our oldest resident, Toit the tortoise, was most grateful for the door-to-door delivery of crunchy leaves by the Saturday Club. Toit is Jacqui Rhodes’ family tortoise. He once belonged to Jacqui’s grandparents and could be over a century old.  About ten years ago, Toit disappeared and Jacqui feared the worst. A fortnight later, he turned up outside the Massingberd Arms. Perhaps he just fancied a night out and didn’t reckon on the length of the journey for short legs.

Toit the tortoise and Toby Ridsdale, Community Vegetable Gardener

Speaking of the Massingberd Arms, we were pleased to see that this friendly village pub has opened its doors for drinks-only service from 6pm-8pm Wednesday to Friday, and from noon to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays (A: The Massingberd Arms, Brinkhill Road, South Ormsby LN11 8QS, T. 01507480492).

Finally, we’d like to offer our congratulations to our Kickstart Community Vegetable Gardener, Toby Ridsdale, and his team of hard-working volunteers. He started with some plain turf and has created some well tilled and neatly fenced-in vegetable plots. It’s amazing how far you can get with a few tools and a big barrel of elbow grease.

 

* Banner image courtesy of Cat Branchman via Flickr CC

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