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A Week on the Estate: Greylag Invasion, Red History & Buff Rosettes

We’ve hit the ground running as another working year gets fully underway, making the best of freezing weather with just a tad more daylight as we inch towards spring.

We’ve fitted plenty of new gates and fences around the estate using sustainably sourced timber, but we can also appreciate the value of refurbishment and recycling. With the expert assistance of Ketsby Sawmill, an old pair of gates has been salvaged and will give many more years of use.

The Saturday Club returned from its Christmas break and found plenty of work to crack on with. Last weekend, the team stacked logs for the biomass boiler, topped up the bird-feeders and installed nine more bird-boxes. What began as a perishing, frosty day turned out to be lovely in the sunshine.

gates salvaged by ketsby sawmill

A flock of greylag geese (Anser anser) arrived in force at the Lake this week. They’re hard to count but as many as 500 greylags may be enjoying our hospitality. By RSPB estimates, 140,000 British breeding greylags over-winter in the UK, competing for space with 88,000 visitors from Iceland. We’re not sure if any of ours have Scandinavian accents, but we’ll keep an ear out.

This week, we published the second instalment of ‘Our Days’, an online chronicle of our regional heritage. After seeing our magnificent Lincoln Red herd on BBC Countryfile, Phil Needham of Boston very kindly shared some fascinating family memories with us.

Eric Pentecost of Cropwell Butler near Nottingham is generally credited with the polling of the Lincoln Red between the late 1930s and the mid-1950s. What is less well known is the part played by Phil Needham’s dad, John Needham, and his uncle, Roland Tinkler, in this historic process. You can find out more via our ‘My Days’ page.


John Needham & South Ormsby's Lincoln Reds

Thanks to the readers who voted in last week’s Buff-off. They’re clearly expert chicken-pickers as hen #3 came out on top in both the Buff-off and the Virtual Poultry Show Winter Fest. She placed 1st in her category, with hen #2 as runner-up. Alas, hen #1 didn’t place, but we’re sure her day will come.

Our Buffs did very well across the board in the Virtual Poultry Show Winter Fest, netting us a good handful of rosettes:

  • 1st in LF2 Lincolnshire Buff Hen & Best of Breed
  • 1st in LF6 Lincolnshire Buff Pair & Reserve Best of Breed
  • 1st in LF4 Lincolnshire Buff Pullet & Best Opposite
  • 1st in LF3 Lincolnshire Buff Cockerel & Best of Breed
  • 2nd in LF2 Lincolnshire Buff Hen
  • 2nd in LF3 Lincolnshire Buff Cockerel
  • 5th in LF1 Lincolnshire Buff Cock

With five ‘best of breed’ winners, there’ll be no talking to our flock soon.

buffs & rosettes

On the subject of competitions, if you know a budding young artist aged 16 years or under, we need their skills. We’d love them to design a sign for our new community garden and post it in the comments section of the competition post – pinned to the top of our Facebook page – by 31st January. Our favourite submission will become the official sign for the garden and will be proudly displayed in South Ormsby.

Entrants can be as imaginative as they like with their artwork, but signs MUST include these phrases:

  • incredible edible
  • South Ormsby
  • community garden
  • fresh produce
  • sharing
  • volunteering