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A Week on the Estate: Malaise Trap, Garden Crop & Little Ormsbees

Midwinter is drawing nigh but we continue to make bright and exciting plans for the future at South Ormsby Estate.


At The Old Rectory Guest House, Finn helped Tanya to deck the halls, decorating the Christmas tree and ensuring that all those who’ve booked a festive high tea will receive a warm and elegant seasonal welcome.

The poll to name the new nursery resulted in a decisive win for ‘Little Ormbees’, which beat ‘The Little Dryads’ with 91% of the vote. The estate thanks Jill Barrett Michael Grist and Hayley Payne respectively for their fine suggestions.


Scheduled to open in September 2020, Little Ormsbees will serve children up to 4-years of age and will offer the highest standards of care and an exciting vision for ‘bringing the outside in’. As Nursery Manager, Leanne Gains will be setting up and running the nursery in The Old Schoolhouse.


“I am buzzing about the new name,” said Leanne. “I think the name fits the surroundings and the nursery’s ethos, and has a great, fun ring to it that both adults and children can enjoy. Come September 2020, we will have lots of busy little bees in this fine setting, making new memories right here in South Ormsby. I’m really looking forward to it.”

In the Walled Garden, 18-year old gardener Brynn Peters braved the challenging weather to harvest our home-grown, seasonal produce. After working briefly as an apprentice carpet-fitter, Brynn tried gardening and found that the busy outdoor life suited him well.


While growth has slowed as midwinter approaches, the Walled Garden is still yielding produce. A few weeks ago, Brynn filled four bags of potatoes. Beetroot will be harvested soon, with leeks and Brussels sprouts to follow in time for Christmas.


While hot and cold weather don’t stop Brynn working outdoors, heavy rain can be a problem, particularly when the ground is temporarily underwater. Fortunately, the land drains well, so work doesn’t stop for long. Like any serious working gardener, Brynn knows the vital importance of staying warm and dry, and securing a constant supply of hot tea.

In the woods, retired, local entomologist David Sheppard has taken down this year’s malaise trap from Lime Tree Walk. A malaise trap is a small, tent-like structure that samples the local insect population. South Ormsby Estate is making great strides in improving biodiversity. Once analysed by David, the malaise samples will give us a benchmark against which we can measure future improvements. The data will also be fed into local and national records and could inform future environmental research and policy.


Taking a historical perspective, the estate represents a managed, systematically landscaped area. Improving biodiversity therefore requires the kind of sustained and positive effort to which the estate is wholly committed.


David has so far sampled 100 species from Lime Tree Walk – a very positive sign. 2019 gave the insect population hot, dry weather at exactly the right times for breeding and survival. Watch this space for more detailed facts and figures on South Ormsby’s thriving insect population.