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A Week on the Estate: New Nursery, Grazing Sheep & Snapping Beef

The weather has given us both fair days and foul days this week on the South Ormsby Estate. We used a precious window of fine weather to get the seed-drill going and to give the Lincoln Red herd a turn about their new field before they head off to their winter quarters at Keal Yard.


The estate is temporarily hosting a flock of sheep from a neighbouring farm. They’ve been busy grazing-down the grass leys. Controlling the grass levels before winter really bites will promote healthy growth in the spring. If long grass is allowed to die out, it can smother new growth. When our guests have finished their first course, they’ll move onto the stubble turnips for dessert, then depart for their winter quarters on their own farm in December, ready for lambing in January.

Estate Photographer Damian Furlong staged a photo-shoot to showcase the visual appeal of Massingberd-Mundy Lincoln Red beef. Prime cuts and sausages were photographed on the grill, on the plate and – for Bonfire Night – lit by sparklers.


Leanne Gains joined the South Ormsby team as Nursery Manager. It will be Leanne’s job to set up and run the estate’s nursery in The Old Schoolhouse. Scheduled to open in September 2020, the nursery 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’.

Leanne hails from Stenigot near Donington-on-Bain. Her dad is a farmer and her mother has worked in nursing homes. Leanne graduated from Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln in 2009 with a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies. Since graduating, she’s worked in the nursery sector in Horncastle.


Leanne brings expertise, experience and real enthusiasm to her work. She enjoys the ‘excitement level’ of dealing with very young children – unlike some of their parents, the kids tend to be easy-going, fun and full of enthusiasm for life. Leanne’s own girls – India, 7, and Tally, 4 – keep her busy at home too.

Working with the South Ormsby Estate feels like a big, exciting opportunity to Leanne. She’s keen to bring the outdoors into the nursery – to incorporate aspects of the local environment into a nurturing, organic setting. The internal decoration will be neutral, light and airy. Wooden toys will be used in preference to plastic. Children will play with mud and conkers. Synthetic counting blocks will be replaced by pine-cones and leaves. To engage with the community from the outset, the estate’s social media followers will be asked to suggest a name for the nursery.


Between now and next September, Leanne has a busy timetable. The architect’s plans are complete and the contractors start in January. The nursery has to comply with 50 pages of Ofsted guidance and then pass its first Ofsted inspection 12 weeks before its opening date. Leanne’s sleeves are well and truly rolled up and she’s ready to make this new business a key part of the estate’s growing commercial ecosystem.