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A Week on the Estate: Prime-Time Viewing, Hedging with Anita & Hot Brambling

We’d like to start by thanking the BBC Countryfile team for helping to put South Ormsby Estate and our beautiful, vibrant county on the map last weekend. Our vision of a sustainable and dynamic rural economy that will allow both local business and the environment to thrive is becoming more real day by day. Sharing that vision with six million viewers will help us to achieve our goals and inspire others.

During Countryfile’s visit, Estate Manager Paul Barnes shared our vision for rejuvenated hedgerows with Anita Rani.  As Anita discovered, the vision involves plenty of spadework and the odd bit of rocky soil. According to estate records, we had 170 fields in 1888 and 96 by 2018. Modern agriculture took its toll on hedgerows, and we’re determined to make our mark by reversing this trend.

Paul Barnes with Anita Rani

Last year, we planted 2km of hedgerow and we’ll repeat that feat by the end of 2020. We’re progressively replacing fencing with hedgerows that will act as wildlife corridors, both hosting and spreading biodiversity.  We start a new hedgerow by laying a weed-suppressant mat, and a few weeks later we plant the hawthorn saplings that will form the core of the hedge.

Each sapling is protected by a spiral to protect it from hungry deer and sheep until it’s established. Used canes and spirals are recovered and re-used on new plantings. Within a decade, a typical hedgerow will have established itself and grown to around 12’ tall. It will brim with wildlife and make a fine shelter for Lincoln Reds from our brisk easterly winds.

Paul Barnes preparing new hedgerow

Judging by various comments on social media, one of the more popular items in last weekend’s Countryfile may have involved Marie-Jeanne pink gin. Our Master Distiller Tristan Jørgensen worked with Instagram mixologist Vanessa Jay to perfect the Hot Bramble cocktail. A sip of Hot Bramble and a nibble of Keira Rhodes’ ‘Twerky Jerky’ restored the spirits of presenters Anita Rani and Joe Crowley after a wet late-autumn day in the Wolds. Keira’s jerky is still under development, but if you’d like to try Tristan’s Hot Bramble, read on.

hot bramble cocktail / Tristan Jorgensen & Joe Crowley

You will need: 50ml Marie-Jeanne pink gin / 15ml sloe gin / 15ml cranberry juice / 15ml lime juice / strawberry jam / blackberries.

The method:

  • Put 1tsp strawberry jam and four blackberries into a mixing glass;
  • Add 40ml hot water and 15ml sloe gin and muddle until the colour is consistent;
  • Add the remaining ingredients (gin, cranberry and lime juice) while stirring vigorously, then top up with hot water;
  • Use a brush to add a lick of Lincolnshire honey to the side of the glass, then paint on some cracked pink peppercorns as garnish art;
  • Double-strain your cocktail from the mixing glass into the garnished glass;
  • Enjoy!