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A Week on the Estate: Shipshape Punt, Holy Ghost & Wildflower Margins

Last weekend gave us strong winds which damaged and felled a few trees – much to the delight of the Lincoln Red herd which made the most of the succulent new growth on a large fallen branch. For most of the week, blue skies and late-spring warmth dominated, giving us working conditions that just need a useful bit of rain to be perfect.

Charles Roe of P.E. Roe & Son drilled two acres of grass and wild-flower margins around two estate fields whose ditches have recently been cleaned. The seed mix should give biodiversity a real boost and is comprised of 25% red fescue, 20% chewings fescue, 20% hard fescue, 10% meadow fescue, 5% common bentgrass, 9% crested dogstail, 1% small-leaved timothy and 3% sainfoin.

Another 7% is made up of corn chamomile, corn cockle, corn marigold, corn poppy, cornflower, common vetch, birdsfoot trefoil, bulbous buttercup, common knapweed, lady’s bedstraw, lucerne, oxeye daisy, phacelia, red campion, sainfoin, salad burnet, self heal, white campion, wild carrot, yarrow and yellow rattle. We also started the first cut of the silage that will provide the Lincoln Red herd with its winter feed.

Closer to home, the Walled Garden is thriving. Kevin has been busy keeping things spick and span outside the Hall’s kitchen. Large flower blossoms are thriving despite being battered by last weekend’s winds. Strawberries are flowering and we’ll soon get a fine crop; we have one tub in the greenhouse, two in the garden and three in a long row in the vegetable garden.

The lake punt has been returned in fine, waterproof fettle thanks to local joiner, Phil Codd. Local tradesman Dave Ward helped lift if off the trailer and couldn’t resist showing off his dry-land punting skills. This old vessel was in poor repair a few short months ago but may soon bring punting back to the lake thanks to Phil’s craftsmanship. Phil and Dave also made a good start on repairing the roof of the old stable-block in the Hall’s courtyard.

The Walled Garden’s new west gate had a final coat of paint to its wood and metalwork courtesy of local painter, Rob Madison. He also gave the south gate another coat. 2 Brinkhill Cottage has undergone a thorough, root-and-branch refurbishment. The plasterwork is coming along nicely and a revitalised home is taking shape.

As another fine, sunny weekend approaches, Distillery Manager and gin aficionado Tristan Jørgensen has created the very first Massingberd-Mundy signature cocktail; the Holy Ghost. For a fresh and vibrant summer treat, take 35ml of Burrell’s Dry gin and add 15ml of angelica syrup, the juice of half a lime and one fresh egg-white. Dry-shake the mixture vigorously, add ice, shake again, then strain into a whisky glass over ice. To finish, top up with 50ml of Prosecco and serve with candied angelica and elderflower.