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A Week on the Estate: Twin Calves, Thrifty Cottages & Virtual Architecture

Spring is well and truly springing on the estate this week, with much good news to celebrate. The lawn had its first trim of the year and we enjoyed the evocative smell of freshly cut grass.


In benign, blue-sky weather, we applied fertiliser to our winter wheat crop to help make up for the slow start to the season caused by a very wet winter. Local tree surgeon Andy Hackett was pictured using a ‘spider’ platform – a four-limbed, stable support for a very tall cherry-picker – so that he could work safely at height while maintaining our tall trees on the North Drive.

The calving season went well for the Lincoln Red herd. One heifer gave birth to beautiful twin calves, nicknamed Tweedledum and Tweedledee by the Keal Yard team.


Work to maintain and improve field drainage continued apace, bringing past and present together in a fascinating way. Glynn of G.R. Bourne & Son of Spilsby used a leveller on the bucket of his excavator. The device communicates by laser with a device further down the line, and the LED arrow indicates whether Glynn needs to dig deeper to maintain optimal flow for this drainage channel. His excavations revealed a drain hand-dug in the days before the widespread mechanisation of agriculture. This drain could be pre-WWII or it could be Victorian; we’ve yet to establish its age but we do know that it’s still doing its job.

Kelsey Construction have made impressive progress at Little Ormsbees Nursery. The old roof above the toilets was beyond repair and has been replaced. Elsewhere, the old school house has been taken back to its brickwork and will soon be turned into a fresh, vibrant new vision for childcare.


Work is well underway to renovate our tenants’ cottages and prepare them for a sustainable, energy-efficient future. As well as creating well-appointed homes, we’ll be switching from oil to ground-source heating and substantially beefing up levels of insulation.


With the help of ENG Design Ltd, using these efficiency measures in a typical estate home could see annual energy consumption fall by 89% (from 394 to 43 kWh/m2 p.a.) and carbon emissions fall by 81% (from 116 to 22.5 kg CO2 e/m2 p.a.). In practical terms, this would see the average tenant’s energy bills fall by 72% (from £1,807 to £497 p.a.).

This week, we’re launching a competition that will bring our rural 17th-century Hall into the digital 21st-century. A local Minecraft whizz re-created South Ormsby Hall in the virtual world of Minecraft – a world in which any form of construction is possible. This inspired us to challenge our followers to create their own Minecraft visions of the Hall.


Keen Minecrafters out there can show the Hall as it is now, as it was in the past or as it could be in the future. We’ll narrow down the entries then stage a poll. The winning image will form our social media masthead for May – a brand new, creative vision of the Hall to greet visitors to our page.