Wild Bird food and Racing Pigeon food

Pondlife update

Pond

Some of you will remember my last blog post about digging our latest Pond, well I promised an update as soon as I could and here it is. You will see by the photo that it is filling nicely with water from the field drains, it's by no means full yet but the dogs both managed a lovely swim in it on Bank Holiday Saturday.  The ditch that was dug is steadily trickling into the pond and its at least stopping the adjoining field from flooding!! Often that field causes flood risks to our newly planted seeds, and the loss of a great deal of nutrient rich topsoil too. This has happened for several years and was what prompted Chris to dig the pond and ditch too.   I am amazed at how quickly the wildlife has adapted to using the pond, when we arrived there were two ducks swimming across...

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We're so hedgy

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February is almost done and let’s hope that March sees improvements in the weather plus looking forward to the lifting of restrictions throughout the country. We’ve had a busy month here on our farm, making bird foods, making sure the birds and animals were ok during the drop in temperatures and snow, then ending with George spreading fertilizer on the  crops that were sown in the Autumn, just before it started to rain and forgot to stop. This week we have had Tommy the tree planter and his assistant here planting over 5km of new hedges, mainly in two places on the farm. We seem to be bucking the trend as everyone seems to be pulling trees out or grubbing hedges out. Chris took me to see the newest hedge, it doesn’t look like much at the moment but it will make a massive difference to the wildlife, birdlife and the...

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Nuts about Hazels

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Although we are growing thousands of hazel trees in our new woodland eco project, as well as oak, holly, rowan, beech and many more trees it was the hazel trees we were originally determined to plant. Whilst I appreciate that tree growing isn’t a short term hobby and many of the trees we have planted will take more than our lifetimes to look like the forests I had romantically envisaged before planting, I appreciate that some of our trees are looking rather more interesting these days rather than just a few leaves on a stalk inside the protective biodegradable tubing . This clear tubing is used to protect and nurture the baby trees from the elements, and hopefully speed up their growth.Chris planted some hazel trees in some spare rough ground near our house many years ago but these were eaten by deer and died sadly but he had also planted...

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Watch the birdie

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  Some of you might have seen me and Chris in the article in the Newcastle Journal on Saturday, pictured next to our new pond at our newly planted nature reserve.  I put a link there from our Facebook page too, so if you follow us you may already have seen and read all about this. Its great to have some publicity for our new venture and many thanks to Angela who took the photos, and had her photo taken by me (pictured here) and Keith who wrote the article. The pictures were taken on a rather blustery day, and we had to abandon the pickup as the route was so wet and walk rather a long way so rather than thinking I’d look windswept and rather like a Barbour advert, instead I look short and rather bedraggled! The area is coming on so well, we have ordered more trees for...

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Floods of Opportunities

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No one has escaped the floods; it feels like it has rained since September and with a long Winter ahead of us it’s going to be ‘Wellie Weather’ for a long time ahead. The weather was so bad that we were unable to plant next year’s crops so the seed has had to be put aside for next Autumn, and we will plant other varieties in the Spring, if it ever dries up! We were bothered that we were unable to plant the crops we hoped but as things have turned out, with the weather we have had the poor seedlings might have rotted off anyway so maybe it’s for the best that we have only planted some fields. If all goes according to plan, we hope to plant a totally new crop which could interest our readers when it comes to being harvested. Have I got you interested yet, well...

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Is the grass always greener?

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Come for a walk he said. How romantic I thought, but how wrong could I be. My first indication should have been when I wasn’t allowed to take our 2 dogs. Into the pickup we went, strange when we were supposed to be going for a walk. When we got to an outlying field, I found out why I had been invited for a walk. Blackgrass. One word but it can mean ruin to cereal crops. Last year Chris found a rogue patch of Blackgrass which appeared in the corner of a field, he rogued it which means walking up and down the rows, pulling out the rogue grass, by the root and then burning it well away from other crops. As it had been raining it was apparently an ideal evening to check for blackgrass as the rain would mean that the grass would be easier to pull out and...

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