Over the Farmers Hedge – Summer at Trumpington Farm Company
Early July was a tense time as the rain continued to fall on the fully grown but unripe crops. Once the weather finally cleared, we were able to begin in late July with the oil seed rape. Barley harvest was complete by early August and continued with the wheat. We expect to get in a fair harvest and dry the grain in the two newly commissioned grain stores at Cantelupe Farm.
Drilling for next year’s oil seed rape has begun on the west side of the M11, where the main problems will be the large numbers of slugs this year and pigeons. Because of the wet summer ground conditions were challenging but at least we won’t expect another drought warning next spring.
The number of wild birds that survived the dreadful breeding season on Trumpington Fen was tremendous and large numbers of wild grey partridge and pheasants can be seen now the crops are being cleared. The wet weather was good news for wetland birds; a number of ponds were generated on the floodplains and three green sandpipers have been spotted gathering there for feeding.
Judging for the East of England Farm Business Awards took place in June and July and we won the Countryside Management award for our class of farm. The award follows the success last year when we were judged Supreme Champion farm. We also remain hopeful that we can win the coveted East Anglian Partridge Trophy for the work the team does to improve habitat, control predation and provide ground cover to encourage breeding for rare grey partridges on the estate.
We are delighted to welcome Adam North to the farm operator team at Cantelupe. Adam has moved with his wife from Winchester and brings a lot of experience to the team.
There was substantial flooding all along the meadows at times in mid July and the cricket pitch wasn’t spared. We have a lovely picture of a swan gliding up to the netting of the green! Despite this the cricket pitch faired well and “…Spring Lane field is a cricket ground to be proud of” according to the GCC Captain Steve Wilson. With 8 wins out of 8 so far they are a club to be proud of!
Of course, there were the usual games of preventing campers and barbeques on the meadows and many thanks again to Peggy Ann for her sterling work clearing up after revellers.
The ‘Neighbours Farm Walk’ will take place on Saturday 27th October at 10am. The ‘walk’ will take the form of a tractor and trailer ride around Cantelupe Farm and Trumpington Fen showing the latest developments on the Estate, discussing crops, wildlife and farming methods with the David Knott, the General Manager, and Richard Pemberton. Spaces will be limited to 25 in the trailer, children welcome, so please register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org if you haven’t done so yet.
Don’t forget the ‘Scramble with the Farmer’ event at Coton Countryside Reserve with David on Thursday 6th September. For further info call 01223 243830 or go to www.cambridgeppf.com
A query arose following the placement of permissive path signage around the estate, in particular the question of dogs on leads. The signs include text recommended by Natural England for such notices. Our intention is to ensure that dogs are kept fully under control for a number of reasons including: disturbing breeding birds, damage to establishing crops, disturbing wildlife nests/sets/dens (which are often subsequently abandoned) and the occasional use of pesticides, especially molluscicides (tiny blue pellets), which can be harmful to dogs.
Did you know?
You may have noticed the willow coppice growing at the rear of the village car park. It is known as short rotation coppice SRC and is part of over 11 hectares we grow for biomass fuel production. Half the crop will be cut every second year after defoliation producing around 120 tonnes/year of chipped lengths for drying, a process which takes around 8 months. It is then ready for use in local biomass boilers which, in time, the Estate intends to install.
We welcome your views at www.trumpingtonestate.com or 01223 841101.
Debbie, David, Richard and all the team at Trumpington Farm Company