The drilling of next year’s crops was very late this year across the country. The land became increasingly waterlogged and our first opportunity to cultivate was on a hard frost early in December. Fortunately, the milder weather over Christmas then allowed the crops to establish. The persistent rain has been unwelcome because it washes nutrition from the top level soil, affecting spring growth. The rain continues to be a boon to slugs, which are our crops biggest threat this winter.
Elsewhere on the Estate, the Christmas floods have created a haven for wading birds, with little obvious damage to flora and fauna. There are upward of 70 snipe and hundreds of wildfowl and other waders on the fen opposite Grantchester Meadows enjoying the wetland habitat. The new Trumpington Meadows park is also proving to be an attractive home to many golden plover.
Diamond Jubilee Wood
Haslingfield has become the site of one of only 60 Diamond Jubilee woods. Groups of local primary school children recently planted almost 5 acres of trees in a project organised by The Woodland Trust. The children had the opportunity to learn about wildlife habitats before planting the trees. A community day then followed where some 700 trees were planted by locals. Since this promising start a combination of waterlogging and uncertainty about Ash dieback disease have delayed further planting and we may now postpone for the season. In total up to 60 acres will be planted up under the Diamond Jubilee Woods scheme.
In Grantchester, planting will begin shortly to the small parcel of woodland adjacent to Spring Lane meadow, replacing last year’s clear out of dead and fallen trees.
Your questions – Origins of the name Cantelupe Farm
One of our neighbours in Grantchester asked how Cantelupe Farm got its name. In the 18th century the parish of Haslingfield was owned by Earl de la Warr (pronounced Delaware and from where the American State is derived), a title created in 1761 for John West, 7th Baron De La Warr. The Earl held the subsidiary title of Viscount Cantelupe and gave the farm this name. The Viscount Cantelupe title is, in turn, derived from Aston Cantelupe, a parish in Warwickshire, which was granted to William de Cantelupe in 1204 by King John.
We will run another of our neighbours farm walks in the spring to include Haslingfield, Trumpington and Grantchester residents. More information to follow in our next report.
If you have a question about farming or the Estate please contact us on 01223 841101 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We enjoy hearing from you.
Best wishes from all the team at Trumpington Farm Company.