Over The Hedge – news from Trumpington Farm Company, Cantelupe Farm
Much has changed at Trumpington Farm Company in the last year. Firstly after nine years as Farm Manager for TFC Andrew Crossley has moved to the team at Thurlow Estate near Haverhill. In 2007 the operational running of TFC passed to Richard Pemberton from his father Antony, who continues to manage the Peterborough operations. In November, Richard welcomed David Knott to the team, who brings his wife Sue and family from Lincolnshire. As the new General Estate Manager, David is responsible not only for farming matters, but also wider estate issues.
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. As with most farmers this year, we expected to get in a fair harvest but lack of sunshine (70 hours less than average for June) caused the grain to be significantly smaller than we’ve seen before. We are now drying 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.
Wildlife on the Estate
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.
At Cantelupe Farm water voles have been seen near the footpath at Bourn Brook. We are taking measures to protect all of these wildlife sites and will keep you posted on any notable sightings. Please tell us of your sightings and we’ll share them on the website.
We have some DIY grazing land available in Great Shelford Do call if you are interested 01223 841101.
We are delighted to have won the coveted East Anglian Grey Partridge Trophy 2012 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.
The Neighbours Farm Walk will take place on Saturday 13th 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. Please register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
We welcome your views at www.trumpingtonestate.com or 01223 841101.
Richard Pemberton, David Knott, Debbie Meller and all the team at Trumpington Farm Company