Monday, 24 December 2018

Oh, 'tis my delight on a shining night, in the season of the year

A wonderful Christmas Eve morning up here at Poachers Hideaway, and what better way to enjoy it than to pull on a pair of Wellies and go for a meander around our one hundred and fifty acres of outstanding natural beauty.

Willow lodge (our fishing lodge) in the morning sun, affectionately known as Fishermen’s Widow Lodge.

A little frosty underfoot toward Belchford village…

We are often asked the reason we are named Poachers Hideaway…
It all stems from the county anthem of Lincolnshire of course! Well the unofficial one anyway…

"The Lincolnshire Poacher"

Penned around 1776, a traditional English folk song we in Lincolnshire are fondly proud of, it deals with the joys of poaching!

When I was bound apprentice in famous Lincolnshire,
I serv'd my master truly, for nearly seven odd year,
Till I took up to poaching, as you shall quickly hear.
Oh, 'tis my delight on a shining night, in the season of the year.

As me and my companions were setting up a snare,
The gamekeeper was watching us – for him we did not care,
For we can wrestle and fight, my boys, and jump o'er anywhere.
Oh, 'tis my delight on a shining night, in the season of the year.

As me and my companions were setting four or five,
And taking on 'em up again, we took a hare alive,
We plopped her into my bag, my boys, and through the woods did steer.
Oh, 'tis my delight on a shining night, in the season of the year.

We threw him over our shoulders, and wondered through the town,
We called into a neighbour's house, and sold her for a crown,
We sold her for a crown, my boys, but I did not tell you where.
Oh, 'tis my delight on a shining night, in the season of the year.

Success to every gentleman that lives in Lincolnshire (Or: Bad luck to every magistrate)
Success to every poacher that wants to sell a hare,
Bad luck to every gamekeeper that will not sell his deer.
Oh, 'tis my delight on a shining night, in the season of the year.

The song is said to have been a great favourite of King George IV.

We have had some wonderful bright nights up here lately, not a cloud in the sky and a blanket of stars, we are very lucky to have very little light pollution here at Poachers Hideaway, making it a perfect location for astrophotography or just generally gazing above at the heavenly glory.  

The road to Poachers Hideaway…
Photo by James Faulkner
(A Poachers Friend)

Please take a look at James website and see the wonderful ceramics he has produced.

“I take inspiration for my work from discarded objects and surfaces created by the  environment and time. My work presents a snapshot along the journey of an object, from new, to its eventual rejection and abandonment to nature, an object's slow decay into nothingness brings into being a beauty of its own, and tells the story of its existence.
I use these inspirations to create complex surfaces upon minimal geometric forms, that together evoke their own narrative, and engender a calming presence that brings balance  between form and surface.”

Merry Christmas everyone from all at Poachers Hideaway ! 

Monday, 17 December 2018

A brief history of Poachers Hideaway

Poachers Hideaway, Flintwood Farm, Belchford, is situated in an outstanding position in the middle of the Lincolnshire Wolds, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Lincolnshire Wolds is relatively unknown and is consequently tranquil, traditional and unspoilt. 

Winter is upon us, adding to spectacular views over the Wolds.

The landscape has been inhabited by Stone Age and Bronze Age ancestors. Romans, Saxons and Danes lived and farmed these hills. They would have walked and ridden along the ancient trackways, still available to us today. The Doomsday Book listed manors and mills along the same routes and more recently RAF bases of the Secord World War have populated the area.

One of two dugouts cut into the ridge of Park Hill, which is the next hill ridge to the south east of Poachers Hideaway. During the Second World War, planes returning from bombing raids would be guided by search lights positioned here.
Five miles from Poachers Hideaway lies the tiny hamlet of Somersby, here Poet laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson was born and raised. Tennyson being a keen walker would almost certainly have meandered around the hills of Poachers Hideaway, gleaning inspiration from the surroundings to put his quill to paper.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, born here in Somersby on the 6th August 1809.
The development of Flintwood Farm began 20 years ago. A range of former farm buildings were sympathetically converted to create a series of holiday cottages, known today as Poachers Hideaway.

We are an award winning environmental farm with 150 acres including ancient woodland, wildflower pastures, natural hedgerows and water meadows. Several lakes have been created which are well stocked and fishing is open to Poachers Hideaway guests.

"Gone Fishin"
We have an abundance of wildlife here on the farm, a particular favourite and resident family here at Poachers Hideaway are the Kestrels, our logo was born from the fact there is usually one hovering above!

Poachers Hideaway offers breathtaking views over the vales of Scamblesby and Belchford. We boast many archeologically sites, including a Roman sale road, ancient cultivation terraces and a Neolithic burial mound. Stone Age tools and fossils have been found in most of our fields. The farm provided working horses for the First World War and was a training ground for the Home Guard in the Second World War.

A moody look down the valley toward Tetford and beyond.

There are miles of private walks linked to a network of long distance footpaths and bridleways such as the famous Viking Way.

On the Viking Way

Close by are the market towns of Horncastle and Louth, also the picturesque town of Woodhall Spa home of the Dam Busters is not far either. A little further afield is our capital city Lincoln with its many shops and historical interest sites.

Monday, 10 December 2018

15 days until Christmas !

Well what better way to launch the new Poachers Hideaway website than with a special Christmas Blog…

Louth had their Christmas market last Sunday to an excellent turn out, probably helped by the weather and defiantly helped by the Earthbound Misfits who have entertained crowds with their unique performances since 1996. 

The Earthbound Misfits

This Sunday the Christmas market came to Horncastle, again very lucky with the weather and though a little smaller than Louth a great atmosphere!

So a sausage roll for breakfast was grabbed from Myres bakery on the Bull Ring, well two actually, for the price of one etc… very nice! and a walkaround with the camera…

Street food outside Myers Bakery

Myres is something of an institution in Horncastle producing some of the best and award winning traditional Lincolnshire goodies such as Plum Loaf, apparently the first and only Plum Loaf to win Gold in the Great Taste Awards.

While walking around to the High Street eating my breakfast, I listened to the Banovallum Brass Band  who positioned themselves ideally outside Horncastle Music Shop. The band have a concert in Horncastle's St Mary's Church on the 22nd December at 7.30pm tickets are £5 and under 14s free - well worth a listen.

The Banovallum Band

What better way to listen to this band, take in the atmosphere, and people watch, than to sit having a lovely cup of tea in proper china cups and saucers at the “Tea Caddy” a traditional traveling tea room located in the centre of town.

The Tea Caddy

Some attractions and stalls were located in the community centre which is called The Manor House Centre located next door to St Mary's Church.

                                Cadet Piper and Corporal Mills 1265 Squadron (Horncastle)

Horncastles 1265 Squadron of the Air Training Corps are raising money for a flight simulator and lots of Cadets were on duty running a Tombola in the community centre and helping shoppers with their groceries in the Horncastle Tesco, probably the friendliest Tesco there is!

                      Poachers Hideaway resident Cadet Furlong 1265 Squadron (Horncastle)

The Leader, a beautiful steam engine which has been in the Ingall family for generations added to the atmosphere of the day parked up on Bridge Street. It was originally bought by Frank Ingall then passed down the family.

Fitting the drive belt on The Leader
Three generations Peter, Carl and young Frank Ingall proud of their Leader, Carl was involved in the development and creation of our fishing lakes here at Poachers hideaway all those years ago! 



                         The Ingalls

At Poachers Hideaway we have our very own barn owls returning every   year to nest in their provided home, here is one of their friends on show at the market.

                    This beautiful creature is from Tony Butlers Exotic Animals and Owl Encounters

Tony Butlers aim is “To bring the unusual to your doorstep, to educate and to have fun whilst learning at the same time."

Well it is fifteen days until Christmas, the sign just outside West Ashby, our neighboring village, says so!