Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Poachers at Poachers

Ready to be ridden...
This, very wet, Saturday bought the Poachers Pre 65 Classic Trials Club to Poachers Hideaway... where it all started over thirty years ago!

"In 1988 six members of the Lincoln Section of the AJS Matchless Owners Club with a passion for all things British and a keen interest in Classic Trials Bikes from the 50's and 60's staged it's first observed trial on the hillside above the Wolds villages of Scamblesby, enjoyment and friendly competition were the order of the day with some of the sections being 16ft wide! and not quite as technical as todays hazards. 

Over the next couple of years the clubs popularity grew, with an increase in rider numbers the club hosted six trials per year."


http://www.poacherspre65trials.co.uk


The "Sign up" van under cover in the big barn.
Despite the weather it was a very good turnout, the tractor had to come out and tow a couple of the competitors support vehicles out of the usual grass carpark because of the soft wet ground! But
a new parking area was found on hard standing and pretty soon the familiar sound of vintage motorcycles revving up filled the complex...



Briefing.

On the off!





To the course.


A number of courses were set out in various areas of Poachers Hideaway and all the off roaders were eager to get started despite the rain, a great social feel to the whole event!

Studying the course.







A Great day had by all.



Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Nomads to Snowdrops

Braving the blizzard
Its been a cold week up here at Poachers Hideaway! We got some snow, but luckily not much... yet! Our Pheasants who have sought refuge here were out in force last Friday to mark the end of the shooting season, I watched them stumbling through the short lived blizzard like Nomads in a sand storm.


One of the resident barn owls has also been silently flying around the hills looking for prey.


The owl knew I was snapping away and kept looking my way to see how close I was getting... he kept his distance!

Well aware of me!


The ponds fully froze over a few days ago.


A wonderfully crisp morning.

We have another offer on here at Poachers Hideaway! book for six nights and stay for a week, yes the seventh night is free! Please email us at enquiries@poachershideaway.com to secure your booking.

All this cold weather is making us think of spring, not long now! well ok maybe a couple of months...

In April I will be running beginners photographic courses making full use of our beautiful surroundings and nature, oh and lunch at the Bluebell, watch this space for more details or feel free to contact me on damian@poachershideaway.com and I can put you on the mailing list for this and other courses/events happening here at Poachers Hideaway.


For more info on me and my work www.damianfurlong.com
This weekend there is a unique experience taking place at South Ormsby Estate, a country estate near us... A snowdrop walk with the owner of the estate, this is an exclusive event for Friends of South Ormsby Estate, a chance to see beautiful privately owned grounds. You can become a friend  by visiting their website www.southormsbyestate.co.uk or call Leanne on 01507 311446

Snowdrops (Galanthus)

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

From Baltimore to Belchford

 ZK563 (ROYAL AIR FORCE) CHINOOK-HC6


While washing the car on Monday there was a familiar sound getting nearer and nearer so I grabbed the camera, this Chinook was fast approaching. I have often heard them above near Poachers Hideaway but this one flew right above.





Flypast


After doing some research apparently this particular chopper was the last of the current batch of Chinooks being delivered to the RAF back in 2014, and was handed over in a ceremony in Baltimore Maryland USA, on the 35th anniversary of the 1st Chinook being delivered. This delivery brings the RAF's compliment of Chinooks up to 60.
Here is an interesting RAF link about these amazing aircraft.

https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/chinook/



Having been in one and extensively photographed them in the Amazon Jungle I have a soft spot for these extremely capable and highly versatile aircraft.



Trumps old Chopper


The Chinook above was once owned by President Donald Trump, he kitted it out with a drinks bar and flew "VIPs" from JFK Airport to his casino in Atlantic city.

Columbia Helicopters bought it, as it was costing the Donald to much to run! and it spent the rest of its life heavy lifting for oil companies, mostly in South America. Sadly it crashed and burned in the Peruvian Jungle a few months after I took this photo...


Some flyaway


Others prefer to walk!

Friday the 1st of February marks the end of the shooting season, Poachers Hideaway has ironically been somewhat of a haven for many game birds this year! You can't get down our drive without seeing pheasants and partridges, both English and French.

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Last weekend was the RSPB big bird watch, the above was one of the more colourful visitors that was put on the list...
Here is the list of birds we saw in an hour around Poachers Hideaway-

1 Robin / Erithacus rubecula
2 Goldfinch / Carduelis carduelis
3 Great Tit / Parus major
4 Blue Tit / Cyanistes caeruleus
5 Pheasant / Phasianus colchicus
6 Red-legged Partridge / Alectoris rufa
7 Fieldfare / Turdus pilaris
8 Carrion Crow / Corvus corone
9 Common Seagull / Larus canus
10 Mallard / Anas platyrhynchos
11 Moorhen / Gallinula chloropus
12 Wren / Troglodytes troglodytes
13 Chaffinch / Fringilla coelebs
14 Rook / Corvus frugilegus
15 Blackbird / Turdus merula
16 House Sparrow / Passer domesticus
17 Dunnock / Prunella modularis
18 Kestrel / Falco tinnunculus

We had a big freeze a few days ago and a threat of heavy snow, but nothing too serious, yet... It was Mid February last year that we were snowed in for a few days.

A frosty Bluebell wood 



The ponds didn't quite freeze over but close!


Alan from Heating and Plumbing solutions.


We had to call on the services of expert plumber Alan, from Heating and Plumbing Solutions today to fix a leak in the emersion heater in Juice Trump! All back and running perfectly now and awaiting our next guests...

If you have a problem, give him a call! 07863 100143


Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Heavenly glory to majestic flight and preparing for a country stroll...

Blood wolf moon over Poachers Hideaway
An early morning wake up call the other morning to get a shot of the blood wolf moon... A rare phenomenon, caused in part by a lunar eclipse, makes the surface of the moon appear a reddish hue while seeming brighter and closer to earth than normal. Sadly a little cloudy, and cold! but shined the way up the drive nicely.

Frosty view down the valley.
We had our first hard frost of the year up here at Poachers Hideaway this week, this helped to get some lovely photos around our little piece of the Lincolnshire wolds.

Breakfast.


I interrupted breakfast on Monday morning with Poachers Hideaway residents, the Shire horses, they have the run of the forty acre pasture we have here. They are working horses and have had lots of commissions carting bridal carriages and looking very elegant.

Ploughing.
Andrew has been busy on the land this week. The little international tractor has been out ploughing on the side of Park Hill in preparation of a wild flower crop, it should look fantastic in the spring, follow the diary for colourful spring photographs...

A Barn owl silently flying toward Stenigot.
One of our favourite residents here at Poachers Hideaway is the beautiful Barn Owl, they nest here in our Owl box every year, rent free of course! We will be following the activities of these amazing creatures and reporting back regularly.

Courtesy of the Barn Owl Trust.
Who the Barn Owl Trust are...

"The Barn Owl Trust is a UK charity which aims to conserve the Barn Owl and its environment. We carry out practical conservation, research and educational work, advise farmers, government and landowners. and run a free information service. We also look after sick and injured owls in a genuine owl sanctuary- a place of peaceful retreat."

We have taken some bookings this week for people coming to the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking festival. This popular event takes place in May - 18th May until the 2nd of June to be precise. We host a walk up here as well as providing top quality accommodation...

Organisers of the popular walking festival are urging organisations and businesses to contribute to their programme of walks and activities for the 2019 festival, which will run from 18th May to 2nd June. 2019 will be the 15th Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival, and to celebrate the programme is being extended to include some outdoor activities. Festival Co-ordinator Natalie Lunt explains: "We want to offer a rich and varied programme of walks and activities which features something for all ages and abilities and celebrates what the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has to offer. We are keen to inspire young people and families to take part in the festival, so along with the relaxed strolls and challenging hikes we want to offer activity walks, themed walks, tours and taster sessions. This is an ideal opportunity for local business and attractions in the area to, quite literally, get their name on the map and showcase what they have to offer!" The festival, which is co-ordinated by Heritage Lincolnshire in partnership with the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service, attracts in the region of 3,000 participants each year and is one of the largest and best-attended events of its kind in the UK.


Some walkers from last years Bluebell loop walk hosted and lead by Poachers Hideaway owner Andrew Tuxworth.





Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Birds and Planes


Another lovely winters day here at Poachers Hideaway today!

In anticipation of next weeks RSPB big bird watch a wander around the hills, lakes and woods was in order today to shoot a few birds... with a camera of course!

It became apparent the Blue Tits were far more sociable than the Great tits this week...



A very vocal Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus).



  •                       A shy Great Tit (Parus major).

Our friendly Robins however are always very sociable and often serenade us and our guests, lets hope they are all out in force next week and ready to be counted!

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/?channel=paidsearch&gclid=CjwKCAiAyfvhBRBsEiwAe2t_ixC6LIncbr8aRcC0kIevs2_7UgBhZ_0vERsslqzbPpwHp0eHdkIixBoCgbUQAvD_BwE

Posing in the hedge showing off his red breast A friendly Robin (Erithacus rubecula).
Saying hello.

Its been remarked upon how many Pheasants there are around at the moment. There are normally a few venturing up the drive to Poachers Hideaway.


An ironic visiter to Poachers Hideaway, a humble Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus).

  • While walking through the woods the peace and tranquility was somewhat interrupted by the Eurofighters flying over, maybe on the way to their home at RAF Coningsby.

Eurofighters over Belchford wood.

Cadet Furlong a Poachers Hideaway resident had an exclusive trip last night with the ATC 1265 Squadron (Horncastle) to RAF Coningsby. They had a wonderful time wandering around the Hangers looking and learning about at all the aircraft including the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster. 




Inside the Avro Lancaster.



Underneath the Avro Lancaster. 


https://www.raf.mod.uk/display-teams/battle-of-britain-memorial-flight/

One of only two flying Lancaster Bombers in the world, the other is in Canada. A non flying Lancaster also lives in Lincolnshire, down the road at East Kirkby.

RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire is one of two RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Stations which protect UK airspace (RAF Lossiemouth is the other). 
RAF Coningsby is home to two frontline, combat-ready squadrons and is the training station for Typhoon pilots.
Almost 3,000 Service Personnel, Civil Servants, and contractors work at RAF Coningsby.

Eurofighter Typhoon is the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft providing simultaneously deployable Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface capabilities.
It is in service with 7 customers and has been ordered by two more. The aircraft has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, high reliability across the globe in all climates. It has been combat proven during operations in Libya, Iraq and Syria.
Resting on the tarmac at RAF Coningsby.



Monday, 7 January 2019

Nearly twenty years ago, and even earlier...




Nearly twenty years ago work started to transform our derelict farm buildings into the fantastic cottages that stand proudly here at Flintwood Farm and known as Poachers Hideaway. Click on the above to see a before and after...



Above are the steps rising out of our courtyard here at Poachers Hideaway, our cottages open out onto the courtyard which makes a wonderful communal feel if needed for large gatherings or intimate parties alike, see our website...

www.poachershideaway.com 

We have an offer on! Free fishing for all residents that place a booking for a cottage in the months of January and February. We have very well stocked coarse fishing lakes with copious amounts of carp in them.

Leah's first fish!




Over the years lots of flint arrowheads and remnants of the making of them have been found around the farm. Archaeologists typically call what we normally call arrowheads, "projectile points," not because it sounds more academic, but because the shape of a pointy stone does not necessarily categorise it as something that was used at the end of an arrow shaft. "Projectile" is more inclusive than "arrow." Also, in our long human history, we have used a wide variety of materials to put sharp points on the ends of projectiles, including stone, wood, bone, antler, copper, plant parts, and other raw material types : Sometimes we just sharpened the end of a stick.

Projectile Points and remnants of, found around Poachers Hideaway over the years.

The purposes of projectile points have always been for hunting and warfare, but the technology has varied a great deal over the years. The technology that made the first stone points possible was invented by our distant ancestor Homo Erectus in Africa during the later   Acheulean period, circa 400,000–200,000 years ago. This technology involved knocking bits of stone off a hunk of rock/flint to create a sharp point. Archaeologists call this early version of stone-making the Levallois technique or Levalloisian flaking industry.

A walk amongst the Bullfinches in one of Poachers Hideaways many planted woodlands.

The Bullfinch, Pyrrhula pyrrhula, is a striking bird found across the UK throughout the year. The adult male has bright pink underparts and a black head and face. Although seen in gardens it is more commonly associated with scrub and woodland, we have a population of around 190000 in this country. Seeing these reminded us of the Big Garden Birdwatch taking place in a couple of weeks, click on the RSPB site below for all the info on this worthy survey...
https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/
"Get ready for 26-28 JanSign-up today to request a FREE postal pack, or take part online and get access to Big Garden Extra. Here you can access exclusive articles, downloads and celebrity interviews. Once you've signed up, you'll also benefit from 20% off in our shop and FREE delivery* "
Another dash of colour on the walk around our area of outstanding beauty are these purple catkins.

Debating the catkins at Poaches Hideaway

We have surmised these are Alder catkins, Alnus glutinosa.

The word catkin comes from the old Dutch word katakana, meaning kitten because of the resemblance to a kittens tale. Catkins are also known as "ament", this is latin for amentum meaning thong...

A helpful resource  is the Countryfile website below to help identify catkins...
https://www.countryfile.com/wildlife/trees-plants/how-to-identify-catkins/