Wednesday, January 16, 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!

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.

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, January 7, 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... 

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...
"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...

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

Looking towards Juice Trump on a warm winter morning New Years Day 2019

2019 is here and has started off with a beautiful sunny day up here at Poachers Hideaway, Happy New Year to all our Poacher friends!

New Years eve lunch was a stroll to our Local pub and probably the best eatery in the Lincolnshire Wolds- The Bluebell.

The Bluebell Belchford

The walk which takes in a very small part of the famous Viking Way, cuts across Poachers Hideaway and takes around half an hour for a leisurely stroller...

The Viking Way is a long distance footpath which starts on the banks of the Humber in the north and winds its way through Lincolnshire to finish on the shores of Rutland Water, a total of 235km (147 miles).
The route passes through the Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the market town of Horncastle, the Lincolnshire Limewoods, the City of Lincoln, the southern Lincolnshire Edge and the Kesteven Uplands before entering Leicestershire and Rutland.
Established in 1976, the name of the route was suggested by the Ramblers Association to reflect the influence of the Danelaw in the eastern counties of Britain.
The route is way-marked throughout its length with a Viking helmet.
One of the foot bridges on the well looked after Viking Way
Nearing the village you may be welcomed by some rare breeds, anyone know what breed of sheep this is?... please make sure gates are secured upon leaving, or they may wander off!

A friendly sheep with Poachers Hideaway up the hill in the background.

Darren Jackson the owner and chef prepared a fantastic burger and chips upon my arrival.

Darren has had The Bluebell for sixteen years and built up an excellent reputation for fine cuisine in pleasant surroundings served by friendly attentive staff. The Bluebell's main accolade is featuring in the Michelin eating out guide for ten years running!


Food 12pm to 2pm & 6.30pm to 9pm
Monday   11.30am to 2.30pm
to                         &
Saturday  6.30pm to 11pm
Sunday   12pm to 10.30pm
(Closed 2nd and 3rd week of January)

Another excellent dish The Bluebell is known for is their Sticky Toffee Pudding!

Delicious, again!
The walk back up the hill takes a little longer than the way down...

Up the Viking Way toward Juice Trump

Monday, December 24, 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, December 17, 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.