General Estate – Chris Rollason, Deputy Park Manager

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, our summer works programme has ended and our winter works programme has begun. Winter is the time of year where we carry out the majority of our tree work in order to avoid bird nesting season. Over the course of the next few months we will be carrying out tree safety work and woodland management across the estate. We will also be carrying out a programme of hedgecutting, coppicing and pollarding work in order to maintain valuable habitats and conserve natural heritage features.

We have recently been clearing trees and vegetation from one of the ditches within the floodplain meadow between Water Newton and Sutton. This is in preparation for some wetland restoration work that we are hoping to do in partnership with the Wildlife Trust next summer. By restoring, expanding and managing the ditch network we hope to improve the floodplain meadow for a range of wetland species.

Woodlands – Chris Rollason, Deputy Park Manager

Since the last newsletter Jim Bentley has left the Trust, but I am very pleased to announce that Scott Bryan has returned and will continue in the Woodlands Groundsperson role. I know Scott had a strong relationship with the local community and it is great that he has reprised his former role. Scott has hit the ground running and has already been liaising with the local community and implemented a new sports pitch layout.

Share Farming – Craig and Ryan Baxter, Farmers

With winter now drawing in the cattle will soon be taken off the river meadows to enjoy the hay that was cut over the summer, before returning when the weather permits in the spring. The ewes are currently being readied for the ram and will receive a bit of extra TLC at this time of year in order to maximise their fertility and therefore the likelihood that they will give birth to and raise two lambs each.

Looking ahead, spring 2022 will see the establishment of a further 60 acres of legume and herb-rich pasture at Normangate, Castor. This pasture will be abundant with legumes and herbs and as well as being suitable for the livestock, will also provide habitat and food for invertebrates, including crop pollinators, and improve soil structure and water infiltration. This land will be removed from its current arable rotation, and importantly will no longer receive artificial fertilisers. We have been cultivating and preparing this land ahead of drilling the seeds in the spring. This will extend the impact and extent of our farming system, which sets out to produce high-welfare, extensively farmed and grass fed meat from happy, healthy livestock. 

Park to Plate Lamb Boxes - Joanna Bacon, Senior Marketing Officer

Orders are now being taken for the very first run of lamb boxes containing a range of different cuts of lamb, born and reared on land managed in a nature-friendly way, including the Nene Park Rural Estate, as part of our new sustainable ‘Park to Plate’ initiative with the Baxter brothers.

What could be more sustainable than hyper-local meat, reared with the utmost importance on the welfare of its animals and farmed in harmony with nature? To find out more about Park to Plate, our Share Farming Partnership, and to order a small, medium or large lamb box, please visit:

Orders are being taken until 24th November for collection on 11th and 12th December from Lakeside Farm Shop in Ferry Meadows. Look out for details of the second lamb box in the new year!