Latest News & Events
ELS MARCH – NO MORE HEDGE OR DITCH BANK CUTTING. You may still cut 6m grass buffer strips but ONLY if they contain some flowers. Wild bird seed mixes (EF2) can now be flailed off and the ground cultivated. Unfertilised cereal headlands (EF9) – broad leaf weed control can be carried out until 31st March but ONLY with amidosulfuron. Grass weeds can be controlled anytime using only the products list in the handbook. Unharvested cereal headlands (EF10) – can now be cut down and returned to the rotation. Uncropped, cultivated areas for ground-nesting birds (EF13) – rough cultivated area should be created by 20th March. Low input grassland (EK2 and EK3) – 31st March last opportunity to cut, harrow or roll before the summer. Supplementary Feeding (EF23) – you must keep feeding until 31st March
MID-TIER CS MARCH – NO MORE HEDGE OR DITCH BANK CUTTING. Nectar flower mix (AB1) – if you haven’t done so already then these must be cut down before 30th March (and ideally cuttings removed or shredded). Nesting plots for lapwing and stone curlew (AB5) – plot must be cultivated by 20th March. Flower-rich margins and plots (AB8) - If plant growth is more than 15cm in height before 31 March, cut it (and remove if dense) to achieve a plant height of between 5cm and 10cm. Supplementary winter feeding for farmland birds (AB12) – you must keep feeding until 30th April
Game crop advisory visits – if you would like an advisory visit please contact us asap as our diaries are filling up fast!
Spring Newsletter – if you haven’t received your 2018 Oakbank Magazine (complete with Product Guide) or would like additional copies to give to your friends/colleagues, please let us know!
Perennial Crops – check all of your perennial crops this month to see whether they need any inputs/management. If you are not sure what you are looking for please check with us before doing anything drastic! Miscanthus – we are lifting rhizomes at the moment and putting them into cold store. If you are thinking of planting any miscanthus this season, then please get your order in asap. Planting time is not until mid-April but lifting will have been finished by then so we won’t be able to lift to order.
The Country Food Trust has been launched to help feed people in need. Last year they fed 20,000 people across the UK and their aim is to feed over 1 million people in the next five years.
As we know, there is a plentiful supply of pheasants and partridges in the UK, with more being shot each year as the sport grows. At the same time, there are 13 million people in UK in poverty who have to decide between the basic necessities including food, clothing and heating, and last year alone over 1 million people visited Food Banks across the country.
The Country Food Trust produces a delicious Country Casserole and a Country Curry which is donated to those in food poverty. It is sealed in long life pouches, which do not need to be stored in a chilled environment and are easy to prepare.
Obviously whilst pheasant and partridge are a cheap source of meat there are significant processing, preparing and packaging costs and this is where shoots can help. The Casserole and Curry are available to buy through the Wild Meat Company Wild Meat Company and for every meal that you buy (to feed your guns/your beaters/to give guns at the end of the day rather than birds in the feather) the CFT will deliver a free meal to a charity that feeds those in food poverty. In Cambridgeshire we are supporting Winter Comfort and have already delivered 200 free meals to them this month. You can also collect money from your guns to make a donation to the CFT. Every £1 collected will feed a person in need.
Supplementary feeding of winter bird food (AB12) is one of the most successful and visibly rewarding options within the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. It fills the "hungry gap" when the seed resources in the Wild Bird Seed Mixes run short and ensures the survival of many of our familiar farmland bird species.
Oakbank offer a full mixing and supply service for this seed, so please contact us in good time for the winter feeding period.