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Southwood Estate, Uncategorized

News from Southwood Farm, October 2014

News from Southwood Farm, the home farm for the National Trust in North Pembrokeshire

From Andrew Tuddenham, Manager North Pembrokeshire

At the start of the long hot summer we rebuilt a 12m section of hedgebank to wall off the range-end of the cattle yard. A team of National Trust Working Holiday volunteers lugged several tonnes of stones and shovelled earth in the dusty heat, and were rewarded by the satisfaction of a job completed within the week, and by multiple ice creams and swims in the sea at Newgale at the end of each day.  Here’s the finished hedgebank, with its creators:

Rebuilt hedgebank and happy Working Holiday volunteers

Rebuilt hedgebank and happy Working Holiday volunteers

We’ve posted more photos from the group’s week at Southwood on our Facebook page.

The south-east corner of the range has now been re-roofed by builder Phil Yates and the remaining vacant sheds are being emptied and tidied by our loyal band of Volunteer Conservation Assistants.

The re-roofed and cement-washed south range.

The re-roofed and cement-washed south range.

Paul and Jo Williams from Roch moved into the restored and renovated farmhouse as the first tenants in July. They’ve been busy preparing to open as a Bed & Breakfast, using the main farmhouse section for guests (three bedrooms) with their main quarters within the east extension that includes the main kitchen. We’re looking forward to working with them on this venture.  You can follow their progress on the B&B’s Facebook page.

During July we cut and baled 140 large bales of silage and 270 small bales of haylage from the fields to the Newgale side of the farm. These are all wrapped – there isn’t a shed for storage under cover. The bales are stacked on the lee side of the farm, hopefully safe from the ravages of the winter gales. We’ve moved the silage stack location from its historic position at the head of the green lane to stop any polluting silage leachate getting into the watercourse below the farm. 

Estate Ranger Rob with the first calf born at Southwood Farm this summer

Estate Ranger Rob with the first calf born at Southwood Farm this summer

The Welsh Blacks produced two calves in July and Andy, the Welsh black bull from Pete Smithies of Trehill Farm arrived on loan in August.  Estate Ranger Rob has been tending to the calves, and they’re growing fast and looking well.  Meanwhile a group of 8 steers were out on the Morfa and Trelerw coast near Solva this summer, beating back the overgrown heathland, whilst 5 young steers grazed the wet heath of Waun Vachelich.  All the cattle are now back on the farm. 

We’ve also just acquired a very fine Welsh Black bull from NT Llanerchaeron. Having Nanthrhys Glyndwr, a five year old bull will on hand will give us much greater control over the production of youngstock – we’re aiming for May-June calving.  When Andy returned to Trehill farm at the end of September, Nathrhys Glyndwr was introduced to the cows.  The first scan of the cows revealed that six of the nine are in calf (these being Andy’s), and we’ll find out in a few weeks if the remaining three are aswell.

Our next Southwood events are:

Oct 30th – Spooky Woodland Trail & Hallowe’en Fun 10:30 – 16:00 Dare you follow our Hallowe’en quiz trail into the woods? Price / Normal admission? Free event, trails cost £2

Dec 13th – Christmas Fair, 10:00 – 16:00. Crafts, gifts and food – find finishing touches and last minute treats around the Victorian farm range. No charge. Donations welcome

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