CAMPSITE

The sign is still there saying we are open all year, but of course we are not until the restrictions change. (1)  The cabin and campsite are being kept neat and tidy with attractive pot plants outside, (2) and with a field of buttercups nearby just coming into bloom.

FARM

My niece, Eleanor,  decided to incubate and hatch some hen and duck eggs. (3)  The incubator maintains a constant temperature of 37.5 degrees and has water in its base to keep the eggs moist.  The machine also turns the eggs.  After 21 days little cracks (4) began to appear in the hen eggs and soon the first chick saw the light of day (5) and finally popped out of its shell.  (6)  Once hatched the little birds stay in the incubator for one day.  Four out of the 6 eggs were fertile and they were feeding on chick crumbs under a heat lamp in no time. (7) 

The duck eggs took a few days longer to hatch.  All four of them hatched  with the third one (black) seeming to take such a long time get out of its shell. (8)  The ducklings were really cute when first hatched.  (9)   The young birds were soon out in a run and nibbling at grass, (10) but had to be brought in at night because they were still under a heat lamp.  Eventually a little hen house was built and now they stay out all the time.

About a month ago we were going to sow some grass seed in a Teagle distributor attached to the International tractor. (11) Malcolm got into the tractor cab and discovered that it was full of wasps.  We had to call out someone from the Council Pest Control department to deal with it.  He eventually found them in the windscreen wiper unit and had quite a tricky job disposing of them. (12)  It was a very expensive experience.  If it happens again we can call the officer directly  (13) and it will work out a lot cheaper.  A couple of weeks later we were all ready to go and sow the seed but the tractor broke down before we could start.  This morning we had to get the  Massey Ferguson to pull the International tractor back to a hard standing to repair it. (14, 15)

Technology is always improving even with unloading silage bales into the feeder. (16)  The fork loader now has a cutting blade which cuts through the black plastic wrap (17) and white plastic netting and delivers it into the feeder without anyone having to struggle with cutting it all and pulling it off the silage.  (18) A much easier job.  We have very few bales left to feed and as soon as the second day of TB testing is over (tomorrow) and all the bales are eaten the animals will go out to grass.  As we have had little rain recently,and the grass is not growing very fast, I doubt whether I will have surplus silage bales to sell at this time next year.

A friend has been helping Malcolm with his bees and honey production.  He cut the wax and the honey from each frame (19) and put it all into  the machine to melt.  (20)  When it was ready all the honey had sunk to the bottom and the wax stayed on the top.  (21) I drained the honey off and put it in the bottling tank  so that it would be sieved through two cloths before being bottled.  (22)

SUSTAINABILITY IN BUSINESS

In January I attended the Jurassic Coast Trust’s Sustainability Conference held at the RNLI College in Poole.  (23)  It was an action packed day. (24)  The event attracted over 100 attendees from the world of local business, with many fellow accommodation providers attending alongside people from visitor attractions, professional services, companies and local tourism boards.

The day centred on the subject of sustainability and how this applies to businesses working along or near the Jurassic Coast.  Peter Moore from the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland spoke passionately about the issues they have faced with mass tourism, and the measures they have put in place to counter it.

Anna Frizzell from the RN:I talked about their sustainability operations and how they promote the message to their staff and suppliers, and Gwyn Jones from the Association of Sustainability Practitioners gave an overview of what sustainability is, and the many different areas it covers.

There were also speakers from several local businesses, including Purbeck Ice Cream, (25) Bagwell Farm, (26) and the Dorset County Museum, along with Dorset Wildlife Trust, and the Jurassic Coast Trust as the hosts.

There were  stalls in the conference room with interesting leaflets on various topics including Helping Reduce Dorset’s Footprint,  (27) White Star Running, (28) Beer Geology and Architecture Walk  (29) and Sustainable Development Goals (30).

The day received excellent feedback and it gave businesses a chance to meet each other and discuss ideas.  Many attendees reported that they made changes to their operations following the event, such as using energy-saving lightbulbs and thinking more about where their products come from.  The Jurassic Coast Trust hopes to make this an annual event for its business partners and other interested organisations in the area.

VIRTUAL BELL RINGING ON EASTER SUNDAY

As you will probably know all churches had to be closed as part of the Corona Virus restrictions.  Under normal circumstances there would be at least 8 bell ringers in the bell tower of Whitchurch church at 10.30 am ringing bells to welcome people to church on Easter Sunday. (31)

Keen bell ringers David and Sue Barrance didn’t want the people of Whitchurch to miss out on this very pleasant experience so they took a laptop and a reasonably powerful Hi Fi out into the garden, (32) linked the 2 together and blasted out as loud as possible a touch of 448 changes of Grandshire Triples.  This is a very common method rung on 8 bells and many quarter peals and peals of this method have been rung at Whitchurch.

David shot a short video during the ringing, which had amazing sound for what it was.  He set the programme to ring at the ‘normal’ Whitchurch speed, and set the note of the tenor to match too.

The Barrances ring through a computer programme called Beltower, written by a ringing friend Derek Ballard in Honiton.  It is available to purchase and is installed in various locations all over the world.  It is linked to the ‘dumb bell’ (33) (upstairs in the bedroom) (34) via an electromagnetic sensor which picks up the bell’s position.  The computer then ‘rings’ the bell, and the art is to put your bell in the right place amongst all the others. (35, 36)  What you can see on the screen whilst they are ringing are a set of avatars with one missing (you don’t look at yourself whilst you are ringing). 

I live too far away from the village to have heard the ringing but all the villagers within earshot were thrilled with the beautiful sound.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

David and Sue Barrance, Guy Kerr, Eleanor Lambert and Caroline Lambert.