Autumn weather, feathered friends and tasty treats!

Autumn weather, feathered friends and tasty treats!

The mixed weather has been causing us a few problems over the last week. The heavy rain has meant we have had ponds as opposed to puddles in the courtyard and the strong winds managed to fell a tree right across the path walkers use. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for the sun to dry out the puddles and we soon got the tree towed away. The autumnal weather has also brought with it beautiful scenery across the estate with the changing leaf colours and we have had a lot of pheasants too. We do like to promote bird life on the estate. As well as our own bird table that attracts tits and woodpeckers, we have been working with the British Trust for Ornithology to cater for tawny owls and kestrels. The RSPB guys came over from Nottingham to put up numerous nesting boxes in trees and it will be exciting to see if we have birds making their nests there in the spring.

The winds showing their power on the estate

The man from the British Trust for Ornithology at work

The Matriculation Ceremony at Lincoln Cathedral

We have now picked most the apples and tried a new recipe this week – apple muffins. This time, we used a gluten free flour and rice milk and have been really pleased with the results. The apples seem to ensure things are soft and moist, not dry like sometimes can happen when using gluten free ingredients.

The delicious Apple Muffins made for us by Jacqui

Apple Muffin Recipe:

2 Large peeled cooking apples (chopped)
200g Flour
100g Castor Sugar
50g Brown Sugar
2½ Teaspoon of Baking Powder
90ml Rice Milk
80ml Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg (beaten)
Vanilla Extract (5 drops)

Method: Put the flour, both types of sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Add the rice milk, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla extract. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Gently fold in the chopped apples. Spoon in to muffin cups and sprinkle with icing sugar. Bake for 20minutes or until golden brown.

We have attended two interesting events this week: the ‘Explorers against Extinction’ talk at the Royal Geographical Society in London, and the Matriculation Ceremony at Lincoln Cathedral. ‘Explorers against Extinction’ was a unique evening featuring leading explorers, wildlife experts and conservationists which was introduced by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who has been described by the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘World’s Greatest Living Explorer’. The event aimed to raise awareness about the plight of Africa’s most iconic animals, including elephants and rhinos, whilst raising funds to buy, train, deploy and equip five dogs to combat poaching. We were also invited to attend a private viewing of the ‘Sketch for Survival’ exhibition comprising original artwork donated by leading wildlife artists as well as by actors, politicians, athletes and celebrities in support of conservation charities. Friday was the Matriculation day for some of the Bishop Grosseteste students. This is their inauguration into the college at the beginning of their course. The lecturers were in full robes and the sight of everyone appearing from Lincoln Cathedral following the ceremony was splendid.