Countrysiders News

Countrysiders News!

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7 Competition Days - 1 Incredible Campout

Our Countrysiders have their own events and a conservation camp...

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Neon Night

What an epic night!!

Get set for next year's social!

 

Friday 12th April

I'm a Countrysider. Get me outta here!

 

Countrysiders Conservation Campout 2019

Epic weekend - see below what Moira had to say!

It was very exciting seeing all the tents up in a quiet field on the Westacre Estate.  What an amazing venue for our Campout, so tranquil and beautiful. The first activity was a visit to the Trout Farm.  What a long walk!  We thought this would help puff the Countrysiders out.  It was fascinating see the trout from their just hatched stage through to being fully grown in the sections of river.



Once back at the camp, great fun was had with a lively game of Rounders followed by Tug of War – especially when it was pulling an old Land Rover!  Once the potatoes were finished cooking over the camp fire, everyone had a late supper of jacket potatoes with baked beans and cheese and most were finally in bed by 11pm.



Saturday morning started with Rory showing the moths and some bugs that he had trapped overnight from nearby.  This was fascinating as always. The members then got into groups and set off with their leaders to get started on their first task of the day.



Natural Habitat nest boxes were as popular as ever and with some amazing results.  These are constructed from logs that are cut in half, hollowed out and then put back together with a top and a base. Some were for bats and others were made for birds. The Owl Nest Box making group went off to the workshop to cut and prepare the timber for these specially designed boxes.  This involved a lot of sawing, drilling and hammering with fabulous end results and 5 Owl boxes ready to go up.  The Two Otter Holts were constructed close to the river bank and took a lot of digging and hard work to create the internal chambers required to create the perfect Otter home. These were then camouflaged with lots of brash and soil over the top. The Kingfisher nests were also created alongside the river and were superbly disguised.  There are now 6 small openings along the river bank leading into sandy lined, Kingfisher nest chambers.



The coppicing, walkways and bank restoration groups achieved some amazing results.  Water is always a popular attraction!  These groups worked in relatively close proximity and made such a difference to that stretch of the river.  Bridge Building is always a challenge and loved by all.  Brilliantly guided by a keen senior member, 2 super bridges on public footpaths were completed this year.  At the end of the work day a fish and chip supper is enjoyed by all. We then had an incredible demonstration of skinning and jointing a deer carcase by the Game Keeper, Chris Carter, who spoke about how healthy venison meat is.  His wife, Debs, sliced the loin meat which was cooked over the camp fire.  It was succulent and delicious and was a new taste experience for many.  After a fun game of Rounders there was an evening of chatting and making friends around the Camp fire. The Countrysiders didn’t take any persuading to go to bed Saturday night! 



Sunday saw the Annual Countrysiders Forum where it was fabulous to see eleven of the fifteen Countrysider clubs around Norfolk being represented.  We had reports about the Countrysiders Training, Competitions and the recent highly successful Social events along with reports from each club.  Afterwards, Mr Henry Birkbeck, spoke about the family owing Westacre for several generations and that he and his son were embracing many methods of diversification - especially with footpaths around the estate.  Sunday is also the day where unfinished tasks are completed and the Countrysiders choose which activities they would like to do.  A BBQ lunch heralded the end of yet another amazing Camp and grateful thanks must go to the hard-working Countrysiders and the army of member and ex-member volunteers who gave up their weekend to enable the Campout to take place.



Thanks to:



Alec Birkbeck, Henry Birkbeck, Westacre Farms



Fraser Bradbury  - Head Forester



Chris Carter – Game Keeper



The Trout Farm staff



Rory Hart – our Conservation Expert



Marion Alston of Jemco Signs for the Countrysiders.



Thanks also go to our invaluable team of staff and helpers; Katharine Robinson, Saskia Cook, Charlie Clarke, Jack Fisher, Rob Kernan, Rachel Cole, Ches & Andy Broom, Lucy Stowell, Charlie Atherton, Edd Barker, Tracey Matthews, Andrew Leveridge, Jacob Gooderham, Hugh Scott, Andrew Lee, Justin Dennis, Ben Johnson, Michael Pearson, Ella Sewell, Matt Norman, Heather Newport, Daniel Edwards, James Grant, Alice Harness, Luke Pratt, Tom Venni, Georgia Smith, Ken & Rebecca Proctor, Saskia Mayhew, Charlie Chase & Marshall Drew



Your help has been much appreciated. 



Moira Harrison, Countrysiders Development Officer



A big congratulations must go to the hardworking teams of Countrysiders:  -



Matthew K, Miriam, Stella, Holly, Rebecca, Elliott, Bonnie, Jessica, Emma, Benjamin, Mackenzie, Andon, Hannah G-H, Poppy, Jack Ch, Emily, Marcella, Ilana, Deanna, Sophia, Toby-Jack, Tilly, Jack R, Misha, Ruby, Connie, Issy, Samuel, Elizabeth, Madeline, Hannah M, Daniel, Lucy M, Oliver, Matthew M-C, Kate, Lucy B, Lucy H, Rory W-T, Hugo & Jack C

Booking Form Consent Form
 

Royal Norfolk Show 2019 - keep an eye out for how it all goes!

Thank you to all who are volunteering on the stand and in the Grand Ring Pageant!

 

Check out what happened on the last years Campout!

Conservation Campout 2018

What a great weekend for the Countrysiders annual Conservation Campout.

The sun shone as parents and Countrysiders erected their tents in the old deer park on the Euston Estate by kind permission of the Duke & Duchess of Grafton.

Overlooking the river Black Bourne the setting was truly idyllic as the Countrysiders fetched wood and prepped the site for the camp fire. Bug pit fall traps were set to discover the diverse range of bugs in various locations such as woodland and field margins. A lively game of rounders concluded Friday evening and after hot jacket potatoes cooked over the camp fire, covered with melting butter and lots of beans and cheese, everyone headed to bed.

Saturday is the main work day and runs with military precision. Seven groups set off in various directions to start their conservation tasks. These covered Kingfisher Nest building along the banks of the Black Bourne; Coppicing and pollarding mature willow near the Park Farm Bridge which opened up the area to sunlight and created natural habitat homes with the brash. Sheets of ply were accurately sawn in order to make 2 incredible maternity roosts for pregnant female bats who apparently tell the males to go elsewhere!

The Natural Habitat Nest Boxes were made from superb logs of oak that looked impressive when finished. The non-native Crayfish traps were designed so well but sadly no crayfish were caught. The Otter Holts took a lot of digging and hard work to create the internal chambers and the entrance and exit required to create the perfect Otter home.

After a fish and chip supper we had an incredible talk by the resident Deer Stalker, Chris Rogers, who spoke about the maintenance of a healthy herd of wild deer. He skinned and butchered a deer and then barbecued some venison steaks which were delicious and a new taste experience for many.

Tug of War was the game for the evening and was hilarious as not played seriously. The Countrysiders didn’t take any persuading to go to bed Saturday night.

Sunday saw the Annual Countrysiders Forum where it was fabulous to realise that eleven of the fifteen Countrysider clubs around Norfolk were represented. We then had a talk about the Estate from the Estate manager, Andrew Blenkiron and learnt that the Dukes of Grafton had lived on the Estate for a continuous 350 years along with many other historical facts through the years to date.

Sunday is the day where unfinished tasks are completed and the Countrysiders choose which activities they would like to do.

A BBQ lunch heralded the end of yet another amazing Camp and grateful thanks must go to the hard-working Countrysiders and the army of volunteers who gave up their weekend to enable the Campout to take place.

Thanks to:

The Duke & Duchess of Grafton

Andrew Blenkiron, Estate Manager

Chris Rogers, Deer Management / Stalker

Rory Hart, our Conservation Expert

Marion Alston of Jemco Signs for the Countrysider Plaques

Thanks must also go to our invaluable team of staff and helpers:

Katharine Robinson, Rachel Cole, Kate Brierley, Ches ; Andy Broom, Mark Holmes, Lucy Stowell, Charlie Atherton, Ella Drake, Edd Barker, Tom Baker, Laura Taylor, Tracey Matthews, Andrew Leveridge, Hugh Scott, Andrew Lee, Justin Dennis, Gemma Sarah’s-Rout, Ken Proctor, Deb Parsons, Andrew Ford, Tom Bart, Ellie Marris, Jacob Gooderham

Your help has been much appreciated.

Moira Harrison – Countrysiders Development Officer

A big congratulations must go to the hardworking teams of Countrysiders:

Miriam, Daniel, Freya, Hayden, Lucy M, Callum, Oscar, Robert B, Holly M, Josh T, Holly W, Tom, Jessica, Emma, Andon, Ellamae, Erin, Hugo, Joe, Patrick, Cameron, Bonnie, Elliot, Grace, Evelyn, Will P, Mackenzie, James, Hannah, Becca, Elizabeth, Madeline, Henry & Alfie

 

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Click Here, to find out more about how to become a member!