Welcome to the SRT blog No. 38

29th January 2021 – Welcome to our blog post No. 38

Last week we talked about the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird watch which is happening this weekend. So, Northchurch devised a great ‘Bird Feeding kit’ which hopefully you have now received and perhaps you can take part. It includes all the ingredients & instructions to make your own pine cone feeder, with sheets to help you identify the birds and other information / things to do. Do let us know how you get on – and maybe send me some photos. Here’s a few ideas for you:

  1. Photos of the birds at your pine cone feeder / your own feeder
  2. Photos of birds in your garden
  3. Your bird counts
  4. Your colouring in
  5. You making your bird feeder

Send to publicity@sunnysideruraltrust.org.uk

As a reminder – sign up to the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, here’s the link. https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/  . Signing up is easy and there are things to do on their website, including a quiz, as well as great ideas on their face book page. #BigGardenBirdWatch  including how to make other bird feeders easily.

Here are links to other great websites to help you get the most out of watching the birds around you.




Have fun and do let us know how you get on.



So it snowed last Sunday and we had a few inches on every site. At Northchurch Matt made sure the animals were all safe and here’s the video he made. They all look very happy. Hope you all enjoyed it as well.


And when the sun came out the cats made sure they were in prime position – as usual.

Northchurch have also been busy this week putting together the Bird Feeding kits for you. It was quite a production line, at one point, as they made over 100. Thanks to the team.





They have set up bird watching spots around the site and have been carrying out their counts today, taking photos and making notes. We would love you to do the same and send us photos and your bird counts to publicity@sunnysideruraltrust.org.uk

Other things going on this week include some work on the Farmshop – with the installation of a new floor, as it’s been the painted concrete floor since the build last year. New tiles are  going down on the right – the original floor is on the left.




So the shop is out of action for a little while but an outside shop has been set up for customers with our essential lines. It was a lovely day when this photo was taken so no need for the gazebo to go up. Won’t be too long before they move back in and we will let you know.

New hedge ‘whips’ have arrived and will be planted out next to the car park, to neaten that space a bit more. It’s a good time to do this job as they will get growing in Spring when the warmer weather arrives.


Joe sent in this photo of him working hard to clear his drive at home, of snow. Keeps you fit!

Then HFG were celebrating Burns Night on the 25th with different activities through the week.

The usually recognisable blue flag of Scotland was replaced by the Royal Scottish ‘Lion Rampant’ flag in the greenhouse.





And as they always like to do things a little differently it was vegetarian ‘haggis’ – not made with the traditional sausage ingredients – but was served with the usual turnip and potatoes.





Last week they also made a large quantity of pasties for everyone for the end of week bonfire. Cheese, potato & onion, a curried potato & pea and mince pie variety.

This time of year there is always lots of maintenance jobs to do and as part of the job list a new fence is going in around the chickens. A quicker one as Alison also sent me a photo of it all finished.






But to finish off this week ‘unusual‘ activities – there was welly wanging in the Tranquility Garden.







The team at the Activity Centre had fun making a ‘Pete’ snowman.







How do I know it’s Pete? Spot the green beard

Oh no, that’s really Pete.

Here’s the snowman version…………….now spot the ‘mossy’ green beard

Here are a few more nice photos of the ‘quietness’ when snow has fallen.










But the team still have to clear up to be able to move around safely.


There’s a new project happening at the site, under the care of David. They are setting up vermicomposting’. Essentially it is a compost bin with a high concentration of worms inside. This speeds up the process of decomposition of organic materials. The worms increase carbon and nitrate and microorganisms within soil. There are a few different styles of vermicomposting bins, the most efficient is one that is made of stackable boxes, changing the layers as they get full. This allows to change the tiers without having to sieve the worms out, and provides a useable soil fertiliser.

Stage 1 will consist of making the vermicompost bin surplus materials. The first compost trays will be made from unusable bee hives, with chicken wire attached to the bottom of them. The worms will be fed on food waste from the Activity Centres kitchen cardboard. They will be kept frost free within the green house over the winter months this year.

So to get started the trainees cleaned the old beehives that are being renewed and repurposed.

They have measured & cut out the chicken wire ready to hammer and pin it to the bottom of the bins. Next stage will be to make a lid then they shall be ready to invite the worms to their new home.

David has also devised a pictorial food poster to be put on the lid. Wormery can do’s


Stay safe, keep an eye out for possible snow  this weekend and help feed the birds.