Sandringham Newsletter

Sandringham News

October – December

I write this as I end my first months’ work at Sandringham taking over from Helen Walch who has done an amazing job as the Public Enterprises Manager for the last 14 years. We all wish Helen an enjoyable retirement.

It has been an incredibly dry year, even in Scotland where I have come from, the rain fall has been well below average. On the farm the Wolferton soils are desperate for rain allowing us to make sensible seed beds for the autumn. A start has been made at sowing conversion winter wheat and all the sugar beet has been lifted and delivered to the factory, sugar yields were better than expected. We are now supplying Howard butchers in West Newton with our lamb, so why not visit if you are looking for something for your Sunday roast! We are also in full Sandringham lamb mode at the moment in the Visitor Centre restaurant with lots of lovely local lamb dishes on the menu, so come and try one.

In the gardens the dry weather has caused other challenges. We have had problems with persistent perennial weeds on the finer lawns directly in front of Sandringham House combined with damage caused by the hot dry summer. These areas have now been re- seeded with a mix of grasses which will hopefully be better able to resist the dry summers.

 The Forestry department have commenced on the annual thinning programme in the woods.  This is where selected trees are removed to make room for better trees to grow and let light into the woodland floor, to enable natural regeneration to take place.  This is using the seeds from surrounding trees that have fallen on the ground and producing the next crop. A hedge laying gang has arrived on the Estate and has started the winter programme.  This is done to help restore hedges and provide a better habitat for wildlife. In the Country Park with the extended season of mild weather the grass has continued to grow for a longer period than normal and the cutting season continues.

The gift shop is sparkling with everything for Christmas… Christmas! Yes it is only just around the corner and Christmas deliveries galore are winging their way to the gift shop; beautiful festive decorations, tempting Christmas food and a wonderful variety of gifts and hampers to suit all your buying needs. Come and see for yourself what our shop and staff can do to help you find that perfect Christmas purchase for all those special people in your life.

Tis the season to be jolly and at the Visitor Centre we are having a free Christmas Brass Band Concert by Fakenham Town Band on Saturday 22nd December from 4pm-6pm in the Main Restaurant. Our Christmas lunch menu starts on Saturday 24th November and these are served 12-3 pm daily.

Finally, a reminder that this is the time of year when Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) can start to appear in dogs walked in woodland. SCI is a mystery illness affecting dogs during the autumn, and which can prove to be fatal. Cases have occurred at Sandringham as well as in woodland in other parts of the country. The cause of SCI is unknown, but it can affect dogs of any size or shape and either sex and it causes dogs to become very ill, very quickly after being walked in woodland. The most common clinical signs are sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy typically experienced within 72 hours of walking in woodland. If dog owners suspect their dog is showing signs of SCI then they should contact their vet immediately. Dog owners visiting Sandringham are advised to keep their dog on a lead at all times and to stay in the grassland areas.

(c) Sandringham Estate