April as we all know has been exceptional dry. This has its advantages and also its disadvantages. The grass has stopped growing altogether and we are now pretty desperate for some proper rain. One advantage that has been considerably beneficial is that the dry weather has enabled me to get machinery down into the vallet and to get some wood for the winter ahead. I have bought an electric winch and mounted it on to the front of the old Leyland tractor. The winch can pull about 6 tons and the creme de la creme is that the winch can be operated by remote control! This machine has been enormously useful and the investment has been a very good one! The valley is about 10 acres and has a track down to the flat bottom floor. It can only be accessed in dry weather and as it has been so dry I can succesfully pull out large loads of wood on a trailer. I have been immensely impressed with this tool and would be more than happy in selling the things! I have also gone one step further in purchasing a synthetic rope instead of a steel cable. This is useful for handling it and can also be slung up into a tree to help when felling. I have been experimenting with a pulley for pulling at angles and also using a very successful method of loading a trailer with a winch. I have been so impressed I have brought forward the 'launch' of my youtube channel and have posted a couple of videos on it.
The whole thing has been brilliant and I have now got a significant amount of wood for this winter.
Cider sales in April went absolutely beserk. This has been another advantage of the hot weather and of course the many bank holidays. We have obviously not been alone and the big rub is that there is a massive lead in time for the bottling factory and it will be difficult to last out what we have in time for the next bottling. We have however have a back up plan in as much that we have plans to launch 3 more ciders in bottles and do some bottling ourselves. You heard it here first and hopefully they will be launched this month. The labels have taken forever to finalise (my fault) but we are nearly there!
I too took advantage of the holidays and took some time off. Booked a VERY last minute hotel over in Wales with a gorgeous sea view AND a glitzy spa with a hot tub, swimming pool, steam room and sauna. Spent hours and hours in there and it was great.
Booked a few more shows for this year which flys in the face of my plan to ease up on the shows but hey you have to keep the money coming in.
You may have noticed that we are now offering in conjunction with Hawkeye Falconry an experience day at Mahorall regarding flying Hawks. It is a new venture and we already have had a few bookings. It is quite exciting as we of course have fantastic countryside as a backdrop and also an indoor barn if the weather turns nasty.
We are also planning to hold professional photography courses in the barn and in surrounding countryside for people who want to learn how to get the best out of there camera. We will also be offering the special chance of photographing some of the beautiful birds supplied by Hawkeye Falconry. This however has not actually been publically advertised as the first course we have
planned was booked up within a week! Hopefully as time goes on we will be in the position to advertise some future courses....
One last thing is the Bluebell wood has been fantastic this year particularly with the nice weather.