The Farming Column: Harvesting and Conservation


Harvesting potatoes in a cloud of dust on Stuart Prest’s farm at Fryton

The corn harvest is almost complete, just a few beans still to combine. What wonderful weather we have had for harvest certainly for the second half of it. It makes life so much easier and less costly when the grain comes from the combine dry and needing very little artificial drying. On the whole crops have yielded reasonably well but not outstanding, unfortunately the grain price has plummeted so anyone who didn’t sell the crop forward will be having a hard time.

Autumn is upon us and thoughts have now turned to sowing next years corn crops and harvesting root crops, particularly potatoes, and again there are some very good crops of potatoes this year. Potatoes bruise very easily when being harvested and they really need a cushion of soil to go up the harvester with them so believe it or not a good rain would help enormously.

The shooting season is fast approaching with the pheasant shooting season beginning on the 1st October. We run a shooting syndicate round Slingsby which many local people are involved in. It seems strange but shooting and conservation work very well together. On Castle Farm I grow about 6 acres of grain crops, mainly triticale ( a cross between wheat and rye) and linseed. This provides good feed and cover for game birds but also of course is very good for small birds as well. If you consider that 6 acres of grain will produce about 12 tonnes of seeds that’s an awful lot of bird food. We also carefully monitor the number of partridges in the area as they have been in serious decline in recent years, partly through bad weather but also through an increase in predators like foxes, badgers and carrion crows and a reduction in good nesting sites. I try to help remedy this by sowing 6 metre grass margins, controlling some predators and feeding the birds through harsh winters.

The leaves on the trees are changing colour and already there are some spectacular colours in the woodlands and hedgerows Its been a bumper year for brambles and there are lots of fruit and berries on the trees and hedgerows We shall have plenty to celebrate at our harvest festivals this year.

Stephen Prest

Slingsby Badminton Club season starts 20 Oct


Slingsby Badminton Club season starts again on Monday 20th October at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. All ages and abilities are welcome. We play for fun.

There are no subscriptions , just come along and enjoy yourselves. The charge is only £2 per session. If you would like further information please contact Janet (628625) or Barbara (628107)

Howardian Hills Photo competition 2014

Photo comp poster2-page-001

If you’re a bit of a dab hand with a camera then the Howardian Hills Photo competition 2014 may be of interest.

In the adult competition there are four categories:
1. The Landscape
2. People in the AONB – living, working and enjoying
3. History & Heritage
4. Flora & Fauna

Whilst younger competitors are welcome to enter the adult competition there is also one category especially for young photographers. If you are 17 & under on 31st August 2014 please submit one or two images on the theme:
5. ‘Why the Howardian Hills AONB is special to me’

All photographs must be taken within the Howardian Hills AONB, a map of the area is available to view on Each entry must have a title and location and may include an optional description.

The closing date for entries is Friday 9th January 2015.

For more details go to the Howardian Hills Photo competition page located HERE

New group for Primary school age children

After 40 years of Adventure Club,at Slingsby Chapel, we have decided it is time for a change. We are starting a new group for Primary school age children which will meet on the first Friday of each month (usually), from 5-6.30pm.

We will provide tea and a range of activities including craft, drama, music, discussions, DVDs etc. Cost £1 per child per month. Dates 3rd Oct, 7th November, 5th Dec. Numbers planning to come in Oct would help in terms of food preparation – Contact Louise Hayes on 01653 628064 or email

Car Boot sale raises £600

Some news from Fiona Collier about the last fundraising car boot sale:-

‘The car boot held on the 7th September in aid of the village defibrillator raised the grand total of £600. Many thanks to everyone who supported us, either by giving tombola prizes, having a boot or attending on the day.’

Slingsby Village Hall 2015 Calendars on sale soon

Slingsby Village Hall 2015 Calendars will be on sale soon. This year’s theme is ‘Slingsby then & now’ showing old photos of Slingsby with a corresponding photo of how the same scene looks today.

Calendars cost £5.50. Advance orders can be given to Janet (Tel 628625) or Trudy (Tel 628302). When available Calendars will also be on sale at Tony’s shop.

We are only printing 150 Calendars this year so please get your orders in quickly before they sell out. Please support the Village Hall.