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Mantel Farm Newsletter - November 2016

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Shorter days, time for training, Asian Hornet, Weather, Gardening, Promotions and Special Offers
Shorter days and time for training...

Fairlight_Hall_2016_1The leaves and conkers falling on our track are a real reminder that Autumn is here (or is it Winter already? - it certainly feels like it in the evenings!) and the shorter days mean a change to the daily routines.  This time of year is always tricky; its too light to put the animals to bed before heading in for dinner but too dark to eat and then go back outside.  It all changes quickly as the days get shorter and we just get into a new routine when the clocks change and we have to start again!  

At this time of year its great to spend time learning more about our hobbies, and so next week we are running an extra chicken keeping course in the half term break.  This course will take place during the day with a health and handling session at the end.  Great for beginners it is also useful for existing chicken keepers wanting to refresh their knowledge or just spend time with like minded people intersted in caring for the hens in their flock.

We have more little bantams arriving at the weekend, so the barn will again be busy with the chirps of young birds, and we still have a good selection of Hybrids, but if you are thinking of increasing your flock then hurry as they are the last flock for the year.  Our 2017 birds will be available from February.  

This month Graham has provided a report on the Asian Hornet and Ian has also provided his next article on his gardening activities through the year...


This Month's Feature... Asian Hornet
Graham Burgess provides a local pest control service, including Bees, Wasps, Mice, Rabbits, Mink, Moles, Rats, Earwigs and Birds. This month he has written a feature on the Asian Hornet:

You may have seen in recent press that the Asian Hornet (vespa velutina) has now reached our country.  The first sighting in September was in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire, this hornet was destroyed but unfortunatly there have now been more confirmed sightings. The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet, with a dark brown velvety body and characteristic yellow tipped legs. It poses no greater risk to humans than than a bee, however it does pose a significant risk to honey bees, being a highly aggressive predator of  native insects.

Introduced to France in 2004 it has spread rapidy, and the UK has been on high alert for sightings. Flying accross the Channel has not been ruled out but it is most likely to have arrived through soil associated with imported plants, cut flowers, fruit, garden items, freight containers or in untreated timber.

The British Beekeeping Association and the National Bee Unit are working to identlfy, destroy and remove any hornets and nests, and are providing Beekeepers with regular updates through their websites.  Members of the public and Beekeepers are asked to remain vigilant and if you think you see an Asian Hornet send a photo to  Do not disburb the nest.

For pest control services contact Graham on 07876 108434 or 01424 251222


Our Local Weather Forecast...
Tim Macpherson is a digital publisher and angling film maker as well as being an obsessed boat angler for over 25 years! So he keeps a close watch on the Sussex weather for both his fishing, work and of course his bees and hens in his garden.


We have sent you our newsletter a week early this month, not giving Tim time to produce his usual weather report.  So, I am not going to pretend to know whats happening with the weather and make a prediction for the next few weeks, all I do know is the boys are nagging us to get the chimney swept so that we can light the fire to warm the house in the evenings.  

As the nights are getting longer the Badger seems to be on the prowl, visiting our duck pens each evening and digging up the garden in search of food.  Our wild bird feeders have to be well out of the way of his path or he can be really destructive trying to reach the peanuts.  The fox is also keeping us on our toes, making sure the chickens are shut in securely before dusk. 


visit: - for local weather forecasts for sea and freshwater anglers
and: - Tims latest publication

Ian's Gardening Tales From the Weald:
Ian is a Gardens Manager living in Crowhurst, working as part of a three man team in three large country gardens in the Sussex and Kent Weald.

Ian_Gardening_Oct16_3When you read this, we will have cast 675g of lowland meadow wildflower seed over 450m2 of ground.  We did this in mid October to enable the seed to settle with the autumn rains, chill with the winter cold and germinate with the springtime warmth.

Some names - Yarrow, Betony, Knapweed, Lady's Bedstraw, Oxeye Daisy, Birdfoot, Trefoil, Ribwort Plantain, Cowslip, Selfheal, Meadow Buttercup, Yellow Rattle, Sorrel, Ragged Robin, Wild Red Clover and Tufted Vetch!

Ian Donovan:  Hips and Haws Gardening, Crowhurst

  Book now for our 'Extra Training Course'
The basics of Chicken Keeping...


Friday 28th October:
Basics of Chicken Keeping: 10.30 - 13.30 £35.00 per person
Chicken Handling  14.00 - 14.30 £10.00 per person

  Special Offer:  Free 5kg Bird seed with every 800g Mealworms ...  


With the ground still being hard after a dry summer and the winter approaching, now is the time to start feeding your birds.  We are offering free wild bird seed with every 800g tub of mealworms, to help the wild birds in your garden during the winter

  A new flock of Pekins ...  


Our little Pekins arrive this weekend.  They are now 12 weeks old and with a good selection of colours to choose from why not come along and have a look.  If you are introducing to a flock the winter is an ideal time as the days are shorter so the process can be easier.   £30.00 each

  Our Wyandottes are now for sale ...  


Our Wyandotte Bantams are now for sale, a rare breed to find, they are available for just £30.00 for a pair (hen and cockerel).

Mantel Farm Ltd, Henley Down, Catsfield, Battle, East Sussex, United Kingdom, TN33 9BN | 01424 830357 | VAT Registration No. 934 6204 31 |