Turtle Doves are in steep decline – their population fell by 95% between 1967 and 2012. One reason for this is the lack of seed food on farmland in the summer.
The turtle dove is a summer visitor arriving in late April and leaving in September. Without the right habitat and food source, it can’t maximise its’ possible 3 broods a year. They are on the ‘Red List’ of conservation concern. https://www.bto.org/our-science/publications/psob
Such populations as exist are mostly found in East Anglia so we’re really lucky to have not one but two pairs of turtle doves at opposite ends of the site. One can hear their gentle purring call in the mornings and evenings. The RSPB is kindly providing exactly the right food/seed for them by way of encouragement.
Must tell you about Fen Farm Dairy, only a few miles away. The young couple who own it sell unpasteurised milk from the farm gate and were the very first UK farm to install a Raw Milk Vending Machine (now showing at the V & A as part of the “Food, bigger than the plate’ exhibition. They went on to develop the famous Baron Bigod brie-type cheese (served at Prince Harry’s pre-wedding breakfast) and cultured butter. They’ve won all sorts of farming and business awards, were voted 1 of the 12 Best Cheeses in The Independent and one of the storyline threads on The Archers is even based on how they used Montbelliarde cows to provide the milk for the new cheese!
So here’s your chance to pop up and collect some of their delicious products or buy the cheese or butter from many deli counters (including at Neals Yard and various other classy outlets in London) !
In January 2018 we planted 115 mixed fruit trees on traditional stock (that is, not dwarf) on an unused section of land. We worried about the effects of the ‘Beast from the East’ but surviving that and the summer drought, they are looking extremely happy and healthy. The orchard makes a pleasant stroll for our guests. These pics taken in early May.
We have partnered with Niroshini Acupuncture as one of its special ‘retreats’. The founder, Melissa Day, offers cosmetic acupuncture (non-surgical face lift procedures) and holistic treatments as part of all-women Transformative Retreats to include treatments,Qi Gong classes, crystal healing sessions and much else. A private chef provides Ayurvedic “balancing” meals.
Belle Grove guests now have the chance to hire the dining room in ‘dragon house’ for an outside-catered (your choice) special dinner. We are happy to dress the table in a style to suit you, for example, as this recent black tie dinner for 20. Just email for details!
It’s been a strange Spring so far – pre-Easter has been busy but Easter itself not so much, perhaps because it’s pretty late this year. So we have introduced a 15% discount for full week bookings over Easter week (w/c 19th April). The online booking system calculates this automatically.
Suffolk resident Richard Curtis is a well known figure responsible for ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ and ‘Love Actually’. He’s scripted a new film based locally and directed by ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Danny Boyle. Titled Yesterday, it’s due for release in June.
We recently hosted a Sunday Express journalist testing a Nissan electric car and who needed to stay somewhere with an on-site EV Charger. He had considerable problems in charging the car at the very outset in London so it seems that the Belle Grove stay was the most positive part of his experience!
“Thankfully the Belle Grove accommodation was the jewel at the centre of the mess of a trip. Its quirky decor, eerily peaceful silence and stunning backdrop make it the perfect countryside getaway. The properties on the site are all five-star converted barns which range in size are well-equipped and there is even an electric charger on the grounds. This Tesla 7.kWh charger is perfect if you have an electric car because you can use your car all day, plug it in overnight and have a full charge by the next morning. You are left to your own devices at the self-catering barns and they are set into a peaceful corner of the countryside, far enough away to not be disturbed by traffic but close enough to the town that you don’t feel too far out of it. “
Holiday Cottage Provider of the Year
Griffin Lodge at Belle Grove
New 5 bedroom holiday house available from late 2016