We are now well into November and have started at Bletiere to get all the jobs done to keep the place looking nice but without spoiling the natural look. We are very keen to try and not disturb too much of the natural growth around the lake and woods as there is a host of wildlife that lives in it. The only real time we have to take more drastic action is when it may become a safety issue with our guests and, of course, us and then we have to remove things that we would not normally touch.
A lot of our guests ask what we do in the winter as I think some believe it’s a lake owners rest time and a chance for a holiday. This is far from the truth for most of us and its normally the time for the real work to start. We have now been here for seven years in December and a lot of things are starting to look tired and some need replacing. Even the lake needs attention some times, so to follow on from the previous blogs I wrote a couple of years ago about finding and opening this venue, I will try and write about the projects and the maintenance we plan this winter before our first guests in March.
Every year the first thing we do, after the last guest has been, is to get all the swims cleared, checked and a mental note of any repairs we may need to do before next season. This year I noted that the logs I use for edging need replacing as they are starting to rot. This would be a fairly easy job except for the fact that with it being rock a few inches below the grass it’s hard to get pegs in to support the logs and stop them moving, so this winter I want to try and get some metal pegs into the ground to make it safer and keep the edging more stable. Once all the swims are repaired and we are happy that they will be safe as well as any obstructions or snags cleared we will leave them until February when we will buy about 10 cubic metres of chipped bark to replenish the swims. We use bark as it’s more natural and a lot better for walking on, you don’t get the noise as with gravel and it helps to keep the anglers gear clean when it rains as there’s no mud to walk or sit on. Also one advantage for the early visitors is the smell of pine from the chipped bark, it’s always nice for a couple of weeks.
This year we have decided to cut down to a more manageable height a lot of the trees around the lake as some are getting very big and cutting out the sun light to the grass paths and other plants. I would like to at this point thank a good friend who I went to school with (so both old) who came over for 10 days and helped me cut down most of the big trees and to clear away the debris, so a big thanks Kevan and hope your back has recovered. I have attached some photo’s to show what we have done and those of you that have been here will see the difference, and hopefully see the work has also opened up the view across the fields… Another reason for cutting back so hard was that a lot of the trees were hanging over the lake a long way and anglers were getting caught on them so this will hopefully stop a lot of that, and it will make the trees spread out lower down so still give the fish some shelter next summer. As those of you that have been here will know, down at the narrow end I have planted a lot of lilies that were being slow to grow, now hopefully as we have let more sunlight onto the lake this will encourage the lilies to grow faster and again give the fish some shelter from the sun.
The next big job after a couple of frosts is to strim the whole lake bank which I do every year and I do it as it seems to help the natural flowers to grow and keep some of the nettles and mares tails under control, even weeds can look nice when they flower and the insects certainly appreciate them in the summer. That’s just about all the main jobs around the lake I can think of at the moment but as and when we do anything else I will post a blog to tell you all.
Lesley has just had a trip back to the uk and while she was there chose some paint for the gite as it’s going to get repainted from top to bottom, this will get it back looking clean and bright for next season. We are also going to replace anything that is getting worn out or looking tired and also look to see if there is anything we can add to make peoples holidays here more enjoyable, so if you have been here and think of something let us know.
Well that’s all for now and we will add things as and when we do work, may we take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy Christmas and a great new year.
Lesley and John
For more information on Bletiere follow the link – Fishing Holidays