Winter clean up at Bletiere carp lake

Now that the last of our Bletiere guests has left it’s time to start the big clear up and make sure we’re ready to go next spring with everything looking good and refreshed.

Lesley has started to get the veg plot cleared and get the cover over it to kill off the weeds and get the soil warming up quicker in the spring.  She also spent a few days last week getting all the pruning done and the flower borders weeded and fed for the winter. Lesley is already planning what is going to be moved and replanted and one of the things is to get the creepers to grow up the barn walls – for some reason they don’t seem to want to grow up them, everywhere else but not there!

Once Christmas is out of the way she will then start on the gite and get it all cleaned up and redecorated where needed and make sure everything is ready to go for the new season.

I have now started to get the lake banks cleared – this is the biggest job around the lake for me.  Those that have been here know that I like to keep the banks looking natural. When we first got here I left the banks to grow and never did any clearing but I found that the weeds and nettles took over and the wild flowers struggled to grow, so that left no other choice but to cut and rake all the banks.

I try to encourage the wild flowers as this obviously attracts the butterflies and other insects which a lot of our guests comment on, it’s certainly good to sit and watch the wild life, & it’s also good for the bees.
It always amazes me how quickly in the spring all the banks grow back.  As the pictures show it all looks a bit messy now, but by April next year all the plants are growing and by May it looks like nothing has been done.  I will even fill in all the Daisy the dog holes where she’s tried to catch the voles.

I also tidy the swims up and weed and them & get about 15 cubic meters of chip bark to top up all the swims & replace any of the wooden edging that has rotted.

One of my experiments this winter will be with the 80 foot long seine net I now have and I will be spending some time in the lake trying to reduce the silver fish.  This is to ensure that as much food as possible goes to the carp and not the roach.  I’m lucky that our neighbor has a large lake next door and he is happy for me to put the roach in there – he is not a fisherman and is happy to let them live in there. I tried last year to do the same and I was lucky that two of our friends come over and helped.  We were quite successful but a longer net is going to be better… but harder to pull through the water!  I will post a blog when I try and attach some photos of how I get on and what we get… if anything of course!
Well that’s all for now and this is just an overview of what we do in the winter so all of you that email me and ask if I am having a good rest doing nothing this is what really goes on… and obviously a bit of fishing when its mild!

May we take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a very happy New Year!

John and Lesley


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