Notes from The Cart track

NOTES FROM THE CART TRACK   January 13th 2021

The first ten days of the new decade has given us a little frost, rain, fog and sunshine but no gales yet.  At least leaving the European Union has not removed the variable British weather that we know and love!  As one who did not want to leave, I must say that I am very relieved that even a poor deal has been struck and we must now all forget what has been in the past and make the best of what is to come.  Some of the changes will be to our advantage, some will not.  It seems that leisure travel will be messier which may result in more people staying in the UK.  I hope that will not mean that our Suffolk roads will become much busier.  A brief Sunday trip to North Norfolk, in our motor home last July, was so dire because of congestion on the narrow lanes, that Stonham Aspal seemed the best place around for leisure activities.  It would appear that the quantity of folks walking, cycling, running and riding the footpaths on the farm since last March would indicate that others have the same idea.

Since the last notes, the only work done on the land has been to mark out the cover crops ready for spraying off before spring sowing and to drill our neighbours ex-sugar beet land with wheat.  Conditions have been too wet to sow our two fields at Crowfield with oats.  If the land remains saturated  for the next month, that plan will have to be abandoned and beans put in instead.  Spraying off the cover crops will be a challenge.  They have grown very well through the wet warm autumn to the extent that, had the mixture been one we could harvest in some way, we would be highly delighted.  We now have to spray them with a hefty dose of round-up which needs a dry leaf to stick to.  Rather difficult to achieve with the very lush phacelia shielding the rye underneath.  Dry days in February tend to be accompanied by strong wind.  Not ideal spraying weather.

Many sugar beet growers this year had the worst crops they have grown for many seasons.  Partly due to unfavourable weather conditions but also to the ban on neonicotinoid seed dressings which were used to protect the crop from aphid attack.  Aphids carry a virus which infects the plant with ‘sugar beet yellows’.  Many crops this year were badly affected and the sugar content was anything up to 25% less.  In some cases crops could have become unprofitable which in a high value crop like beet is very serious both to British Sugar ad the grower.  So neonics are being allowed again for one year but with stringent rules.  If a grower uses a neonic seed dressing on beet no flowering crop, such as beans, peas, linseed or a bird/pollinator mix can be grown for two year and no rape for 3 years on that field.  The powers that be are obviously not going to allow us to protect our rape crops in this way.   I have to say that I am very concerned about being pushed into using several doses of a kill all pyrethroid insecticide to try and protect the rape. This does not feel like sustainable farming.  Let’s hope that a better way can be found to grow a good safe oil producing crop for the UK

David Tydeman

Stonham Aspal Church

…… in line with Government instructions


except for Private Prayer, but the church community continues to flourish….on line….




To attend Zoom services please email at least 2 days beforehand and Ruth will send you an email with the link. You can ask for the link for just one service, or to be added to her list and receive the link for all future Zoom services.

Wednesday 3 February

 9.00amOnline ZoomMorning Prayer 

Friday 5 February

 6.30pmOnline ZoomEvening Prayer 

Sunday 7 February: 2nd Sunday before Lent

G9.30am  Online Zoom  Morning Worship  Proverbs 8. 1, 22-31 Colossians 1. 15-20 John1. 1-14

Wednesday 10 February

 9.00amOnline ZoomMorning Prayer 

Friday 12 February

 6.30pmOnline ZoomEvening Prayer 

Sunday 14 February: Sunday before Lent

G9.30am  Online Zoom  Morning Worship Kagera2 Kings 2. 1-12 2 Corinthians 4. 3-6 Mark 9. 2-9

Wednesday 17 February: Ash Wednesday

P7.00pmOnline ZoomReflective ServiceIsaiah 58. 1-12 2 Corinthians 5. 20b-6.10 John 8. 1-11

Friday 19 February

 6.30pmOnline ZoomEvening Prayer 

Sunday 21 February: Lent 1

P9.30am  Online Zoom  Morning Worship  Genesis 9. 8-17 1 Peter 3. 18-22 Mark 1. 9-15

Tuesday 23 February

 7.30pmOnline ZoomLent Group 

Wednesday 24 February

 9.00am 10.00amOnline Zoom Online ZoomMorning Prayer Lent Group 

Friday 26 February

 6.30pmOnline ZoomCompline 

Sunday 28 February: Lent 2

P9.30am  Online Zoom  Morning Worship  Genesis 17. 1-7, 15-16 Romans 4. 13-25 Mark 8. 31-38  

These services are correct at the time of going to press but there may be some changes.

Please check on the weekly notice sheet.


Coddenham:           Thursdays 8am – 5pm

Creeting St Mary:    Sundays 2pm-4pm

Creeting St Peter:    Sundays 10am-3pm

Crowfield:               Sundays 10am-4pm

Earl Stonham:      Sundays 12pm-4pm

Gosbeck:                Wednesdays and Sundays 9am-6pm

Hemingstone:         Every day

Stonham Aspal:       Sundays 10am-4pm


It has been a wonderful day.  White frost glistened in the golden sunlight.  Trees, dripping melting ice, stood boldly against a clear wintry-blue sky.  Birds busied themselves, no doubt making the most of the sun’s warmth after a miserable few days.  Although the thermometer read zero, there was a feeling of warmth in the sunlit air.  As we took our regulation walk, the beauty of it all lifted our spirits, and the spirits of all who we met on our travels.

It is not only the sun which brings beauty and lifts the spirits.  In recent days a new neighbour has moved in.  Looking up from my desk one recent morning I saw on the drive, wings outstretched and with the sunlight catching on his rich brown coat, a kestrel; just a few yards from the study window.  Our seventh winter; and although we often see kestrels in the fields this is the first time that we have seen one in the Rectory garden.  He (or she we’re not sure which) has visited several times since then.  The kestrel is not the only new arrival.  Migrant blackbirds have arrived in force.  Every year in autumn, we gather windfall fruit around the base of our mighty pear tree.  There it gently ferments until the blackbirds arrive, then swiftly it vanishes.

Now all is quiet.  The mist has risen, the sky turns grey and the temperature is falling; night will soon be upon us.  The daily news remains gloomy, the depths of winter are probably still to come but everywhere we look; across the garden and in the fields around us, there are signs of new life.  One swallow may not a summer make (and the swallows are still many months away) but a day like today lifts the soul.   The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1).  Thank God that he shares its’ beauty with us.

Rev Philip

February 2021