What's been happening at Badwell Ash ...

Posted 12/05/2022 : By: Will & Sarah Draper

Just in case you thought we have been taking it easy here at Badwell Ash Holiday Lodges, we thought we'd let you know about a few of the things we've been up to in the last few months.

Installing new lights around the tracks on the site. The old lighting system around the tracks and lodges was obsolete and we have replaced it with 26 new, smart lights. They are more eco-friendly, using LED bulbs, and we control them from a smartphone app which allows us to turn the lights on and off whenever we choose - much more efficient than the old "dusk till dawn" mechanism. 

Getting a booze licence for our shop. After months of filling forms we have just been granted a licence to sell alcohol in Tuck & Tackle, our on-site shop. We are now busily sourcing a range of local drinks, such as Suffolk Distillery gin, Gifford Hall Vineyard wines, Aspall cider, and Adnams beer. So next time you come you don't need to pop to the off licence en-route. Bottoms up! 

Planting water lilies. We have planted 25 water lily rhizomes in Kingfisher Lake and Main Lake, which we hope will become areas of refuge for fish and aquatic life, in addition to being beautiful to look at. The keen anglers among you will know these lilies will become great fish holding features in the lake. They're not easy to plant mind you; each rhizome needs wiring to a brick and the roots burying in the lake bed, which involved us donning wet suits.

Planting new trees. We have continued with our programme of planting new trees and shrubs. For example, we have added new magnolia, pine, apple, and pear trees, and also viburnum, Portuguese laurel and yucca shrubs. You'll be pleased to know that two of the Nordic spruce trees which we put in the lodges at Christmas have been planted out and are now thriving! 

Putting up a new owl box. Our guests will probably have heard the tawny owl at nighttime; the male gives the distinctive too-wit-too-woo call. We have built a tawny owl box to an exacting RSPB design and put it up on site, and we are now waiting to see if anyone moves in. 

Creating some "wilding" areas on site. You have probably heard of "no mow May" whereby we are not supposed to mow in the month of May to give the wildlife a chance? Well we have been taken this to new levels by stopping mowing altogether in many areas of the site. This has had some fantastic and surprisingly fast results: wild flowers have been shooting up in areas that were previously just grass, and wildlife has moved in to colonise the new areas. The pictured snakes head fritillary is one example of such a wildflower that has appeared. 

Looking after new baby ducklings. We've had some very noisy mallards, moorhens and geese on the lakes this Spring, and many have bred. We currently have a dozen or so ducklings that have become more or less hand tame, annoying the fishers and incessantly demanding food; please come and help us feed them! 

Getting the swims ready for anglers. The warmer weather has brought the temperature of the lakes up and made the fish much more active. Consequently the anglers have got more active too! So, we have been busy preparing the swims for the the spring and summer fishing season, for example by trimming reeds, raking leaves twigs and blossom out of the lakes, and monitoring our fish stocks. So now, let's fish! 

Helping toads cross the road. Believe it or not we have joined the local "Toad Patrol", which exists to help toads safely across roads that lie across their ancient migration routes. The local toads have been using our lakes for generations and this is where they make for in their hundreds. We are out during March and April armed with buckets, high-via jackets and torches. What fun we have had...