Iona goes to Baston Fen

Windmill Farm Camping and Caravan site

Trip 16: August 29th-Sept 2nd


We were looking for somewhere different instead of Rutland Water and we found this site very close to home. This should be a good move because the next trip is miles away.

After the hottest Bank Holiday Monday on record it looks like our trip at Baston Feb will be a lot cooler with the odd shower of rain. Tomorrow will be the test , we are nearly packed and the site is only 30 miles away.
The sat nav gave several routes but in some reviews they remarked about the very rough road. I picked the wrong route and we had two miles of rough road and approached the site via a blind 90′ bend. Information gained later explained that as the peat bed shrinks, about 3cm a year, the road moves and adopts the undulations in the subsurface peat.
The warden Lorraine met us at the barrier and took us to our pitch next to a laural bush, so we set up in the triangle to cover all wind directions. Gazebo out and up and we were soon having a cup of tea and a sandwich for lunch.


After lunch we went to explore the camp site and found various mobile homes scattered about the fir tree wood, there is a carp pond as well if you like fishing. We wandered through the farm yard and in a secluded corner was a small fenced off area complete with a pig 🐷 , although we left feeling that the pig was dead, it was not moving and it was unresponsive to the noises we made.


A short distance along the road was a farm access bridge over the river Glenn and this then lead to the Baston Fen Wildlife reserve. We walked around the outside track an then followed a path to the high flood defence banks of the Counter Drain. Once on the top of the banks we could see for miles, and below us was the river Glen which is part of the fenland drainage system. We walked a couple of hundred yards and saw swans feeding in the wetlands of the nature reserve. Sue noticed a herd of cows in the distance grazing on the flood defences so we turned around and headed back for some steps I had seen earlier. The thought of Sue breaking her arm again pushed us on to find the steps.


Counter Drain
Back on level ground, thanks to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust steps and we headed back to the campsite, we passed the pig 🐷 who was now alive and well and having a good scratch.
Sat in the gazebo as the light showers arrive, it is a bit fresh but we will use this piece of kit no matter what. Gas bottle ran out this afternoon which just confirms that it will be worth getting a refillable system. So far this year we have spent £127 on gas bottles whereas the equivalent auto gas is £48, no contest it has to be done.
Day 2:
Rather overcast today but dry so I said to Sue, “let’s go for a walk” . I suggested we walk along the top of the Counter Drain bank, Sue was a bit worried about the cows which were on the bank yesterday but today they were in a lower field, we got past them without problem much to Sue’s relief. The next part of the bank had not been recently grazed and it was harder walking but eventually we came to the point to turn off the flood bank and follow a drovers road which took us past the new quarry workings and nearly into Baston village.
We found the Post Office / shop and bought sandwiches and chocolate bars. We made our way to the park and sat down and had lunch, we had been walking for two hours. We now had two options, go back the same way or take an easier route and follow the road. The easy route won and it was a quiet road where we could get onto the verge if vehicles came, but there was not a lot of traffic to worry about.
We stopped and looked at the old quarry pits that are now Lakes and we managed to put some two hundred geese and ducks to flight , they only flew over a track and landed on the lake next door. A bit further on Sue pointed out two Apache helicopters flying low and towards us. They were not more than 250′ off the ground and you could see the pilots head of the one that passed directly overhead. I managed to fumble and get two pictures, one OK and one blurred.




Natures Red Arrows with Pink Feet
Low Level Apache

We did a slight detour and left the road to follow a farm track before rejoining the road some two hundred yards from the campsite. Our feet were throbbing and my hips were beginning to ache but we were home, we had been walking for 3.5 hours in total with a 15 minute stop for lunch. We had walked for 9 miles, I don’t think I will be in charge of the next walk.

Tonight’s Tea
Day 3:
After yesterday we decided to stay by the van, the sun was out and the forecast was good for most of the day. I went for a walk around the fishing pond. There were hundreds of small fish near the surface, mainly carp and roach.
Chilling with a Kindle


This afternoon I prepared the lobsters outside and cut our first butternut squash into chips ready for tonight. We were just washing up and heard a helicopter so we went outside just as a chinook came around the wood and over the campsite at no more the 250 feet, as it banked around you could see a crew member sat in the side doorway. They were that close you could see his flying helmet and the insignia on his flight suit. They were just too quick to get a picture, but they were much closer than yesterday’s Apache helicopter gunships. That was today’s excitement, although we have not had tea yet.

Tonight’s Tea is Lobster in a brioche bun with garlic mayonaise and butternut squash ‘chips’. It was good.

Day 4:
Chilling by the van all day. Rain forecast from five o’clock so at four o’clock we took the gazebo down and the carpet up as they were dry. The rain came at seven o’clock and it rained heavily on and off for an hour.


Chez Iona
Sue in her Wi-Fi position
Trip 16: 62 miles, 31mph, 27.6 mpg, 2hrs travel.

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