2000 mile trip for Reindeer treats

2000 mile trip for Reindeer treats

By | News

What a journey that was! I’ve just returned from yet another trip to Scandinavia, this time to collect nearly 1000 slabs of lichen, also known as moss, for the Reindeer.

2000 mile trip for Reindeer treats

Lichen is what Reindeer eat in the wild and although it does grow in Northern England, I prefer to give our Reindeer the lichen that comes from their natural habitat which means a 2000 mile round journey for me and the Reindeer truck!

Reindeer love moss; in the wild they can smell it under up to a metre of snow. At Blithbury Reindeer Lodge our Reindeer have it a bit easier than their Scandi counterparts and take it from our hands. As well as being extremely tasty it also contains sugar and friendly bacteria that’s needed for their digestion systems – kind of like Actimel for Reindeer!

The journey out was fine but on the return leg, due to the faithful Reindeer truck springing a leak, we arrived at the docks in Sweden late – just to see our boat leaving! Cue a 900 mile drive across Europe to reach Dunkirk which has to be the worse signposted port I’ve ever used – and that’s saying a lot.

We got onboard (just) and the crossing was fine but on arrival at Dover we were pulled over by customs who suspected that our lorry was full of cannabis and not lichen! Two hours later I had delivered an impromptu training session to HM Customs officers on lichen, what it is, why we use it and notably how to tell the difference between it and class B drugs.

So if you’re passing through Dover in the future with some moss in your bags and don’t get stopped at customs you probably have me to thank for our port officers knowing what this key component of the Reindeer diet is!

The Reindeer Man

Creating a winter wonderland in August

Creating a winter wonderland in August

By | News

Life has been extremely hectic at Blithbury Reindeer Lodge recently.

Creating a winter wonderland in August

As well as the daily work that’s involved with looking after Reindeer, goats, sheep, horses, cattle, donkeys and chickens, we are also busy creating a magical winter wonderland ahead of our popular Christmas season – something that’s not that easy in 80 degree heat!

We’ve laid a new driveway, painted our gates in our new brand colours and our elves have built 3 beautiful wooden shelters for some of our Reindeer, Santa’s workshop and our sleigh waiting area. It’s all very Scandinavian in style and feels very traditional – we can’t wait for all our visitors to see it!

Our barn is next to be transformed, with the school room being prepared for Elf school and Santa’s grotto having a bit of a clean and tidy – we won’t change it too much though as we know how much Santa and all our visitors love his grotto as it is.

We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from our trip earlier this year to Lapland where everything is very authentic and reflects the Sami heritage. I don’t think we will be extending our season like they do though – we couldn’t quite grasp why people would want to see Santa in March, surely the poor man needs a rest by then.

We are taking a lead from them for our sleigh rides though, and are implementing some exciting changes to enhance this area – although it would be easier if we could guarantee snow!

It seems odd to be talking Christmas when the sun in shining but with only 139 days to go, it will be here before you can say Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Isn’t that a jolly thought for August.