Thursday, 26 May 2011

Low Bleakehope May 2011

On Saturday some hardy souls travelled up to Low Bleakehope in the Cheviots Hills where we spent a very informative few hours with Stuart Nelson who gave an insight into living and working a remote hill farm. It was a great opportunity to ask questions and gain an understanding of what is happening in a countryside that we often drive past and is a great attraction for visitors to Northumberland.
Many thanks to Stuart and Sarah for their kind hospitality

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Things have been going relatively smoothly of late, well as smoothly as things go when working with animals, and I had this growing feeling that the odds were shortening against something not going to plan. Sure enough last Thursday it happened.
I had arranged with the owner of the cattle grazing at Pegswood to meet with him and move them off site, the job had already been delayed a little due to him being in the middle of lambing.
The lorry was booked for 1pm and we met at 11.30 to get the animals in, plenty of time or so we thought. The pen was set and across we went to fetch the cattle across. Every time I go to check them i take a bucket of feed and make them walk across to the gate before they get any, i then make a point of walking around them and talking to them to keep them quiet and used to being handled so they are easier to catch.
All went smoothly to start with until one of them refused to come right into the pen, before running off. After getting them almost in half a dozen times only for them to run off each time things were getting a little strained!
Eventually 2 hours later with the lorry waiting, and some strong language that would have made a milk maid blush, we succeeded and they were loaded.
The best of it was when they were unloaded at the other end they walked off the lorry quietly and stood looking expectantly at me to feed them.....
It's day's like this that show why conservation grazing is expensive and time consuming even the professionals have trouble sometimes!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Harry and Bertie now have 5 new friends with them at Prestwick. They all seem to be settling in well, even managing to open a gate and letting themselves through into the next field before they were meant to be there! There will be one or two changes before the herd is finally settled and then they will graze their way around the fields and eventually the carr itself. They even seem to have got used to their woolly neighbours but I haven't mixed the two together yet, time enough for that over the coming weeks.