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By the barn June 20

Posted: 1st Jun 2020

We seem to have missed spring because of lockdown and now it’s June and only now are restrictions being lifted.

We have seen a surge in numbers of people walking our footpaths- many more than usual and, pleasantly, we’ve had no problems with gates not being closed or litter strewn, so thankyou.

As we do use footpaths more( yes, us too, as we like to get out and about if we can) it’s worth just mentioning the Country code, because some farmers have not been so lucky.

While it’s so dry, there is a risk of fire if you discard matches,cigarettes or don’t quench bbqs appropriately.

Please take all rubbish home with you- livestock and wildlife can be seriously harmed by it! Special mention of dog poo bags- no-one likes to see poo bags hanging on tree branches, chucked in hedge bottoms or left on gate posts. Take them home or place in bins. They also kill horses, cattle and sheep which are attracted to the cereal content from the food the dog has eaten but collect and block the animals digestive system. If you have a dog, be responsible.

Which brings me on to worrying of livestock- be aware your dog can cause harm by chasing, even if just in fun, but there are horrendous examples of ewes with shredded faces, throats etc when it’s got out of hand. Please keep your dogs on leads when near livestock.

Wildlife is at peak breeding time and it’s easy to disturb nests or interrupt rearing by indiscriminate roaming, so please stay on footpaths.

Right to roam does not apply everywhere , only on open moorland, mountains or heathland. Farmland does not come into this category.

You will hear and see much more wildlife such as tiny blue tits, noisy great tits and groups of long tailed tits chattering in trees and take note of the abundance of wild flowers blooming now from the blue of forget me not through the pinks of foxglove to the yellow of buttercups.

Of course, farmers are busy mowing and collecting the grass for silage, or wrapping it into big bales for winter feed for our cattle and sheep.

Crops are being tended, especially as last autumn was so wet and much didn’t get sown and this spring has been so dry and later sown crops have struggled to establish.

The flush of Spring grass usually means an increase in milk production, but lockdown has caused problems as consumption is down as the coffee shops, catering and food service industries have been closed and increased consumption in the home hasn’t taken up that spare volume.

Coronavirus has meant some changes on farm- veterinary attendance still has to carry on and social distancing/ appropriate care must be taken and TB testing also continues, but the very youngest calves( up to 120 days old) aren’t included at the moment.

With some regard for each other we can all safely enjoy the working countryside.

Posted by: Angela
Categories: Farming

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