Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Posts in category Around the farm

An absence of swifts?

An absence of swifts?

I am very fond of swifts. Apus apus, that torpedo like aerial master that appears here in the UK during early May and is gone by mid-August. Alongside their cousins the swallows (RAF chaps of 1940s vintage with huge moustaches) and martins (pleasure fliers – talented yet amateur), swifts are NASA pilots, destined for special and […]

Neospora caninum – closure of a...

Neospora caninum – closure of a permissive path

Neospora is a protozoan parasite that requires both cattle and dogs to complete its life cycle. The dog eats placental or foetal material infected with the protozoan, it then sheds oocysts (the eggs) in its poo which persist in the environment for a long time. Cattle then graze an area where the dog poo has […]

Muntjac

Muntjac

It would be easy to be critical of some individuals amongst our forebears. Actually that’s true in a much wider sense than the one of which I was just thinking. In this case however, I’m thinking of those probably well-meaning people in the past who thought it would  be a good idea to move species, both plant and animal, around […]

Flowers power positive thought

Flowers power positive thought

Let’s be positive. Sometimes difficult but I’m happy when I can look at a job that I’m struggling with in 30 degrees during July, and that I had thought I’d sort out in May, in a positive light. Last December we cleared a very badly silted pond and the result has been excellent so far. […]

Freya saves the day

Freya saves the day

We recently had to have a cow put down after she broke a leg; not a great Saturday night that one! The financial loss added to the distress at losing an animal we have come to know well, over the last four years. Of course once the most immediate problem of disposing of her body was […]

Pond update

Pond update

I know you are all gripped by this stuff and wait with bated breath for the next installment. Well ok, perhaps not, but I thought it worth providing an update on something I wrote a few weeks ago. In early December 2014, we contracted a neighbour, Gordon, to bring a small digger in and clear […]

Gordon in a hole

Gordon in a hole

We are now into the second of a ten year agreement, in the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme (HLS) and as well as what seems like miles of hedge laying, we are committed to clearing an old pond on the farm, which has become very silted and overgrown. According to a neighbour who has farmed here since […]

Red Polls added to Trust’s armo...

Red Polls added to Trust’s armoury

Last week, we sold three, year old heifers to the Wildlife Trust in Bedfordshire and they are now enjoying life on Flitwick Moor, an intriguing wet woodland nature reserve to the north-east of Flitwick. This is a place where, in the past, peat was cut and iron-rich spring water sold as a blood tonic. The cattle will help to keep […]

Spot the ragwort

Spot the ragwort

I’ve written about ragwort here before but I make no apologies for doing it again. There’s a lot of stuff in life that is as good as you make it and pulling ragwort is one, although I would definitely add – as long as you’re not doing it for too long. Our hay crop is looking […]

First calves of 2014

First calves of 2014

As usual, we fail to predict the arrival of our first calf. After ten years of doing this we still fumble around for some kind of certainty to replace the ‘well sometime soon’ when asked exactly when the calves will arrive.Last Sunday morning Alan arrived (name suggested by daughter; don’t know why). A sturdy bull […]