Articles From May 2012

Bluebells

Bluebells and birds

Posted in General on Sunday 27th May 2012 at 5:33pm

The bluebells are carpeting the woodland floor but as a very amateur photographer I do not seem to be able to do justice to the magnificent display in the woodland – if you want to experience the wonderful colour and fragrance of the native bluebells on a warm sunny day you will have to visit us! The ferns are dominating the edge of the leat now having speedily unfurled their fronds over the last week and combined with the explosion of other foliage on the leat banks we are now seeing lots of insect life including damselflies with their electric blue bodies. Our lone cuckoo is still calling occasionally after it’s late arrival – first heard on April 30th ten days later than usual. Our other woodland birds are doing their best to make up for this by heralding the dawn very enthusiastically each day – we do not need an alarm clock!

Cattle grazing Bottom close

Jobs for the spring

Posted in Farm on Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at 11:15am

The timely arrival of the rain followed by some warmer weather has enabled our grass to get growing at a rate that allowed us to put all our cattle out onto the pastures. The cattle barns are being mucked out and the silage fields left un-grazed for the grass crop to grow on until there is enough tonnage of grass to cut it and turn it into our big bale silage – for next winters fed rations. It is clear that the cattle are contented now with the sun on their backs and the calves well fed, it’s time for a well earned rest. Corndon Tor makes a wonderful back drop! Some of the other jobs for the spring include, disbudding and castrating the calves, protecting the cows from flies with a pour-on fly repellent, clean out the cattle sheds and spread the dung, spot spray the injurious weeds e.g. docks, nettles, thistles and ragwort (this is part of the cross compliance rules we have to meet) and catch up on the paper work applying for cattle passports etc. One worrying job for this week is our cattle’s TB test.

New Orchard - Old Walls

Orchard creation

Posted in Farm on Monday 7th May 2012 at 12:40pm

Under our Higher Level Stewardship on the farm we have planted a small new section of orchard which includes cider apple, plum and cherry trees. Our newly planted orchard is just showing signs that the trees have rooted in well with the cherry trees are already producing small leaves. The young apple trees have just been pruned to encourage them to bush out rather than shoot up, the stoned fruit trees will be pruned in the summer. All are now protected from our wild deer with suitable fencing around each tree, this also means we can graze the field around the new trees with our cattle and Dartmoor heritage ponies without worrying that the trees will be eaten!