March on the Farm (2021)

Spring is here! Hazel Catkins.

Richard Fonge writes:

With spring now with us, the land drying up, we are seeing more activity in the fields. Ewes and lambs arrive daily in the fields up the Moreton Road, where the spoil from the ditching earlier in the year will soon be spread now it is much drier. I said in my October notes that the greenness of the fields up the concrete road was a result of severe shedding of the previous crop of spring wheat and would be sprayed off in the spring. This has happened and I expect to see a crop of barley to be planted. A self sown crop such as that was, would not have yielded, but by leaving it over the winter, it created a cover crop.

Please take note when walking that way, of the sights and sounds. Skylarks are flying high in song. The skylark is a ground nesting bird and not as common as it once was. It likes bare ground to nest on, so please keep dogs on a lead or close to you because if they do disturb a nest it will be abandoned. Roe deer are often seen in this area too. Deer are becoming more and more common. At Stuchbury I have seen seven standing in line. The other quite common sight is the muntjac deer. Like the squirrel it is devastating to young trees if they haven’t been guarded. 

Farmers and countrymen know more than most how important it is to keep a balance of any one species. The health and well being of animals such as rabbits, foxes, deer, squirrels and badgers is to their advantage if the weaker are culled and a sensible sustainable level is maintained. The badger cull is an emotive one, but what is not in doubt is the distress it has caused livestock farmers. To have a reactor to the T.B. test, means the animal is culled and to see as I have, pregnant cows and cows with young calves being separated, causes a great deal of anguish, without the work of re testing every sixty days until clear of the disease. We have bovine T.B. in the area at present, so let us hope that it is an isolated case.

Spring brings re-generation of the natural world, so here’s hoping it is a good one, to bring cheer after this long winter.

Richard Fonge



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