Friday, 16 April 2010

Feeling Sheepy

The Old Surrey Downs Project have returned the sheep to the Tatsfield site so we are back to stock checking them again as well as the ponies. The area where they are grazing is on the side of the North Downs and there are beautiful far reaching views. Unlike before, our visits now benefit from the warmth of the sun as it is a very much a sun trap. The top fields are now bordered by masses of Violets and Primroses and rabbits, making the most of the better weather, scuttle back to their underground world as we walk down through the fields. It is such a pleasure.

As a reward for our work, all the stock checkers were invited to the farm to see the lambing in progress. It is good to see this new life knowing that these lambs are not be going to be eaten but will live, for as long as their health allows, as conservation grazers. Some of the older sheep are now in their teens:-) The following day we were back on the downs to help with the back breaking job of hoof trimming. All very enjoyable.

Today it is our day for checking the ponies. When we walk to them we pass the SSSI land that was cleared last year using heavy machinary and still hasn't been grazed. It will be interesting to see how the two sites develop as they are virtually side by side. At the moment they have mostly the same flowers coming through, although, the machine cleared area has far more Violets and an area of Coltsfoot.

The pony area has more Cuckoo Pint but that is probably because it is a more sheltered site with more trees but if Rufus has anything to do with it they will all be eaten. I think he is coming up to two so is probably teething and likes to chew on something hard.

Sadly although the volcanic ash has grounded most flights in the country there still seems to be flights going in and out of Biggin Hill Airport so we can't enjoy the peace and quiet but it does help a bit not having the constant buzz of planes stacking for the major London Airports. One day I would like to move to a place where I can't hear any planes or traffic...that's if such a place exists in this country.

No comments: