The end of the growing season is not far away. Last week I walked the marsh prioritising work that needs doing when I get back from holiday and throughout autumn and winter. Thick alder and willow scrub has grown to heights in excess 3 metres in places this year. Himalayan balsam needs pulling in the middle wood this month. I’ll use the cattle to eat the balsam in the Rhombus Field next week; however, before this can be done the three metre high willow scrub growing in front of the Orchid Field gate will need cutting. The cattle are grazing the South Pool Pasture whilst I am away and maybe they will have eaten the tall willow scrub in front of the Orchid Field gate before the end of my holiday, which will save my time and energy. I’ll try walking the cattle to the Rhombus Field via the Orchid Field. There is a small wooden bridge just outside the Orchid Field gate to the Rhombus Field, and the cattle might decide to be awkward and refuse to cross it. Should this be the case, I’ll walk them to the north end of the Tenant Farmer’s Field where there is a second gate into the Rhombus Field. The Wyre Forest Grazing Team are looking after the cattle whilst I’m away.
The wooden fencing around the south entrance sluice needs repairing; there are many simple jobs like this I have let slip – I’ll get to them in time!
There are far too many practical jobs to do and the above is only a tiny indication of what needs to be done, but it’s best not to dwell on the scale of things; just put the jobs on the list and do them as and when, or persuade the cattle to do more, but they can’t coppice or pollard the large trees – they have a go stripping willow bark, but this is not a suitable solution. Cattle are best at doing what their mothers have taught them to do: eating vegetation.