Autumn and Winter Work

Three metre high willow scrub with meadow sweet in the foreground.

A closer veiw of the willow scrub.


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.

3 Comments on “Autumn and Winter Work

  1. Phew! I can see why you need volunteers to help you. Best check there are no trolls lurking under that wooden bridge in case they mistake your cattle for billy goats gruff!

    • I hadn’t thought of that, Ratty. Trolls could well be the very reason why the cattle might be reluctant to cross. Another reason might be that the clip clop sound of their hooves on the rickety old wooden bridge frightens them.

      Maybe I’ll video the bridge crossing event so that everyone can have a laugh at my attempts to get the cattle into the Rhombus field; I am the cattle whistler after all. 😉

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