The herd has been slow getting to grips with the very wet Rhombus Field over the past week. I wondered if strip grazing the west side and mid to south end with the aid of an electric fence might be the answer. I want the meadowsweet, in particular, and other vegetation growing along the drier west side hard grazed, and an overall reduction in the cover on the mid and south areas of the field, leaving the reed grass, yellow iris and lesser reedmace at the north east end until later in the year, but the cattle weren’t playing ball. Thinking the field too wet after recent rain, I moved them into the Flooded Wood Pasture and Corridor To The Tenant Farmer’s Field; I left the gate between the two compartments open. The marsh was significantly drier yesterday and this must suit the herd, because they had moved themselves into the Rhombus Field and were solidly grazing the important areas. I’ll move the cattle into the South Marsh Riverside Pasture later this week, and bring them back into the Rhombus Field at the end of the growing season.
I put the cattle in the Rhombus Field early September last year, and they grazed it from south to north. The west side of the field was grazed particularly hard, and I noticed much more snipe activity here early this year. So my plan is to graze hard as much of the field as practical now, and again through late September/early October, with the aim of creating ground conditions that might encourage more snipe to feed along the west side of the Rhombus Field, and perhaps nest along the east side of the Tenant Farmer’s Field next year.