Buttercup has passed her fence hopping skills on to Jill and Bluebell. The two Galloways, Wayne and Waynetta, seem content to graze North Pasture, and Tulip hasn’t grasped the hopping technique yet. North Pasture is packed with lush vegetation at the moment, but we all know grass is greener on the other side of the fence – the cattle certainly believe so.
The stock fence is around twelve metres back from the river. I’m not unduly concerned that the cattle have crossed it; at least they can do a proper job of clearing the balsam. The cattle like hedge bindweed as much as Himalayan balsam and there is plenty of both along the riverbank. The stock fence is immediately to the left of the vehicle tracks.
I don’t think the cattle will escape upstream to Kidderminster or downstream to Stourport-on-Severn, because they won’t want to leave their calves. It’s the hedge hopping precedent that I’m concerned about. When the cattle know they are able to hop over fences, or knock them down, who knows when they will use the skill again?
Here is an old aerial photo of the riverbank and fence taken in a much drier time, before two rock weirs were installed downstream in 2010 to raise the marsh water levels.