The South Marsh Entrance Section
The marsh herd wants variety and to roam; it doesn’t like being confined within a compartment during winter. In spring and summer, when the vegetation is lush, tasty and plentiful, the cattle don’t mind so much being locked up in a field for a sensible period. They will complain, though, if I leave them in one place too long.
The herd’s mentality leads it to believe that grass is greener and tastier in an adjoining field, I guess they sense fresher vegetation. The cattle are not slow in communicating their requirements either, and they have looked longingly at the green grass of the South Marsh Entrance Section for quite some time.
I have been reluctant to let the cattle graze the entrance section because the woods at the extreme southern end of the marsh, not belonging to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, have been felled recently. The cattle can now look past the boundary trees to clear-cut pasture as they would see it. I reckon it is too much of a temptation for them: they might step over the fence and pop down to town if they felt it was a feasible option.
I felt a strong urge to strengthen the boundary fencing before giving the cattle access. We are fortunate to have an agricultural supplies provider within a 100 metres of the southern entrance, so a quick visit there and I had a roll of barbed wire to help me solve the potential security problem. I set to work this afternoon, tightening the existing fence and stringing barbed wire along the tops of concrete posts, to add a little extra height. The judicious placement of heavy brash and some very old discarded iron fencing panels, at strategic points, completed the job.
If the cattle really want to escape, and are desperate or hungry enough, they can bulldoze through or step over standard stock fencing without too much trouble. They are capable of finding and taking advantage of any fencing weakness. Hopefully I have done enough this afternoon to dissuade them from attempting an escape.
I made a final fencing inspection and led the cattle in through South Pool gate.