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Sunrise: 05.06 Sunset: 09.24 Hoo Brook Pasture still looks like a battlefield, but it’s a field in which the battle is almost won. Most of the Himalayan balsam seeds and leaves have passed through the cattle, but a lot of bare stalks are left sticking up above ground. In fact, I’d say the cattle are bored with this pasture and are preferring the rough grasses at the dry end of the Swamp,… Read More

Sunrise: 05.06  Sunset: 09.24 Leaning on the gate of the Riverside Pasture, I’m looking east across the northern end of the Swamp. Hoo Brook, which borders the northern end of Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest, is immediately to the left of the balsam behind the stock fence. Hoo Brook Pasture gate is just out of sight at the far end of the fence. Last year, this area… Read More

Sunrise: 05.04 Sunset: 09.25 Standing at the top of the pipe bridge steps this afternoon, I photographed the north, middle, and south end of the Riverside Pasture. Himalayan balsam grows only on the river side of the stock fence, thanks to the cattle. The vegetation in this pasture is mainly nettles and thistles; there were a couple of ragwort plants, but I pulled them. Dirty sugar beet washing water from the sugar… Read More

Sunrise: 05.00 Sunset: 09.28 The cattle are doing a great job, but they are not clearing the Himalayan balsam in Hoo Brook Pasture as quickly as expected. I think the problem is the high rate of balsam growth –  now 12 to 15 feet tall with 3″to 4″ diametre stalks, in places. Also, new balsam shoots are growing vigorously from the bare earth shaded by the earlier balsam growth. So the cattle… Read More

Sunrise: 04.56 Sunset: 09.31

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