Thursday, 25 February 2016

Important Date

Tuesday March 1st is, of course, St David's Day.   But it is also an important day for my particular farmer, who is  very tidy-minded and likes to keep everything shipshape around the place.   One of the things he gets annoyed about are untidy hedges.   Some of our fields are enclosed with the traditional Dales stone walls, some have 'cams' (as they are called up here) of hawthorne bushes which have grown together to form almost a thicket, and some have mixed hedgerows - sloe, holly, beech, hawthorne, maple - a lovely variety of things which make for a pretty hedge.

All hedge-cutting has to be completed by law before March 1st.   This is because after this date it may disturb nesting birds - and indeed we do have a splendid variety of birds which nest in our hedges - blackbirds by the score, and yellowhammers to name but two which nest here every year.

This year, as you know, has been one of the wettest on record and as the year has gone by the farmer has got more and more worried that his hedges would not get cut in time.   

Well, this week the weather has been sunny, frosty and perfect for the job.   And, true to form, our trusty hedge-cutting man, Mike, arrived with a helper yesterday and by the end of the afternoon all our hedges were looking very smart.   There are still a few briars, which the farmer will go round and cut off, but other than that all is shipshape.

In addition, for the last two days, the cows in for the Winter have been cleaned out and bedded down with fresh straw.   The 'muck' has been led to a heap in the field to spread when it has matured a bit more.

All  is neat again.   There is just one fly in the ointment.   About six months ago the farmer backed into a wall  on his cousin's farm and made a large dent in the back bumper and cracked the back light.  This afternoon, I have to report that I did exactly the same on the other side - this time on our calf-house just outside the back door.   I suppose the only good thing is that we had not taken the car in for the first bump to be repaired - so now we have to book it in for a new bumper and new lights - if we had had it done after the first bump  it would have been another new bumper - so perhaps that is a tiny glimmer of pleasure to be had from the whole affair.

20 comments:

John Gray said...

It seems that all the hedgerows here are cut in the autumn..i never see any cut in feb

Rachel said...

Hedge cutting is permitted between 1st September and the end of February John. Mostly hedges are cut in the Autumn at the end of harvest but there are always some to finish off later.

Maria said...

That is what I call team work - both to blame for the bumps. Greetings Maria x

Heather said...

What a good thing the weather improved in time for the farmer to get his hedges in good order before March 1st. Infuriating about the car bumper and lights, but as you say, at least both dents will be sorted in one job.

Wilma said...

We are seeing a lot of frisky pairs of birds around here. Spring is in the air, even in the sub-tropics.

donna baker said...

Pat, I saw little bird heads sticking out of some birdhouses waiting for their mate to bring nest supplies. I brought more houses from the farm so there should be a lot of birdies around here this spring.

Terry and Linda said...

I find your farming practices very interesting. And also there is a huge care for the nesting birds. The hedges profit by being trimmed the whole affair is just perfect.

Linda

Penny said...

No hedges here, just bring wire fences. I love the idea of hedges full of birds. Shame about the lights and bumper, but at least as you say, now both get done at once.

Joanne Noragon said...

There have been birds building nests here since early this month. A couple of subsequent snowfalls have not deterred them.

Mac n' Janet said...

Sorry about your car, is that your new one? I'm all for providing nesting areas for birds and we leave parts of our yard wild. I don't like the idea of the government telling me when I can and can not cut my hedges.

Terra Hangen said...

I am glad your hedgerows are sheltering all kinds of birds and wild critters. Looks like you need a bit of bumper and lights repair, sad to say.

Frances said...

It's good that the weather gave you all a chance to get the hedge trimming done before the end of February. Again, I thank you for acquainting me with rules and regs that do help to keep nature thriving.

About the two dents... perhaps this means that a stitch in time does not always save nine. Sometimes it's better to wait a while.

xo

angryparsnip said...

It seems every time you think a chore will not get done because of the weather, the sun comes out a breeze blows and the chore gets done. Mother Nature laughs at us all doesn't she.
We have not had out out February winter rains that we need. I think we will have a very bad summer firestorm season.

cheers, parsnip

Hildred said...

And all's right with the world! Maybe not the bumper, but everything else sounds shipshape...

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

When you get the bumper fixed then it will be in great shape like the hedges. I like how English farms are so tidy (at least the ones I've seen photos of)

Derek Faulkner said...

Unfortunately I'm in the anti-tidying up camp, especially regarding hedgerows that have it done each year simply because they don't look square and neat.I especially hate it where they're done with tractor driven flails that leave them looking absolutely mangled along their length and a degree of die back occurs each year.

Librarian said...

Most importantly, nobody was hurt when you had your little car accidents!
Sadly, in my part of the world you rarely get hedges between fields, and never stone walls. They are among the features I so love about Yorkshire, but here, farmers would not allow them - they are so used to having huge square fields with no obstacles in between.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone. Sorry you don't like the idea of cutting hedges Derek, but I would say that correct trimming does encourage new growth and thickens up the hedges nicely. We have a large sparrow hawk population round here and the little birds can get deep inside places like holly hedges and be safe from any bird of prey. Also, all of our fields are quite small by today's standards and any incursion into the field by briars and stuff just cuts down the area which can be silaged.

Gwil W said...


The dreaded hawthorn. Bane of cyclists.

Pondside said...

Now that is a very good way of making lemonade when handed lemons!!