Over the past few weeks we’ve been very busy laying the hedgerows to make sure that they grow through thick and strong – just how we like them. Hedge laying is an old rural skill that helps us keep the cows in the field, limits soil erosion and also encourages wildlife in the hedgerows. It’s a meticulous process that involves cutting the branches, splitting them and then pinning them down to the earth, this makes the hedge grow back nice and thick.
As well as the hedge laying we have been thinning our walnut and oak tree plantations to allow the trees to grow big, healthy and strong. I have actually been using the thinning itself as fuel for my fire – it’s very satisfying heating our home with wood from trees that I planted. The trees themselves will not be fully grown in my lifetime – I have planted them as a legacy for my children to enjoy.
Whilst working out in the fields I have noticed some of our wildlife friends that are still here and some that are noticeably absent. We have seen lots of beautiful deer all over the farm and a lot of woodcock (a woodland bird with short legs, and a very long straight tapering bill) that have made Godminster their home. But the snipe (a wading bird) and our resident ducks seem to have moved on to pastures new – I think that’s due to the fact that our ponds were completely frozen for so long. Thanks to the milder weather, all the ponds have now thawed though, so hopefully we will see them back again soon!