First week of august 2013

First Week August Walkies

This week the countryside started to feel autumnal. There are dew laden cobwebs, banks of seeding umbelliferae (wild carrots, angelica, parsnips family), and flowering willow herbs.2013-08-07

The combine-harvesters are still waiting to pounce into action, but the cropping is ripening late and unevenly. This two-three week delay, due to wet autumn and long cold spring, will make farmers struggle against the clock with harvest and re-planting before the onset of winter. Last year’s wet harvest saw some crops harvested midwinter when frost allowed the heavy machinery to get back on the land. It may well take farmers an other year to recover their ideal crop plan and timings following the long dark wet summer of 2012

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Cattle are as delightful and curious as ever. So they should be as they are well fed and content after good grass growing and hay-making conditions earlier this year. My daughter has always admired but never quite emulated (fortunately) the cows ability to polish its nose with its tongue.

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I want to add a footnote of appreciation to England’s extensive Rights of Way through the countryside. These are very ancient rights, but they are made vastly more accessible with signage, gates, and bridges by the Public Rights of Way officers of our local councils, in conjunction with the help and good will of farmers and land owners. This week I saw that someone had take the time to recognise and remember the work of a local Public Rights of way officer, Mike Mellor, who had recently died. RIP.

2013-08-073I’ve written a talk about waking and our extensive set of foot paths see here. For more on Rights of Way Officers and countryside access see their professional institute IPROW

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