This trip was HUGE!!!!! so I am going to divide it into several posts so as not to overwhelm myself or you dear readers!!
Well my parents arrived Good Friday having battled the Easter Weekend Traffic!!!! We stayed at home Friday night for them to recover and then headed down to the Farm on the Saturday Morning. James and I realised that we had forgotten the keys for the Hovel’s padlock about 10 minutes away from the farm!!!! ARGH!!!!!! we were not going back for them!!! So upon our arrival Dad and James hacksawed off the padlock and we had access!! Phew!!! We moved a few boxes of bits in and got the kettle on for a brew. James and Dad began to light the Rayburn, which was a palaver and a half!! But they managed, whilst Mum and I went to greet the tenants. By this weekend the Tenants (the calves) were in an even deeper sludge of poo and straw, but we were relaibly informed they were to be moved to pasture in a few days!
We shut everything up and took a trip into one of the nearby towns to meet one of the guys I had arranged to come and quote us for windows and doors at his showroom. And to pick up a new padlock for the Hovel! Some gorgeous windows and doors… but by Barry’s own admission, on the medium to high end of the price spectrum. We shall see how the quotes come in!!
We returned to the farm proud owners of a new padlock and had some lunch before making our first proper excursion to show Mum and Dad round the property. Immediately dad spotted some St Johns Wort growing on the front borders of the Hovel and said we should get rid of it as it is a weed… I don’t think we shall get rid of too much identifable stuff like that just yet! Especially as my book says that it grows only in a few locations in England and Wales… more thought needed first I think!
We walked along past the Calves and into the Yard area, weher Dad spotted some areas of hardstanding at the top end by the banked wall. This might end up being a good area for some camper vans to stay or a possible sighting for the Eco-loo block. We walked on towards the Holding field which is a small hedged area between the two big fields of ours. Currently it has a load of wormery compost in it, as our neighbour told us. he had put it there when he rented areas from the previous owner and had asked to remove some of it for his wife’s borders! We wandered on into the Big field, past the large stone trough and along the top hedge which seems recently layed. our sheep tenants and their lambs were all safely in the small field, so given that we had Sookie with us we closed the gate, keeping them in and Sookie out! Although Sookie is of a very nervous disposition and would go within many feet of our wooly tenants!
You can see evidence of the wooly tenants all round the fields in the bits wool everywhere! We have a wealth of Blackthorn in the hedgerows and violets in all the banks. Of the standard trees in the layed hedgerows we have one silver birch in the boundary between big field and small field and several others, although it is a wee bit early to tell what they all are properly, as spring in later up here due to the altitude!
There is plenty of work to do in Big Field for the boundaries, half of the one banked hedge line needs restocking with trees and an area in the border between big and small field needs to be rebanked and reinforced for stock proofing.
But can you see the old stone workings in the banking…. Oh Yes and all the ironwork lolling about the place!! There is a LOT of that, so we will need to slowly collect it all up, use what we can and move the rest into the barns over time, so we can decide what to do with it! Maybe some can be used to fill some fencing gaps….