Daily Archives: July 2, 2009


Foreign imports of milk are cheaper than British dairy farmers can produce.

British dairy farmers could be forced out of business by cheap imports of milk.

Years ago British steel was too expensive and could be produced cheaper abroad.

Same went for coal.

When dairy farmers have gone bankrupt and there is hardly any milk being produced in Britain will the the EU countries still keep the price of milk low.

Did they do this with steel and coal?

Looking after a dairy herd is a skill that takes a long time to learn.  It used to be passed down in the family.  Now young people know they will not be able to earn a living from dairy farming. 

It must be a sad day when a dairy herd that has been on the same farm for years has to be sold at auction. 

When I was nobbut a lass there were three or four dairy farmers in the village.  The milk was collected in churns and went to be processed locally. 

The cows in the village  were sometimes herded through the village streets  to and fro to the milking parlour, depending on which field they had been grazing in.

The village was busy with farming.

The milk went in churns to a local dairy.  So the carbon footprint would have been minimal.

But that was a long time ago and is a long way away from where we are now.

I wonder if we will all end up using powdered milk.

We only produce 60% of our own food and we are one of the most populated countries in the world.  We are about ten times more densly populated than France and America. 

The politicians should be thinking long term of our food security, but they don’t. 

What if the imports of food dry up? 

What if there is a few years of bad harvest all over the world and there is no excess food to be imported to Britain. 

What if the price of food that is being brought into Britain sky rockets and becomes a luxury

One of the signs of a third world country is the fact that it cannot feed itself. 

Am I scaremongering.  What do you think?

Water for Birds

Birds can’t take drinking water for granted.  We just turn on a tap.  Birds are at the mercy of nature.  

Droughts in summer.  Frozen water in winter. 

Either way birds often cannot find fresh  water.  

 Making sure there is a supply of fresh water available for all the birds to drink  will help a lot of birds – and will attract birds to your garden.

A lot of birds need to drink fresh water at least a couple of times a day.

It is so easy to put fresh water out in any small container.  If you have a minute to spare put a small container of water out in the garden for our feathered friends.


If the container has a smooth base put some stones in the bottom.  This gives birds something to perch and grip on as they are drinking


Birds need water for

  • Drinking
  • Bathing

In summer providing water is important. 

Providing water all year round is important

 Birds bathe all year round.

I think it’s seems strange that in winter especially  it’s vital for birds to bathe. 

Bathing keeps birds feathers in good condition. 

In winter this becomes vital because feathers in good condition  keep birds warm through the freezing cold nights.

Strange but true.  In winter, it’s good for birds to hop into freezing cold water to bathe, This helps them keep warm in freezing dark nights. 

So if you start putting water out don’t stop!  Keep fresh water in your garden all the time.



  A few years ago we built a garden pond.  Because

  • we thought it would look nice and 
  •  we would have less grass to cut.

The main reason this pond is a delight to look at is  because of the variety of birds that visit the pond daily to enjoy the fresh water.

It is fascinating to watch them  drink and bathe at the edge of the pond

By more good luck than management we made one side of the pond a gradual slope. The other sides are sloping, but more steeply.  The gradual slope makes it easy for the birds to stay in the shallow edge of the water. 

When we built the pond we also built  a ledge in


It’s a lovely sunny day here and the garden pond is a hive of activity. 

I can see the flurry of bird wings and the ripple of water as birds bathe at the edge of this pond.

We get birds as small as sparrows to as large as Rooks at the pond.

 The other day we had a young hare sitting at the edge of the pond.   It was sat there for ages  nibbling the fresh green shoots at the steep side of the pond. At one time it was so near the edge of the water we thought it would tumble in and we would have one bedraggled young hare. Can young hares swim?  In the end it must have decided it had eaten enough and sloped away into the hedge.  I have never been able to watch a young hare at such close quarters before.   We usually only catch a glimpse of them in the fields.


We often hear about how important putting bird food out is for out native birds.

Putting water out is just as important and very easy to do.