Tag Archives: farming

HAVING TO SELL A DAIRY HERD WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO

This will be us next year

Click the link to read about the farmer

We weren’t let down by Dairy Farmers of Great Britain like this farmer has been, but all dairy farmers in Britain are finding it nearly impossible to make a living from providing milk.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/farming/6958013/The-dairy-farmer-reduced-to-tears.html

Quote
”Every dairy farmer will tell you how he worries about his cows,’’ Mr Rickatson says. ”We British farmers pride ourselves on our high standards: cows need a lot of attention. And you get to know their ways. It sounds silly but in a way I felt as though I had let my cows down. Betrayed them somehow. How would they fit in with another herd?

DAIRY FARMERS DISAPPEARING

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?

Dew Pond

We have been repairing a Dew Pond

A Dew Pond gather its water from rain, mist and dew  but there is also a certain mystery about as to why Dew Ponds  never dry up even in the dryest weather.

The Yorkshire Wolds is chalk based and water seeps through the chalk so providing water for livestock was difficult.  THIS IS IN THE TIME BEFORE MAINS WATER WHEN VILLAGES AND FARMS HAD A WATER PUMP.

So dew ponds were built on the Wolds to water livestock. Without dewponds livestock would not have been able to graze for as long on the Wolds. 

Dew Pond being cared for

Dew Pond being cared for

This Dew Pond in the photo abvoe was so overgown by plants and full of mud it had to be cleaned out.  This was a big  job.  I so wish I had taken a photograph of how it was before it was cleaned, but the photo shows the Dew Pond nearly cleaned out.

I was always told that a dew pond was built where 4 fields met.  They were built so that livestock from 4 fields could use the same dew pond.  How clever is that?

I would love to know more about the people who built  dewponds.

I don’t even know when this dew pond was built, but a lot of knowledge has gone into building it. 

By building a dew pond and lining it with clay the men who built it knew that the water gathered in the clay lined dew pond and would not seep away as it would in a chalk based pond. 

Here is a photograph of the original clay base that was put there many, many years ago, by who we don’t know.  But as I say a lot of knowledge has gone into building this Dew Pond.  This picture of the original clay base is very rare as Dew Ponds are, of course, usually full of water

Clay Base of an old Dew Pond

Clay Base of an old Dew Pond

Other names for dew ponds are 

  • ‘Sheep Ponds’ or ‘
  • Ship ponds’
  • in the Sussex dialect.
  •  ‘Mist Ponds’, ‘
  • Fog Ponds’.

This dewpond became full of mud and choked with overgrown plants.

We knew it would be fatal to the pond if we pierced the clay lining as the water would seep through the Wolds chalk and away into caverns deep underground
 
It took a lot of time and effort over two or three weekends to clean out this pond.  I was going to help, but nearly slipped in the mud so gave up before I started as I knew they would be better off without me.

A lot of the work was done by bucket and shovel!

Can you see the tools used

Can you see the tools used

Royal al Commission on Historic Monuments Dewpond:- A shallow pond, often artificial, fed by the condensation of water from the air, occurring on high land which has no other adequate water supply

At the moment it is so good to see clear water in the dew pond and see it is not choked by plants any more

Hard work done - Dew Pond  Refreshed

Hard work done - Dew Pond Refreshed

 

This Dew Pond is home to a lot of wildlife.  We get ducks landing, stopping and taking off again.  They waddle from the pond to the field without a care in the world.  There is sometimes a rustle in the undergrowth as you walk by.  

This dew pond is not used at all for stock now.  It was ‘repaired’ for the benefit of wildlife only So farmers aren’t all that bad are they?

Please contact me if you have any more information about these magical and mystical dew ponds. I would like to put together any information I can get including photographs and any knowledge on what does make a dewpond.  

Please remember the country code and if the dewpond is on Private Land please do not trespass or disturb livestock.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0