When the temperatures drop and the days are shorter the whole farm slows down. However that does not mean there is nothing to do. For one thing, the cows are brought in, and need feeding daily. Furthermore, there are many jobs to do which are more suited to the cooler weather. Woodland management becomes a key feature, and in particular, hedgerows. We have kilometres of hedgerows that need cutting to keep in shape.We also have newly planted hedgerows that need laying -a traditional country craft that ensures that hedges grow more thickly, and provide a denser barrier between fields. Hedges also provide habitats for wildlife, whether it is nesting birds or small mammals, and are long habitat corridors along which wildlife can travel in relative safety.
We are fortunate to have a highly skilled hedge layer (Donato Cinicolo) coming to St. Paul’s Walden twice. His first visit will be an informal talk about hedge laying, to be held at the Strathmore Arms pub on Jan 14th (7:00 for 7:30). He will then return to the farm on Feb 8th to run a hedge laying course. If you would like to learn this traditional country craft, please contact me. The day-long, hands-on course costs £60 and includes a hot lunch indoors.
The winter is also a key time for planting shrubs and trees. As part of our HLS agreement, we will be planting traditional fruit varieties in part of the walled kitchen garden: apples, pears, cherries and green gauges.
I already have several schools booking in for forest school or farm visit in the spring and summer. If you would like to bring a group please contact me to secure your place.