March 2010

Reversing the old saying, weather commentators have liked to describe this March as ‘coming in like a lamb and going out like a lion.’ The first half of the month was exceptionally dry, the fields dried up, and we let the cows out to enjoy the sunshine and the modest show of grass. Then it changed, we had rain, sleet and snow and the cows had to come back in.

Throughout the month, we managed to catch up with some much needed maintenance. At Ty’n y Coed, two lengths of fence have gone in along an old, previously unfenced boundary so that ponies can be moved in to restore our wonderful ‘rough’, which had been heading towards a bramble jungle in recent years. At the top of Ty’n y Coed, a mature roadside hedge has been re-laid, leaving several robust-looking Wych elms which we hope will escape beetle-borne Dutch elm disease.

At Tyddyn Adda, a hazel hedge which we planted seven years ago has been laid for the first time and a small plantation thinned.

The animals all look well. The sheep are thriving, with none of the foot troubles and signs of stress so common in pregnant ewes – having a year off has done them a favour. The cattle are in their end-of-winter state, and it will take a good bite of fresh grass and a couple of weeks outside to restore their coats to shiny perfection. The hens are laying well, and getting everywhere. We will have to do something about the rabbit population, which has exploded.

Spring is taking its time, but the daffodils are now well out, along with primroses on the banks and the first violets and chiff chaffs.