Monday, 31 October 2011

3 days to go

Picture this scene of calves enjoying their first summer on Petersham Meadows
Last seen June 2011
Charolais with her bull calf
The National Trust plan will rob us of enjoying this magical sight again

Sunday, 30 October 2011

4 days to go

 “But we can’t ignore the fact that, whether through pressures of time or physical access, as a nation we seem to be increasingly disconnected from the fabric of the country and there is a real danger of a ‘generational gap’ opening up where young people feel terrified at the prospect of going into the countryside” 

Beware countryside ahead

Saturday, 29 October 2011

5 days to go

Just a small hop from Petersham Meadows is the ‘peaceful respite’ of Richmond Park; well that’s how the Royal Parks describe it. Richmond Park is home to about 650 deer, roaming free with people, their dogs and horses, bicycles and even cars. The deer are wild but accustomed to sharing their home with others. The Royal Parks asks visitors to ‘Always keep a respectful distance’ from the deer.
 Red Deer Stag, Richmond Park

The National Trust on the other hand considers Petersham Meadows a place of danger. Each weekend a temporary electric fence creates ‘a buffer between the cows and the public walking their dogs’.
 Cows grazing by the Thames

Friday, 28 October 2011

6 days to go

After many seasons, Amanda, Fluffy and other members of the Petersham herd are comfortable sharing the meadows with people walking, cycling, picnicking, etc. They are mild-mannered and of good temperament with the public.
Fluffy & Amanda

When the National Trust announced that a new herd will be introduced next year the local community expressed their concerns. A group of yearlings, one cannot call them a herd, would change every year and no relationship would form between them, the public, herdsman or NT volunteers. It is difficult to see the logic for this change.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

7 days to go

The View from Richmond Hill across Petersham Meadows to the Thames and beyond is the only view protected by Act of Parliament. In 2010 the National Trust became the custodians for the nation and received a large endowment from public and private donations.

This great honour is marked on the National Trust website by just one page, ‘Fencing the cows at Petersham Meadows’.
Why are Petersham Meadows and this world famous view with cows grazing by the Thames of such little interest to the National Trust?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

8 days to go

At the public meeting in July, the National Trust was made acutely aware of the public dissatisfaction with their management of Petersham Meadows. It would appear that as the season draws to a close and the farmer prepares to move the cows to their winter home the National Trust continues to manage the meadows in complete indifference to public opinion. The current herd of cows and calves, many of which have been grazing the meadow for several years, will be replaced next year by yearlings.  If dogs are going to be banned from the meadows next year, why are the cows and their calves also being banned?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

9 days to go

‘We will also be introducing a new herd to the meadow from next year which should also help limit any future dangers’ – Geri Silverstone, External Affairs Consultant (London & South East) National Trust
 Welcome to the danger zone

Why when the cows were attacked by an illegal breed of dog which was off the lead do they pay the price by being excluded from the meadow?

Monday, 24 October 2011

10 days to go

The National Trust does not want me to return with my calf next spring.
 This herd has been grazing the meadow for ten seasons and no member of the public has reported any injury.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Apple Time

Line-up and keep your eye on the man with the box. If you’re lucky its full of apples
What a good place to have a neck scratcher. Always useful while you wait for an apple
With so many keen mouths to feed the herdsman needs to offer the apples two at a time
After your apple its off to the west end for a drink
Being part of a herd means doing things together even if there’s not enough space at the trough

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Autumn Mist

Dry clear sunny October days give way to cold nights and misty mornings
 As Petersham Meadows are situated on the Thames flood plan and at the foot of Richmond Hill morning mists often linger late
The lazy autumn sun peeks through the mist illuminating the Duchess’s rich red coat

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Monday Morning

For the herdsman there are always two jobs on a Monday morning. Following the installation of the ‘temporary fence’ by the National Trust the herd has been corralled every weekend this year. Come Monday morning the herd line-up and wait patiently for the herdsman to open a gap in the fence. Then while the herd slowly stroll out of the enclosure into meadow the herdsman clears away the weekend litter.
The herd waiting to reclaim the meadow
 Ian the herdsman clearing away the weekend rubbish