Monday, 30 April 2012

Familiar & New

This maybe their summer residence but the first few days have been rain, rain and even more rain. Probably more hours have been spent in the barn over the last five days than most of last year. As the cows already know the meadows they have settled in quickly but their calves are still a little shy.

Duchess with her calf, look carefully
Duchess’s calf
Most are quizzical as they explore their new home
For others the grass is always greener on the other side
As April draws to a close the sun makes a welcome appearance
Relaxing in the long grass

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Welcome Back

After 173 days Fluffy leads the herd back into the meadow.
Ian, the herdsman, opens the gate from the stockade

On a very wet morning, after much uncertainty as to their future on the Petersham Meadows, the herd of nine cows and their new calves returned today. Petersham is currently considered a drought zone, as less than 60 mm of rain fell in the first three months of the year. April showers have helped the pasture which is now looking fresh and the cows were grazing it within minutes of arriving.

The herd below the Star & Garter Home

The National Trust has made changes for 2012. Firstly, the cows will be kept permanently behind an electric fence. This blocks two paths across the meadows which have been in use for many decades. Even when farmer Hastings had Hornby the bull back in the 1990’s people crossed without incident.

Right of Way

Another change is the restriction on dogs; at the western end no dogs are allowed and to the eastern end they are confined to the tarmacked footpaths and must be on a short lead.

No dogs allowed beyond this point
 Dogs must be kept on a lead and allowed only on tarmacked footpath
Heavy rain force the cows into the barn
A quartet of calves

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Temporary Fencing – Year Two

The National Trust's preparations are almost complete for the arrival of the Petersham Herd. A new temporary fence has been erected which is in conflict with the National Trust's aim of opening up green spaces.
'We're a UK conservation charity, protecting historic places and green spaces, and opening them up for ever, for everyone'
National Trust home page, including spelling error (accessed 24APR2012).

Is it possible the National Trust do not know that a Right of Way cannot be diverted or closed by anyone other than the local authorities or central government, once a highway, always a highway.
Right of Way across Metropolitan Open Land
'Petersham Meadows has been used to graze cattle since the 15th century. Today, feel free to stroll across this local landmark and scene of pastoral tranquillity on the way to Ham House' (accessed 24APR2012)
 Restricted access to Petersham Meadows

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Good News?

Spring is a time of April showers, fresh pastures and cows grazing on Petersham Meadows. Children making their way to school, visitors walking along the Thames or residents out walking have all enjoyed this scene for hundreds of years.
Spot the cows

Fortunately we have the National Trust as new guardians of our inheritance and they have some Good News! The cows will be arriving late accompanied by an electric fence restricting access to Metropolitan Open Space.
Good News from the National Trust