This is the time of year when our Belted Galloway Cattle move off the heath and onto the grasslands we look after. One of our Tenant Farmers will move his animals onto the heath in a couple of weeks, but the belties get a summer change of scene.

cows out of the trailer

They might look cute, and they are very gentle, but they are hardy as anything, they have to be to thrive over winter on the heaths. They certainly like coming down into the grasslands though, you can almost see the excitement in their eyes as they come out of the trailer.

Shottermill cattle

We try and balance a mix of well timed grazing and hay cutting throughout the summer months to promote the wild flower interest and biodiversity of the meadows at places like Swan Barn Farm. It is always such a pleasure to see them heading out across the fields after a move, they make sense of and complete the landscape, I will never get tired of seeing them moving onto fresh ground.

grazing cow damson

This is Damson, she and the other cattle enjoying the fresh grass in these pictures are spending some time at Shottermill in the fields near the ponds. They are waiting the visit of the the Artificial Insemination man… we are all looking forward to some beefy buns in ovens… Good luck girls.

Also this week I was invited over to see the raising of a traditional green oak timber frame being put up by some of the guys who worked with us on the Speckled Wood project.

The pegs wich hold the frame together are being made with oak from Swan Barn Farm. It was a real pleasure to see sustainably produced timber and traditional craft skills being used to put up a beautiful timber frame.

Dylan, Rudy, Rich and the others really are putting together something pretty special.

green oak frame

This is just the first bay of what will eventually be a large timber framed barn, not many of those get built these days, and it is fascinating to see one going up using sustainable local timber being built by skilled local craftsmen. Thanks for the invite guys, hope the pegs are ok!

Feeling inspired by what I saw I am off now to the woods to fetch some of the timber we will be using for our much smaller framing project, our Orchard House, more on that as the summeer goes by I hope.