It seems hard to believe that it was only Wednesday morning that Mr Uphillldowndale and I took a turn around the field wearing Wellington boots, the meadow grass was flattened to the ground,
by the weight of rain that had fallen over night.
Jammy the kitten cat got wet feet, he was unimpressed and protested loudly, and completed the rest of the walk along the wall.
Spud, well, he was just Spud,
By late afternoon the sun had come out, our neighbouring farmer had come along and mown the grass, he obviously knew what the forecast had in store. Because since then it has been wall to wall warmth and long sunny days, by this afternoon, the grass had been rowed up and bailed, job done.
In a previous post I mentioned not really knowing what made a ‘traditional meadow’, then by chance I heard Jim Dixon, The Peak District National Park Chief Executive (his blog is here) being interviewed on BBC radio Derby, on the very subject. The roll call of species should include buttercups, yellow rattle and pink clover we have lots of those!
So the surrounding fields are now empty, Spud the dog will be able to find his ball.
Since the fields have been mown there has been a forlorn curlew banking around the fields and across the valley, calling plaintively. I suspect it might have lost it’s nest to the mower;
I’m surprised, I didn’t know it was there, I hadn’t seen any curlews around on a regular basis since spring. Most curlews around here are up on the higher, rough pastures, where there are nests and young will not be disturbed by the pressures of making hay while the sun shine and the timeline that dictates commercial farming. Sad. It wouldn’t have been done intentionally of that I’m sure. As Jim Dixon mentioned in his interview, in trying to preserve traditional meadows we are asking farmers to be ‘farmers, factories and museums’. It’s not easy.