If you go down to the woods……….

You may see –

in the distance –

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something black and white amongst the trees …..

Our latest helpers – some Belted Galloway Cattle to help with grazing and browsing to keep the Commons open and under control.

Our grazier brought them down from the fields on Sunday and they were very keen to explore their new home for the summer

SONY DSCThere are 12 on Lynchmere Common, cows with calves, young heifers and one rather large but very benign and relaxed steer.

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Galloways are widely used for conservation grazing and are a very calm breed of cattle but we ask that they are treated with respect – especially if you walk your dog on the Commons.

On the Little Common there will be 3 Sussex and 2 Galloways.

And just a quick look at our newly planted hedge:

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Looking a whole lot nicer with a lovely lot of bluebells filling the gap between the ‘artistically’ curving hedge lines. Most saplings are in leaf so all seems well.

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It must be spring

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Just a couple of days after the official start of spring we went for a little walk round parts of Lynchmere that I don’t know very well. The lovely Sussex cattle is in two separate fields near Mare Barn at present- the heifers will soon move onto the common as they need less feed while the ‘ladies’ still enjoy the company of the bull in Stoney Field.

Dave their owner has just been to bring them their daily hay ration and as we watched them we realised that they were not alone in enjoying breakfast – the fallow deer spotted earlier was with them – always keeping at least one cow between us and it and we got the distinct impression that the cows surrounded it on purpose as we approached.

Now we might just read too much into this but it seems this deer has spent most of the winter with or around the cows and they don’t seem to have any problems with this – would like to know if anyone out there knows any more about that sort of behaviour.

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The bluebells are really coming up now and nothing stops them – I love to see them spearing old sweet chestnut leaves along the way.Carrying on along the footpath we found a green carpet of what I think are Douglas Fir twigs – although one tree had fallen I think the majority of the debris has been ripped off in the various storms we had this winter and have created a lovely and pleasant smelling carpet – correct me if I’m wrong!

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And back near the barn we found some primroses in the sun and is it only me or does this lovely oak look like some of us feel after the winter? I think the original cause of the fissures around the ‘waist’ was wire fencing but it does strike me as amusing looking.

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We didn’t kill it!

Proof at last that our hedge has survived our attempts to tame it:

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All the cut and laid stems are sprouting, the whips that were planted to fill the gaps have mostly taken as well and all we need now is new shoots sprouting from the base.

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There is also a beautiful, previously hidden strip of bluebells in the gap between the two hedges.