This month, we have welcomed back one of our long-standing partners, Derby Moor Spencer Academy. Highlights include transporting heavy logs to ensure there is plenty of firewood for the winter months ahead and picking apples from a local orchard to make home-pressed apple juice to enjoy at breakfast time. It’s breeding time again on the farm this month and our Derby Moor young people were a great help with moving the rams in with the ewes.
Also, we have recently begun a collaboration with the Woodland Trust to use our cattle to graze an Iron-Age hill fort called ‘The Doward’, to return it to flower meadows. The area is also a ‘Site of Specific Interest’ and the Woodland Trust would like our Lowline cows, a small breed, to improve the biodiversity of the area of mixed woodland and open land – much of which is currently covered with bracken. They are managed using GPS collars, allowing us to draw virtual fencing on the land using an app. This keeps the cows within the area without using any physical fencing, as well as allowing Dan, our Farm Manager, to track them remotely to check they are not getting up to mischief! The experiment is proving particularly successful as the cattle’s size makes them better for conservation grazing, and their nature makes them safe to be around members of the public in an open setting. They seem very happy in their new environment and our visiting groups, including Achieving for Children Virtual School, have enjoyed visiting the fort during a farming session or as part of the hike.
We would like to say a big thank you to Monmouthshire Housing Association for doing an amazing job of decorating the interior of our farmhouse this month. They also supplied the paint – diolch yn fawr!
Finally, this month we welcomed a new partner, Dorset Virtual School. They were not only hardworking farmers but also busy chefs, creating lots of delicious dishes for us all to eat. Highlights include butternut squash soup, apple cake and Jamie’s Farm Monmouth beef burgers!