Monday, 23 February 2009


Archie is the latest addition to our "fold" of Highlanders. He was born on February 18th at the Great Fen where our cattle are spending the winter. Matt Johnson, who is now our stockman, as well as our tree surgeon, has been checking on them twice a day since Christmas as we were not sure when Archie was going to arrive. A second calf is due any time now.

The cattle have plenty of grass in the wet fields between Woodwalton and Holme Fens but they need a bit of TLC as the place is pretty bleak and exposed. We give them hay, which we grew at Paxton and sugar-beet from the fens.

I must say that I have really enjoyed popping up there to feed the cattle as you never know what else you will see. There's always a barn owl and a couple of marsh harriers, and sometimes a hen harrier. It's the only place that I have seen a flock of stonechats. We see Chinese Water Deer most evenings. If you have not seen one, they are bigger than muntjac, with pale teddy-bear faces.

The cattle will not be back at Paxton until the Great Meadow has recovered from the winter floods and our management, probably in May.