Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Someone's left the gate open...

When I stand at the top of the hill I'm often tempted to break out into song, especially first thing in the morning when there's nobody else about.

Something along the lines of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land' but adapted to fit west Dorset.



'This land was made for you and me'.

Up the top, this land belongs to The National Trust (so it is your land, and mine too) but, lower down, it belongs to the farmer. And whilst a footpath runs through it, which gives us the right to walk through the field, it doesn't give us the right to leave the gates open.

Respect, protect, enjoy - that's what the Countryside Code says.

I was up with the lark again this morning to find a herd of young cattle enjoying unfettered access to a newly-seeded field because some idiot had done just that.


It happens a lot during the school holidays, apparently.

I messaged the farmer from high up on the hill.

'Are the cattle meant to be in here?' I asked, sending him a photo. If only I knew the field names (now there's a local history project to get my teeth into) I could have given him a more accurate location.

'No they're not!' he replied, with some ripe, farming-type language thrown in for good measure.

'Well,' I messaged back. 'They seem to be having a bit of a party.'

'I'm on my way,' he said,

From up on the hill, the dog and I could hear cowboy-type whoops and hollers as the farmer yelled down in the field below, rounding up the cattle and bringing them back on the right side of the hedge.

The dog and I walked right to the top to look out across the vale, to check if the sea was still in the distance. And then we made our way back down, the cattle now back in the correct field and staring at us like teenagers whose illicit activity had been cut short.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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