Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

badgers in gardens

Posted: 08/08/2015 at 12:17

Pa had three dairy farms and a milk bottling plant - supplied the local towns & villages.  Before all that, the milk was delivered twice daily, direct from a churn via a pony & milk-float.  Some ancient family pics of my sister and I when we were toddlers, sitting on the pony's back whilst she was still standing there "put to" the float at the end of the milk round.  The pony was called Girlie, and died in 1947 having reached a great age -  a bit like me now!  Initially the cattle were shorthorns and Ayrshires but I the 1950s Pa changed to Friesians.  We grew most of what the cattle were fed - so in some ways it was what nowadays you'd call "mixed farming". Eventually had a combine harvester etc. but I still have (in the shed) Pa's scythe and the huge hay knife which was used to cut the hay from the stack before Jones Balers started making the machinery to bale it.

My land has been used these past two years by a contractor who grows potatoes for McCains frozen chips - it was fascinating seeing the modern machinery in action - I remember how it was done when the only things available were carthorses! 

badgers in gardens

Posted: 08/08/2015 at 11:17

Certainly causing problems for dairy farmers here - my neighbour gave up milk production a couple of years ago - it  was costing him more to produce than he was being paid for the milk.  He decided to have a few heifers, as he missed the cattle so much.  No more - unfortunately - as they've "reacted" to the TB test and have had to be destroyed, so he's given up heifers too.  I really miss seeing the dairy cattle - grew up on a dairy farm - so am glad I took a few pics some years ago of the dairy cows grazing just a few feet from my back door.  The garden's quite shallow at that point, so I got some good shots!

I am now really concerned that dairy farming is so difficult these days - can sympathise with those who took the milk from supermarket shelves and gave it away.  Do you think that people would really object to paying a few extra pence per litre if they understood just what was going on?  I know that I'll probably be accused of being provocative if I mention "townies"  !  !

badgers in gardens

Posted: 08/08/2015 at 10:27

It's kept them out for the past 20 or so years - so I reckon it works!  They trot along the field on the other side of the fence these days, so I suppose the first generation of badgers who'd been used to getting in actually gave up, and the "pathway" now is a bit different, so I guess the later generations follow this altered route.  There are some quite clear badger paths through the hedges and alongside the field edges round here - and, sadly, there's a dead badger on the kerb about a quarter of a mile away.  A few weeks ago I dragged a dead one from the middle of the main road at the top of the lane.    There are literally dozens of badgers within a couple of miles or so these days, and I see carcases on the roadside all too often.   No hedgehog "bodies", no foxes, some rabbits, some grey squirrels - but more dead badgers than the rest put together.

badgers in gardens

Posted: 08/08/2015 at 08:49

There are several badger setts within a couple of miles of my house and soon after I came here (years ago now) the badgers made a lovely job of digging up my lawn!  The garden boundaries consisted simply of post & rail fencing and hawthorn hedging so I arranged for a local fencing contractor to fix some stock netting around all the boundaries.  It was simple to attach it to the post & rail, and in order to "fence" the hawthorn hedge, short posts (approx. 4ft left above ground) were put in at the foot of the hedge and the netting fixed to those posts.  Over the years the hawthorn has grown through and the posts & netting are no longer visible.

Stock netting -  the sort which is used to keep livestock enclosed  ( i.e not chicken wire)  -  is totally badger-proof.  It's far too strong for them to get through, and perhaps the wire fence Ferline referred to is not the same sort. 

Stock netting looks like squares & rectangles, not hexagons e.g. "chicken wire" - it  is attached so that the rectangles are at the bottom of the fence line and the squares at the top.  This is because the area of each rectangle is smaller than that of the squares and so prevents young lambs and suchlike from getting their heads through the gaps at the bottom.

Hedging and Horses

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 16:33

It sounds as though you've got the sort of fence which would keep most livestock out, so I'd suggest that to solve the problem of the sheep standing up and nibbling things you could fix some electric fence on top of the posts.  There's even a variety called The Electric Shepherd - I've seen it used round here at low level to secure  (on a temporary basis) an area of land of about 20 acres.  You could  fix it on top of the posts because the wire can be threaded though ring-shape attachments which are insulated.  Do have a look at various websites and even go to a local agricultural supplies place and they'd be able to advise you as to the details.

Hedging and Horses

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 10:39

As I explained in an earlier post, it may be possible to establish who actually "owns" the boundary, via any paperwork relating to the property in question.  In any case, I should think that boundary fencing would be expected to be "fit for purpose" in rural areas especially.

A problem can arise when the land is used for a different purpose at some time - i.e. fencing or hedges which will keep cattle safely enclosed will not always be suitable for keeping sheep, so that an extra/alternative method would be needed for this "change of use" and the fencing should therefore be "fit for purpose" in this instance.   This has happened round here recently when sheep have grazed land which was used for cattle, and as a result have escaped on a regular basis.  In this case,  I imagine that the landowner should have come to an appropriate arrangement with whoever owns the livestock on the land - sometimes it is rented out to another party - and I imagine it would be the responsibility of the owner of the livestock to ensure that the boundaries are suitable in this instance.

Obviously it's a bit different when what you want to do is to stop animals from nibbling away at any hedging etc., and I have already made some suggestions in an earlier post as to how this can be achieved.


Posted: 17/07/2015 at 09:05

That's amazing!  The trouble is that when the greys were introduced to the UK about 150 years ago, nobody would have anticipated that they'd cause problems - and I don't just mean getting drunk -  same with rabbits in Australia, but I wonder whether they could get drunk there too!


Posted: 16/07/2015 at 15:32

One of my old cookery books has a recipe for squirrel pie - never tried it though!  I remember that years ago some organisation (?Forestry Commission) would give you - I think - a shilling (5p now) for each grey squirrel tail.  Probably paid for the cartridge, and people would perhaps eat them then too. 


Posted: 16/07/2015 at 13:59

That's amazing, Dove!  I've never seen it happen - the squirrels ignore the bird-bath here en route to other more interesting things!


Posted: 16/07/2015 at 13:38

They probably won't be particularly interested in dried stuff (e.g. bird food) at certain times of the year, particularly if it's a female squirrel which is still feeding her young.  When they are lactating they need a fair amount of moisture intake to produce enough milk, so I think that's supposed to be one of  the reasons they tend to go for young & relatively juicy buds etc.

I don't know if anyone's made a study of how much fluid squirrels actually need to consume, but when you think that they evolved to live in forested areas where often there's no obvious water available I suppose much of the "liquid" must be from immature greenery.  I've never ever seen a picture of a squirrel drinking anything!


p.s. Sorry - Dove - we cross-posted!

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ID please!

looks like a cross between grass and foxglove 
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