It’s hard to believe we are already one quarter of the way through the year – but the appearance of snowdrops, blossoms and daffodils, the coming and going of starling murmurations, and the passing of Imbolc (the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox), and now Ostara (spring equinox) is evidence that this is in fact the case.
This transitional quarter, of winter into spring, is always a busy one on the farm – especially with those few weeks which send us sliding headfirst into lambing season! The first of the 2023 lambs made their way into this little corner of the world on Thursday 9th February, with an especially popular not-so-little lamb born a couple of weeks later. Pancake, named for the day he was born, was about the size of a week-old lamb when he made his appearance! These new arrivals have been closely followed by a steady flow of calves, including some new (and very adorable) Longhorn/Aberdeen Angus crosses.
We have also seen our Silvopasture project begin to take shape! Silvopasture involves integrating trees into the existing agricultural landscape, in such a way that is benefits both biodiversity and livestock. Tree planting at Fordhall has been practised for many years, for improving biodiversity, and soil and water conservation, but now is conducted with how the tree species is beneficial to livestock in mind.
In fact, February turned out to be a tree planting month! Valentines Day saw any supporters who donated to our Silvopasture project having a tree planted in a loved one’s name. The weekend following was our first volunteer weekend of 2023 – the first border of Silvopasture trees were planted by our wonderful volunteers. A 150m tree line, made up of hazel, willow, aspen, walnut and Shropshire prune, now borders the field fence line which links trees at the Ringwork and Bailey site to a spring fed pool. And this is just the beginning!
To find out more about volunteering on the farm, please visit https://www.fordhallfarm.com/get-involved/volunteer/
Francesca Lant, Marketing and Communications Officer