Our farm is in a largely none farming area which also doubles up as a big dog walking area. For the last 10 years the farm has been an arable farm where there were no fences, animals or strangers.
Enter us. We move in. Their allotment gets taken away, (yes we have been accused of that cause they can no longer walk to help themselves to carrots, cabbages, broccoli and leeks!! (That people is called stealing but don’t get me started), we put miles and miles of electric fencing up, put gates at the ends of private roads as security if the cows get out and worst of all we have put in cattle grids.
When we first moved into the village we used to regularly visit the village pub. It was such a novelty, we haven’t ever since we left college been able to walk to the pub it was great. People were really friendly and we were just made to feel part of the community.
This all changed when we started building and changing the farm to a busy dairy farm. All of a sudden every time we went into the pub we would hear snide comments about how the mud was ruining their dog walking, how we had stopped them using a track they had used for 50 years, how they couldn’t let their dogs run in a field they always used. So now we only go to the pub every now and again and we generally try and sit on our own where we can’t hear anything.
Everyone is allowed their own opinion on things and they are allowed to be fed up with things changing but just to put across our side:
We are allowed to keep our animals safe.
We are allowed to do our jobs
We can’t control the weather
Last year you couldn’t walk down the track because it was in such a bad condition, this year it is just muddy, get over it the great outdoors isn’t clean and I also have a white dog.
Dog poo can cause abortions in cattle, stick to the footpaths and pick it up we have to work around here. You wouldn’t like it if you had to step in dog poo every time you opened a door at work but its fine for us when we have to open gates.
We do not have to put a gate at the side of a cattle grid on a private road. You shouldn’t be there.
Do not whinge and complain behind our back or to our kids. Both of us are approachable and will willing talk through problems but yet not one person has ever come to speak to us apart from the poor community councilor who has found herself the go-between.
What I hear you ask has brought on this very serious blog post as it is not in keeping with what I have written so far. Well, last night was one of those rare nights when we went to the pub. While there we heard 2 sets of people grumbling because ‘those’ farmers had caused them problems while walking. The first had walked around the river walk at milking time when if needed we lay a temporary cattle grid across the private road opposite the permanent one to send the cows straight across the road. These particular people were assisted by one of our staff members who moved the temporary cattle grid so they could carry their dog through and over the permanent one. They were only here on a visit and after walking nearly 4 miles didn’t want to turn round to follow the proper footpath. That is fine we really don’t have a problem with people walking on tracks as long as they pick up their poo and don’t let their dogs bother the cows. We are quite simple people it is all about the cows.
The second lot of people were complaining about the electric fencing. This gets me. The fencing is only inside field boundaries and there to stop cows escaping. You would think most people would get the private land and security thing but no apparently they had had a shock off the fence because they had touched it. Why? Under what scenario could there possibly be a reason for anyone other than someone who works on the farm to touch any fencing if they are sticking to the highway code. I’m afraid I will admit to having a chuckle when I heard her say that her husband had had such a shock that his phone had flown out of his hand into the field. Amongst all the stress of farming and myself being absolutely petrified of electric fencing, I couldn’t help but picture the scene as he tried to retrieve the phone back under the fence.
Rant over thanks for listening.