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farming - News, Articles and Events

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Cotswold Farm Walks at Bourton-on-the-Hill – and they are free!

Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Robin Dale at Manor Farm, Bourton-on-the-Hill, near Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds is offering free Cotswold Farm Walks as part of the DEFRA Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) Conservation Scheme. Read the rest of this entry »

Cotswolds MP says “Pigs are worth it”

Features, Food and Produce by Tony No Comments »

Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown demonstrated his support yesterday for the country’s pig farmers at an event organised in Westminster by the National Pig Association. Mr Clifton-Brown met with James Hart, who owns a pig farm in Bibury, to discuss the current crisis in British pig farming. Read the rest of this entry »

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society – Results and Annual Report 2007

Events, Features, Food and Produce by Tony No Comments »

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society logoThursday 24th January 18.30 The Annual General Meeting will be held at their HQ Bisley House

The Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society (GRFGS) was established in 1863 and its aim is to encourage the improvement of all forms of agricultural practices and products. Its Patron is The Prince of Wales.

Annual Report 2007 – President’s Report

“Possibly the strangest year on record for agriculture with the confusion of Foot & Mouth and Blue Tongue restriction zones compounded by flooding in July!

Bearing in mind that many people had their houses flooded and their summer totally disrupted, the cancellation of the Tillage Event cannot be viewed as a disaster but this certainly dampened the spirits of members this year.

Throughout these trials and tribulations however, our members have remained buoyant and resilient and this has paid off to some extent with increased optimism in the arable and dairy sectors.”

Annual Report 2007 – Competitions Officer’s Report

“This year we reciprocated the Championship Judging with the Banbury Agricultural Society; another area of which few of us had any great knowledge or experience. As in past years the opportunity to visit and examine the farming in a new territory was much enjoyed by the judges from both Societies.

The flooding on 10th July had disasterous consequences on many farms whether stock or arable, and disrupted our judging schedule somewhat as can be imagined. The only casualty for the Competitions was the Arable Championship which was not finally judged, a big disappointment for those who had entered some excellent crops.”

However, after prolonged scrutiny of the results the Premier Award for the most points won in the Competitions was a tie between Springhill Estate, Seven Wells, Moreton-in-Marsh and Ponsonby Farms, Lechlade.

Boddington Estates, Boddington, Cheltenham won The Farm Championship and for the second year running Springhill Estate won the The Livestock Championship. A new class this year, Oilseed Rape Establishment, was won by Ponsonby Farms and the Kingston brothers from South Farm, Wootton-under-Edge and Tresham Farm, Tresham won The Best Dairy Herd, Best Managed Grassland and Clamped Silage Classes between them.

A full list of 2007 Trophy Winners is included in the Annual Report but our local farm (local to this website) R & J Baldwyn, High Crest, Hidcote Boyce, Chipping Campden had a good year getting equal 5th place for most points scored in the Competitions with the following results;

Arable Championship – Cotswolds Region – 3rd Place (with a 1st Place in the Barley section), Profitable Wheat Class – 4th Place, Malting Barley Class – 2nd Place, Bagged Silage Class -4th Place, Fodder Beet Class – 2nd Place and Best Managed Grassland – 2nd Place. Well done.

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society
BK
Bisley House
Green Farm Business Park
Bristol Road
Gloucester
GL2 4LY
Telephone 01452 880101
www.grfgs.com

North Cotswolds Hedgelaying Competition 2007

Events, Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Hedgelaying. Image (c) the National Hedge Laying SocietySaturday 17th November  Cutting 09.00 Р14.00  РPrize Giving 15.30 approx.
The Ford Bridge Ground, Ebrington, Chipping Campden,Gloucestershire

This Competition is taking place at Ebrington by kind permission of D E and D M Drinkwater and Sons and is supported by the National Hedgelaying Society.

Hedgelaying. Image (c) the National Hedge Laying SocietyThere will be Four Classes – (1) Open – (2) Junior, Beginners and Novice -(3) Veterans – (4) Beginners Pairs. Hedging will be in the Midland Style and Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each class. Spectators are very welcome.

The National Hedgelaying Society is committed to conserving hedgerows through traditional skills. Hedgerows are a prominent feature of the North Cotswolds landscape and help to define the uniqueness of the British countryside and are an important wildlife habitat. Some hedgerows mark historical boundaries such as parishes and manors. These hedges can predate the period of enclosures in the 18th and 19th centuries when most of the hedgerows that we see today were planted to enclose the open fields and sheepwalks. Hedgerows require sympathetic management if we are to preserve them for future generations.

Hedgelaying is a traditional form of management in the North Cotswolds and helps to keep the hedges vigorous and healthy while also providing a very effective stock-proof barrier.

The way hedges are laid depends on where the animals are kept, what kind of animals are kept, the local hedge plants, altitude, wind or snow expectations etc. so each region in the UK has it’s own traditional style.
The Midland style, also known as Bullock style, was designed to keep big heavy bullocks in their field. This style is mainly found in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire – traditional beef rearing areas. There is a slight variation for a Worcestershire style.

The main points are:-

  • Stake sides face road or plough land
  • Brush is the animal side to stop them eating new growth
  • Hedge slopes towards the animals, as stakes are driven in behind the line of the roots
  • Strong binding is below the top of the hedge

(The Worcestershire style has a single binding and the Brush is trimmed level with the binding)

For further information and Registration Forms contact:-
Cotswold Conservation Board
Mark Connelly
Fosseway
Northleach
Gloucestershire
GL54 3JH
Telephone 01451 862006
E Mail mark.connelly@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk
www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

Photos used with kind permission of the National Hedge Laying Society http://www.hedgelaying.org.uk/

Drinkwaters’ Ploughing Match at Charingworth, Ebrington

Events, Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Ploughing. Image (c) National Hedgelaying SocietySunday 18th November 09.30 to 14.00 at Charingworth, Ebrington, Gloucestershire

Andrew Drinkwater is holding another ploughing match at Ebrington by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Grahame Fisher. All proceeds are going to Ebrington Church Organ Fund.

During the first half of the 19th century enormous changes were brought about by the abolition of the open field system and the passing of the Enclosure Acts which made significant alterations to the countryside. Stone walls were built and hedges planted, dividing the land into separate holdings with smaller fields resulting in a more efficient management of farming. At this period agriculture was reacting to the stimulus given to it by the noble gentry and farmers who were endeavouring to improve the performance of every practical part of farming by the spreading of all available information on the subject and also by trying to advance the skills of the labourers. Agricultural meetings and ploughing matches had already done much to further this success.

Chipping Campden followed this trend with their first ploughing match held in 1841 on Mr Hancock’s farm at Old Comb, promoted by the Earl of Gainsborough.

On Tuesday September 7th 1841 the ploughs were scheduled to start at 07.00 for “the Cup and Premiums.” The ploughing was said to be “Not first rate” as the weather was unfavourable and it being the first meeting of its kind the ploughmen were “rather embarrassed and not able to do their best.” Three classes were competed, with sovereigns, half sovereigns and crowns given as prizes and a silver cup being given to the owner of the First Prize Plough.
So, 160 + years on Ebrington are maintaining the long standing tradition of Ploughing Matches in the Chipping Campden Area.

Drinkwaters’ Ploughing Match – for information telephone Andrew Drinkwater 01386 593222
The details of the first Chipping Campden Ploughing Match are taken with permission from “Putting their Hands to the Plough” – a short History of Horse Ploughing Matches in the Chipping Campden Area – written and researched by Margaret Fisher and Pearl Mitchell.

Photo used with kind permission of the National Hedge Laying Society http://www.hedgelaying.org.uk/

Taste of Game Week at Hook Norton Brewery

Events, Food and Produce, Places by Tony 1 Comment »

Games onWednesday 14th November – Hook Norton Brewery, Hook Norton, Oxfordshire

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) are organising a Taste of Game Week across the UK between November 10th and November 17th. The Taste of Game Week is an initiative designed by BASC to encourage those who shoot to promote game to a wider range of audience.

BASC in the Cotswolds, in association with Hook Norton Brewery, are holding a Taste of Game buffet at the Brewery Visitors Centre aimed at encouraging everyone to eat more game combined with a fabulous range of award winning real ales and bottled beers.

The evening will include a tour of the Brewery, which is a “traditional” tower brewery over six storeys, which will take approx. one hour, followed by a sampling of a variety of six beers and a delicious buffet with many different types of game. The cost of the evening will ¬£20.00 per ticket and arrive at the Brewery between 18.00 and 18.45 for the tours which will take place at 10 minute intervals.

Contact Jane Dunningham
BASC
PO Box 2074
Pulborough
West Sussex
RH20 1YB
www.gameson.org.uk
www.hooknortonbrewery.co.uk

Ebrington Hill Farm – Genuine Dispersal Sale by Auction

Events, Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

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