I think the question that is on everyone’s mind is “When will it end?”, the temperatures seem to continue to soar and all we can think about is rain. Don’t get me wrong, at first it was nice to finally have some settled warm weather, the animals were sunbathing, visiting families and children were enjoying their picnics and ice creams. However now, we never thought we’d be wishing for rainy days.
Never seen anything like it…
Some of us have worked on the farm for many years, and in all that time we have never seen the farm land so dry and colourless. Every paddock and field has mini like grand canyons all over, being dusty to walk through and portraying very little grass. This led us having to feed our livestock hay during these summer months, which we’ve never had to do before. Despite only being a city farm with just over 20 acres of land, we have always had good grazing, and comparing this summer to last, you would have thought we were in a different country.
The animals and us…
Let’s just say the only animals on the farm that have enjoyed this weather are the Aylesbury Ducks and there has definitely been that temptation to join them in their pond.
With the farm being on a hill, we are very exposed, so every time the Middle White Pigs are in their wallows, we’re applying sun cream. When the temperatures are at their hottest, everything is in the shade. Our main priority when we’re at these temperatures is keeping livestock cool, providing them with fresh water numerous times throughout the day. This year’s Leicester Longwools have been feeling the heat but still coming to the fences to meet our visitors, along with our Golden Guernsey Goats and Herdwicks.
Finally by end of July, we had a storm and oh did it rain!! For a whole 15 minutes…. But hey it’s what we needed, a few days with a drop in temperature and some odd showers. It was the break we and the animals needed, the same goes for many fellow farmers and smallholders.
It’s been a challenging few weeks and we can safely say there is a definite nationwide concern. Due to the heatwave, there is a threat to businesses, food supplies, and water shortages, leading farmer’s to call for emergency assistance from the UK Government.
On a final note, we have a duty of care to our animals and their welfare comes first and we would like to thank all our visitors for their understanding and appreciation for the animals during the heatwave.
Until next time!
The Farm Staff