Friday, 4 October 2013

Cutting, TB Testing and a big helping hand from the Environment Agency

We have continued to get our droves cut on the Sedge Fen this week, been getting ready for TB testing, fixed things in the rain, pushed back a load of scrub with help from volunteers from the EA and had a nice catch up with the Gardeners from Anglesey Abbey.

Top of the list has been the cutting as we have until the end of the month to get it finished, party to allow the plants to get a bit of growth on before the winter and partly as the water table will begin to rise and the bad weather will soak the droves meaning we would churn them up. Another job with some serious importance is getting our cattle TB tested over the coming month or so, we have set windows to get the tests started and completed. With three groups of cattle and one crush and set of portable hurdles it is a big job but one that we have been planning for a while to get done. Lots of moving of hurdles and contingency planning for the ifs and butts. More info on that as the work gets going.

 We had a bit of a breakage when one of our acrobats snapped in half. We take a lot of care of our machinery, pre-start checks and regular repairs for wear and tear but sometimes it is best to use some old gear and accept that the stress and strain will break it and have spares handy. So we had one working acrobat and 2 largely complete spares, now we have one and a half spare. 
 Fixing a wheel, sometimes 4 hands are better than two.

A volunteer group from the Environment Agency came to lend us much needed hand on Monday. They spent the day working with Ruby and Andy pushing back scrub along the side of Wicken Lode and on a section of the Sedge Fen. Many hands make light work they say, but many hands working very hard and enthusiastically got a great deal done for us. The before and after pics don’t really do it justice as you can’t see how far they went down the scrub. The reason for the work was to allow us better access down the left side of the track so we keep off the right side leaving it to horse riders and pedestrians. The scrub had grown over the track so we just pushed it back, not felling any trees. It will soon grow back but it will be far easier for us to keep on top of now the bulk of the work has been completed.

Having the Gardeners over from Anglesey Abbey was very nice on Thursday. A bit of team building and learning for them and a nice chance to spread the work of our work at Wicken with them and when possible just have a nice catch up. Richard, the head gardener over there for almost 40 years also brought some exceedingly tasty cakes.
Thanks to Vicki For these pics

So the week ahead is manly TB testing and cutting. Plenty to keep us busy.
As usual I am @vision_warden on twitter if anyone wants to keep in touch that way.


  1. Perhaps the Environment Agency can also take the time to answer the allegations at

  2. Thank you, Howard and Rangers blog for bringing much needed attention to current EA practices.