The cows have arrived!

Our New Micro-Herd of Herefords

April 2022

They only needed to walk a short way from Stroud Community Agriculture‘s farm at Hawkwood, to arrive at their new farm. They were clearly excited, almost running down Wick Street! But then settled very quickly into the all-important task of eating grass.

It has been at least 7 years since there were cattle at Hammonds Farm and perhaps longer since this field, that was mostly in an arable rotation, benefitted from the urine, manure and trampling that cows provide. It will be great to see how the fields develop over the coming years.

We chose Herefords as they are hardy animals, content to be out in the wind and the rain. Hailing from the neighbouring county, and with these specimens from less than half a mile away, they are well suited to the Cotswolds and, we hope, genes that have developed resilience to the particular challenges of the Stroud hills. We will be keeping them out over winter. If there isn’t enough grass, we will also have hay on hand to feed them in the field. This means no external inputs and no mucking out costs. We won’t have a huge muck pile at the end of the winter that then needs to rot down before being spread back on the fields. Instead, we hope that in-field decomposters such as the dung beetles will do that job for us.