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Graph of RainfallTwice the rain this month with 61mm falling, but also some frost.

We have managed to put up the steel for section three of the shed here am I Phil attaching purlin to roof structurefastening a purlin (the wooden piece) onto the rafter (the steel section) while stood on the loader.

Simon took the picture while he was standing on the roof. Shows off the height quite well don’t you think. We are now waiting for a calm day to put on the roof sheets as neither of us fancy hang-gliding in that way.

Preparation to recover samples from river DaneIn last month’s nature report Andy mentioned his frustration at having to miss on the sampling of the structure in the river this month however back with a vengeance and some serious sampling aid and gear. To read his update on the archaeology click here and don't forget his nature report.


The rain has meant that ploughing the Rancho is now out of the question so much for my planned early start.

One calf this month an Angus bull and I can report positively thriving as his mother is one of the best mothers in the herd.

If you are awake at 5.40 am you may know there is a program called Farming Today on BBC radio four longwave or FM (unless Test Match Special is on longwave if England are on tour).

However on the 27th I missed my normal wake up listening by two hours to be milked and finished for just after 7am for the journey to Birmingham for the NFU conference along with next-door neighbour and local branch Chairman, Richard for the journey down the M6.

The morning speaker list was impressive with the first guest being Peter Mandleson the European Union trade commissioner whose ice-breaker to conference mentioned that he is a farming today listener.

Margaret Beckett MPNext being the Government minister in charge of agriculture Mrs. Margaret Becket MP the final speaker being Jim Anderton New Zealand agriculture minister. This picture is Mrs Beckett taken during interview.

The afternoon session being about science with representatives being the government chief scientific advisor, environment agency and food standards agency.

During the late afternoon I attended a “breakout seminar” about the NFU’s offices at the EU headquarters in Brussels.

Finally at dinner the guest speaker being Henry Blofeld cricket commentator from the test match special team.

The following morning the debate moved on and another notable speaker was David Reid the Chairman of TESCO plc the afternoon concluding with a vote for a new President and Peter Kendall an arable farmer from Bedfordshire winning the vote.

Tim Bennett outgoing NFU PresidentThis picture is of outgoing President Tim Bennett. Altogether an interesting trip.

Back to the farm and heavy SNOW is forecast for the end of the week


See you next month Phil



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