Let me bring you up to date with developments: back in 2019, our membership met and it was agreed that the animals who were involved in the incident would not go back onto public land, and so these animals were promptly sold. We did have cows who were not on the common at the time, and were living separately in the fields. These cows have borne us two more calves since then who have developed well into young heifers, and we are now approaching a trial grazing of Lynchmere Little Common around the middle of January.
Below is more information about the changes that have taken place within the Cow Club and our plans for the new year.
Grazing the Commons in January
David has been closely monitoring the behaviour of the herd over the summer and is very happy with their temperament. They were introduced to a field with public access back in September without any problems. With a new risk assessment, improved safety procedures and a different approach, David is confident that the animals are safe to be reintroduced to the commons.
We have decided to do this first on the little common, which has good access on and off from “Roundabouts” field (adjacent to the commons in Lynchmere). If there should be any problems we would be able to move the cattle more easily into “Roundabouts” where they are away from public access.
The Heathlands Reunited Project has continued to support us by funding the new signs for grazing. We have permanent signs affixed to gates at points of entry. We also have larger warning signs with our new dedicated phone line number which will inform the public when the cows are on the commons and advertise that number.
|One of the two new signs, these will be up whenever the cows are out on the commons. There are also permanent gatepost signs that will remain in place year round.|
With funding from the Heathlands Reunited Project we have some amazing new equipment – a cattle crush and handling system are now installed at the barn, and will be invaluable in helping ensure the health and safety of our cows. We also have a top of the range new stock trailer to make movements easier and safer.
|The new Bateson stock trailer, bought for us by the Heathlands Reunited project.|
|New Risk Assessment and Safety Systems|
We have a new risk assessment, put together after extensive research and collaboration with other grazing projects. We also have new safety protocol in place. If you would like to see/discuss the work we have done here, please email us for for more detailed information.
I hope this will be a new start for the Cow Club, and if we are to make it a success after all we’ve been through as a community, we will need all of your support. We did not accept membership this year as we weren’t completely sure of the road ahead. Now we are asking anyone who supports the grazing of the commons to come forward and become a member of the Cow Club.
The yearly membership fee per household is £45 per year. As before, you can become a member by making a donation of this amount on our website www.lynchmeregrazing.com and clicking on the ‘donate’ button. We will then automatically keep you on the mailing list going forward, and you will be invited to any events and kept up to date on a monthly basis.
Those who do not donate to join by the end of January will get a reminder and then stop being members (this means not getting the newsletter and invitations to events, info on beef sales etc.) If you’d like to be removed straight away, just reply to this email with the word “remove”, although we’d really appreciate any feedback you can give at the same time.
We don’t have immediate plans to supply our members with beef, but we will be looking at doing this next year. We will arrange a meeting of members when social distancing rules allow to discuss this and gauge interest. The beef is sold exclusively to our members.