Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Contracting Expanding

This is the time of year that Gordon is out and about cutting many miles of our own and some of our neighbours hedges.  In total we cut hedges on over 10,000 acres of farmland and many miles of roadside verges.  Some of the insides of the hedges are cut during the autumn before the crops are planted so that damage to the field margins (grass) are limited as the soil is still nice and dry and can carry the tractor.  The downside to this is that some of the berries on the hedges are cut off and therefore not eaten by the birds in the winter.
By leaving the roadside verges, spring cropping fields and many of the farm tracks until now to be trimmed, allows the hedgerow birds alot more time to feast on the hedgerow bounty.  These roadside hedges are cut every year which aids roadside safety and also, if done carefully can still provide a good source of berries even after the hedge trimmer has tidied up the hedge.  We even have a blower on the hedge trimmer to blow the chippings into the verges, off the roads, therefore reducing the risk of punctures to passing traffic.  Birds such as Yellow Hammers love a neatly trimmed hedge that they can perch up on, and guard their territory.
Hedge cutting is one of many services that we can offer to our neighbours around Bredon Hill.  Our farm machinery is also used at certain times of the year.  Our sprayer is contracted out to spray tall crops such as beans and oilseed rape in the summer.  With its taller wheels and high clearance the damage is far less that with a conventional tractor mounted sprayer.  It also does liquid fertiliser applications.  At this time of year our snow plough is also on standby incase it is needed around the hill.  We have a specific route but can always detour to clear a driveway or farm-yard along the way.

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