A lovely day at Dyrham Park with the Grandchildren and their mum. We’ve pretty much got used to the absence of the deer since it was culled due to so many animals being infected with TB. But the knock on effect of their absence is obvious when you compare the photo in the header with the one below. Firstly, of course we notice the much more ragged look of the avenue of Lime trees today. The header shows how closely cropped the lower branches used to be, and the avenue had a formal, clipped quality that led the eye forward. Elsewhere, the change in grazing has allowed the coarser grasses to take over because, sadly, mowing cannot replicate grazing as a means of improving grassland diversity. Let’s be fair, if you know where to look the variety of grass species is (so far) about the same but it’s consigned to smaller areas.
Today the two figures are the mothers of the figures in the header – Madame on the left and our lovely daughter in law on the right. But there’s good news too. It’s been hard to get any official information about the return of the deer herd; but today we discovered – by talking to a couple of friendly volunteers – that there are plans to restore the herd some time next year. We’d noticed that there’s been a continuing programme of installing high fences around the park. In our helpful conversation we discovered that the fencing is not so much about keeping the Dyrham Park deer in but keeping the wild (possibly infected) deer out. The badgers in the park have all been trapped vaccinated and released, and soon – we know not when – a new herd will be brought in. Hooray!
For today our grandkids hunted grasshoppers, spotted buzzards and we were able to talk to them about wildlife.
Back home we’re up to our necks in produce; processing tomatoes for the winter, for instance. I’m completely knackered!