Deer and not cheap!

The same ride after two years without the deer

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.

July 2019

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!

Common grasshopper

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!

Author: Dave Pole

I've spent my life doing a lot of things, all of them interesting and many of them great fun. When most people see my CV they probably think I'm making things up because it includes being a rather bad welder and engineering dogsbody, a potter, a groundsman and bus driver. I taught in a prison and in one of those ghastly old mental institutions as an art therapist and I spent ten years as a community artist. I was one of the founding members of Spike Island, which began life as Artspace Bristol. ! wrote a column for Bristol Evening Post (I got sacked three times, in which I take some pride) and I worked in local and network radio and then finally became an Anglican parish priest for 25 years, retiring at 68 when I realised that the institutional church and me were on different paths. What interests me? It would be easier to list what doesn't, but I love cooking and baking with our home grown ingredients. I'm fascinated by botany and wildlife in general, and botanical illustration. We have a camper van that takes us to the wild places, we love walking, especially in the hills, and we take too many photographs. But what really animates me is the question "what does it mean to be human?". I've spent my life exploring it in every possible way and the answer is ..... well, today it's sitting in the van in the rain and looking across Ramsey Sound towards Ramsey Island. But it might as easily be digging potatoes or making pickle, singing or finding an orchid or just sitting. But it sure as hell doesn't mean getting a promotion, beasting your co-workers or being obsequious to power, which ensured that my rise to greatness in the Church of England flatlined 30 years ago after about 2 days. But I'm still here and still searching for that elusive sweet spot, and I don't have to please anyone any more. Over the last 50 or so years we've had a succession of gardens, some more like wildernesses when we were both working full-time, but now we're back in the game with our two allotments in Bath.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: