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Happy New Year one and all!
The turn of the calendar year is often marked by a review of the year that has drawn to a close. Thinking back across the last 12 months, I’ve decided to share just one thing from 2012. It’s an article by Fenland farmer Matthew Naylor. You can read it here . Why did I choose this? ...
1 Jan 2013
Twelve drummers drumming
By Chris Bailey, Advisory Manager, Scotland On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love said to me twelve drummers drumming. Or was the drumming really snipe ? Well probably not around Christmas. “Drumming” is the vibrating call a male snipe makes during the breeding season. I wonder...
24 Dec 2012
Eleven pipers piping
The mellifluous call of the curlew is often described as a pipe, so the piper of today’s tale is this moorland and wetland bird. Although present across much of the UK, the greatest breeding numbers are found in North Wales, the Pennines, the southern uplands and Eastern Highlands of Scotland,...
23 Dec 2012
Ten lords a leaping
The leap-tastic hare is an obvious choice for the tenth day of Christmas. I’ve read that they can leap an impressive 2m, but I also discovered (according to Wikipedia ) that hares were a traditional gift of love. Perfect for this season of goodwill! The brown hare is a shy creature that thrives...
22 Dec 2012
Nine ladies dancing
I can’t exactly explain what makes me smile about the term ‘waggle dance’, but somehow its inherently amusing. But it is also fascinating; the waggle-dance is a figure-of-eight dance the honey bee uses to tell other members of the hive where to find food, water or a new housing location...
21 Dec 2012
Eight maids a milking
By Bruce Fowkes, Corporate Partnerships Farm Adviser Or should it be 11 dairy farmers milking?! And forget the three legged stool and pale, this is more electronic identification and robotic milking machines dragging this part of the Christmas countdown into the 21 st Century! As part of our...
20 Dec 2012
Seven (thousand) swans a-farming?
Seven (thousand) swans a-farming? By Jon Reeves, Site Manager - Ouse Washes Whooper and Bewick's swans are synonymous with the Fens. During the winter months they arrive in their thousands from their respective summer breeding grounds. Whooper swans breed in Iceland, and around 7,000 birds...
19 Dec 2012
On the 6th day of Christmas...six geese a laying (or not!)
What greens do you like at Christmas, a few sprouts perhaps? Well if you are a pink-footed goose you would be very happy with a nice dollop of sugar beet tops, the green tops of a sugar beet that are left behind after lifting / harvesting the crop, ideally pinks like lots of their mates around too. So...
18 Dec 2012
So what do you get on the 4th day of Christmas?
By Grahame Madge, Media Officer On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... you know the rest…. or do you? If you thought the line to the ever-so familiar Christmas ditty ends with four calling birds, then some scholars would disagree. There is a widespread belief that...
16 Dec 2012
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