Cotswold Farming: The month of March on Adam Henson's farm
PUBLISHED: 09:12 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:48 20 February 2013
Winter is over, it's time to get back into the fields and visitors can get the chance to see a ewe giving birth
For farmers across the country, and particularly for me personally, March is a very busy month.
We farm within anEnvironmentally Sensitive Area and as part of that stewardship schemewe agree to leave the strawstubble untouched after the combine harvester leaves the field in August. This provides over-winter feed and cover for arable birds and many vertebrates and invertebrates. It is only now that we are allowed to go in and prepare the ground for plantingthe spring barley crop to produce malting grain for making beer.
Crops thatwere established last autumn have generally fared well through the winter and are now ready for applications of Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potashto provide the nutrients that a growing crop requires. Cropsprayers will also back in the fields after the winter breakto kill off any competitive weeds and fungus that may be causing problems. All the operations are now done with extreme care andprecision to comply with regulations and also to avoid wastingexpensive product.
On the livestock side of things manyshepherds will have started lambing already, but for us D-Day is March 6. We plan our tupping so that lambs are born five months later when the spring grass starts to grow, but also so that our visitors to the Cotswold Farm Park which re-opens on Saturday, March 13, can have the chance of witnessing a ewe giving birth. It provides a wonderful opportunity for children and adults alike to see lambs born. Spring is a great time on the Farm Park as there are babies galore: goat kids, calves, piglets, baby rabbits, chicks and ducklings, and of course hundreds of lambs.
With my work for the BBC, Kate Humble and I will be bringing lambing to the nation on Lambing Live. This will be on BBC 2 from 8pm to 9pm for five nights starting on Sunday, March 7. We will be telling the story of a year in the life of a sheep farmer and looking at the history of British sheep breeds and much more.Within the programme wewill be live froma lambing pen on a sheep farm in Wales.
Of course it is not always as straightforward and as picture book asone might hope, but this onlyhelpspeople to understand the highs and lows of farming. With live telly, very littlecan be hidden away. I'm sure it will make some exciting viewing. Once this is over I head home to carry on filming my weekly slot of Adams Farm on Countryfile, meeting visitors at the Farm Park andhelping out with lambingmy own sheep.
Thankfully, my business partner Duncan Andrews and a great team of staff look after the farm and Farm Park and keep things running smoothly while I am busy filming.
Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, nr Cheltenham,Glos. GL54 5UG
Tel : 01451 850307; Fax : 01451 850423;
Email : email@example.com