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BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!

GUEST,PMB 29 May 07 - 06:33 AM
Stu 29 May 07 - 06:16 AM
Backwoodsman 29 May 07 - 05:01 AM
Liz the Squeak 29 May 07 - 04:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 May 07 - 04:41 AM
Liz the Squeak 29 May 07 - 03:44 AM
Captain Ginger 28 May 07 - 09:31 AM
Folkiedave 28 May 07 - 05:59 AM
Stu 28 May 07 - 04:18 AM
Backwoodsman 28 May 07 - 01:40 AM
Liz the Squeak 27 May 07 - 08:48 PM
Schantieman 27 May 07 - 06:17 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 May 07 - 08:54 AM
Backwoodsman 27 May 07 - 08:16 AM
Liz the Squeak 27 May 07 - 06:34 AM
Stu 27 May 07 - 06:07 AM
Teribus 27 May 07 - 04:35 AM
Backwoodsman 27 May 07 - 03:56 AM
Liz the Squeak 27 May 07 - 03:27 AM
Backwoodsman 27 May 07 - 03:14 AM
Captain Ginger 26 May 07 - 08:13 PM
Captain Ginger 26 May 07 - 08:01 PM
Stu 26 May 07 - 06:27 AM
Folkiedave 25 May 07 - 06:00 PM
Sorcha 25 May 07 - 05:49 PM
Cats 25 May 07 - 05:00 PM
Folkiedave 25 May 07 - 02:55 PM
Captain Ginger 25 May 07 - 02:04 PM
MMario 25 May 07 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,PMB 25 May 07 - 11:12 AM
Liz the Squeak 25 May 07 - 09:46 AM
Stu 25 May 07 - 09:13 AM
Ruth Archer 25 May 07 - 08:16 AM
Ella who is Sooze 25 May 07 - 07:55 AM
John MacKenzie 25 May 07 - 07:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 25 May 07 - 07:17 AM
Captain Ginger 25 May 07 - 07:02 AM
Ruth Archer 25 May 07 - 06:47 AM
Ella who is Sooze 25 May 07 - 05:20 AM
Liz the Squeak 25 May 07 - 04:21 AM
John MacKenzie 25 May 07 - 04:18 AM
Liz the Squeak 25 May 07 - 03:16 AM
Greg B 24 May 07 - 06:49 PM
Ruth Archer 24 May 07 - 06:43 PM
Stu 24 May 07 - 03:31 PM
Ruth Archer 24 May 07 - 02:16 PM
MBSLynne 24 May 07 - 01:28 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 May 07 - 09:05 AM
Georgiansilver 24 May 07 - 09:00 AM
Ella who is Sooze 24 May 07 - 08:08 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 29 May 07 - 06:33 AM

It's not just the "townies" who have lost contact with rural traditions. The farmers and agricultural industrialists who brought us BSE, GM crops, rapeseed monoculture- literally the rape of the countryside- battery chickens and turkeys, rooted-out hedgerows, nitrate and insecticide saturated aquifers, and rural depopulation have spent the last 50 years conducting an uncontrolled experiment which has assisted successive governments in bringing disaster to the countryside.

Most rural villages are now little more than middle- class dormitories with no economic connection with the countryside, usually not so much as a shop selling local produce. Their inhabitants, the green welly mob, are often far worse than urban inhabitants in their disregard for the country code- where I live, most of the dog detritus is left by local dogs. The townies usually pick it up, the ones who come out to the country are used to the idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Stu
Date: 29 May 07 - 06:16 AM

I agree with Dave - a good post Ginge, and many of the sentiments expressed are ones I agree with totally. If I see one more crisp packet or Ribena carton on the footpaths near our house I'll scream.

You made one interesting comment that caught my eye when you said:

"There is an atavistic connection with the land and the seasons that it would be hard to find in any other walk of life.".

It is this very connection that draws people to the countryside, and drew us to the Nine Ladies a week or so ago through the field of mad cows. I don't believe it's unique to people who work the land, but a deeply embedded part of the psyche of most people who live on our islands (and probably our planet).

I'm lucky enough to be able to walk through open countryside every day of my life - to feel the same atavistic connection with the land, but it wasn't always so and unfortunately I suspect I'll end up back in a town at some point. All these people who end up in the country at weekends and on bank holidays are looking to spark that connection but are not fortunate enough to be able to do so on a daily basis.

This loss of connection with the land is, in my opinion responsible for the pervading feeling of loss that seems to permeate society today. The loss of that sense of belonging to the land and that connection with the seasons and other natural cycles has left us with some sort of nihilist spiritual abyss in the country's collective soul - the frustration is not difficult to see on the streets of our towns and cities.

This is why townies sing songs of agriculture and the rural life, as well as chanteys and other song forms that relate to lifestyles many of us have lost contact with - but in many cases are only just disappearing from living memory - the contact is still strong. It's a way of re-affirming our roots with our ancestors, as is camping, hiking and standing around stone circles and other ancient monuments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 May 07 - 05:01 AM

Amen Liz.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:48 AM

I think the difference is between 'townies' and 'those who just happen to live in a town'. There are responsible people in urban areas who close gates, keep their dogs under control and don't litter, just as there are people who live in rural areas who leave gates open so the fresh air can blow through removing the smell of poo, trample crops to get home the short way, get taken short halfway across and pee on the first thing they come to, even if it is the hayrick or calf feed bin... and generally don't give a stuff for the countryside because it's always there.

'Townies' is a blanket phrase used to cover all stupid people who don't obey the Country Code (anyone else remember those Sunday lunchtime Public Information Films?!). It just happens to be 'townies' because the majority of people who do not understand what leaving a gate open can do, are usually from an urban background.

It goes both ways.. I've been shouted at for pulling up ragweed in city parks and reporting Giant Hogweed to the council. People in the city just don't appreciate the dangers of some plants.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:41 AM

Good and well reasoned post, Captain, and no need to apologise - I realised that you were tilting at general rather than specific windmills:-) (Now - how about some farmers diversifing into milling?) I must admit that there are certain militant factions of the ramblers movement that do get up my nose as much, if not more, than the militant landowner. It was just that in your first post you came across with a rather sweeping blanket statement indicating that you wanted all 'townies' out of the countryside. I am sure that is not what you meant but that is how it reads - Much like your latter one that seems to suggest that the singing of folk music should be limited to those who perform the tasks sung about!

I think everyone should initialy have the right to use both the land and the music for their benefit and enjoyment but, like land stewardship, that right comes with some serious responsibilities. Look after the countryside. Look after the old traditions. Neither of them should be looked at from outside a glass display case but should be used, enjoyed and developed responsibly. Once someone stops acting responsibly they have stopped fullfiling their side of the bargain and should have those rights removed.

Good luck.

Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:44 AM

Well here we go, I've learned something today.

Bullock - castrated male ox or cow.

Steer - castrated male ox or cow raised for beef.

Bullocks and steers are the same thing according to most online dictionaries - indeed, several of them give the same definition word for word.

Bullock is old English and Steer is old Anglo Saxon.

My granfer, who raised and milked bovines, always told me to 'steer clear of steers' but bullocks were 'OK, cos they had none'. Of course, it took me a few years and a broader education to understand what he was talking about and why he smiled every time he told us that... The steers were the uncastrated male yearlings that he was hoping to sell to other dairy farmers for stud. One would be swapped for another steer and this one was raised up to take the place of Billy, the herd bull. There were never more than 4 but they were evil buggers.

My understanding was also reinforced when I heard the phrase 'steers or queers'... Knowing what 'queers' meant, I decided that steers meant the opposite, masculine, testosterone fuelled and definately all there... something you can't be if you were castrated before your first birthday.

So there we go. I always thought that steers were whole and bullocks were castrated, but it seems I have been misled. Live and learn.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 28 May 07 - 09:31 AM

Dave, thank you for a very gracious post. My profound apologies if I appear to have singled you out for particular opprobrium - if only everyone using the countryside was as considerate as you.

I am a smallholder, working less than 50 acres, and as such the only BMW I could afford (should I want one) would probably be tax-exempt! I receive no subsidies and the farming side just about breaks even. I am fortunate in that I also do building work, and that my wife works full time, otherwise we would be living constantly on the brink of a thumping loss - hence my rage at the loss of a breeding ewe because of someone's thoughtlessness or ignorance. Over five years she would have represented a turnover of more than £1,000. Dead, she costs me £17 for the knacker to pick up now that the local hunt isn't allowed to take fallen stock.

So why do it?

Partly because it's a lifestyle I love. There is an atavistic connection with the land and the seasons that it would be hard to find in any other walk of life. To me every spring is a mixture of magic and misery as we work rund the clock lambing and see the fruits of that work prancing round the fields. Every summer is an anxious time spent wondering how the silage will be, and whether we'll have the right combination of sun and rain to sustain the stock through the winter.
And, I have to say, every summer brings with it frustrations caused by the stupidity of people who lurch off down a footpath and through gates without thinking.

I am perfectly well aware of the significance of a right of way - and as mentioned earlier, I'm lucky enough to have been able to enlist the help of local ramblers to keep ours clear (as the tracks date back maybe a thousand years, it matters to me, too, to see them kept in use - even though I have taken measures to keep 4x4 'greenlaners' away having seen the destruction they can wreak). But the right to use a footpath needs to be exercised with courtesy and common sense.

Sometimes there will be stock on the land. I'm sorry about that - I would love to be able to ensure that my stock cannot mingle with the public and be spooked by dogs and the like (last year one ewe did spontaneously abort after being chased by a dog. A neighbour saw it happen and told me. Had I been there I could and would have shot the dog). As I said earlier, much farming is about grass management. If you farm land that can't go under the plough - in my case because the fields are too small economically to plough with modern gear, the gradients are too steep and because the bedrock is too close to the surface - then all you can do is graze stock. If land is not grazed and managed it reverts to scrub and no-one benefits. Grazing needs to be rotated, and to ensure that the walkers can walk alongside a pleasant green sward means that animals have to be allowed to keep the grass down.

Thus, sometimes, there will be a conflict. That is why the DEFRA guidelines exist - to ensure that walkers are not put in unnecessary peril. It's not completely safe. A herd of dairy cows is capable of killing an adult. Nevertheless, it is commonplace for farmers to abide by the DEFRA rules. Believe me, it's not worth their while not to. The NFU does provide insurance against third party claims, but with hefty exclusions and caveats, and if the farmer is in any way at fault he will not be indemnified - and all of us are aware of what that can mean.

Interestingly, the law as it now stands says that it is the farmer who is culpable if a gate is left open and his stock strays and causes damage. So if a walker leaves a gate open and some frisky heifers get out and tangle with a camper-van (as happened to a neighbour last year), it's the farmer who carries the can.

And Stigweard - most British laws governing property, mining and abstraction were drafted and codified long before there was a general understanding of plate tectonics, so I'm afraid you will find some of their definitions archaic. If that proves too offensive to the geophycisist within, maybe you should lobby to get them dragged kicking and screaming into the at least the 20th century.

Folkiedave - there are farmers and farmers. Cereal barons in the flatlands of England do make a fortune. Those of us with dairy, beef and lamb on margianl land (the sort of countryside that walkers find so much more attractive than the grain prairies of Middle England) are the poor relations. Tesco now pays the producer less for a litre of milk than it did 10 years ago. Within a 50 mile radius of me, dairy herds are being sold off at the rate of one a month. Farmers are desperate to disversify, but there are only so many quad-bike tracks and caravan parks an area can sustain.
Most people stay in farming because it's the only life they know, and it's the job they love. I don't know anyone who is in it for the money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Folkiedave
Date: 28 May 07 - 05:59 AM

And what exactly is this 'Queen's Highway'? Is it in London? The link you post doesn't make any mention of such a concept. Can you make it clearer please?

I am sorry but clearly the fresh country air has affected your understanding of English. (See - we can all do insults!!)

What Ruth said is that footpaths are highways in law - the link says the same. What a shame you can't seem to understand that.

My wife comes from farming country. Where she comes from, a poor farmer is one who's wife changes her BMW every six months.

That is not to say they don't work hard - they do - but none of them dare claim poverty in the local pub/church judging by the lifestyle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Stu
Date: 28 May 07 - 04:18 AM

It's all in the first post - except I might have my bovine nomenclature incorrect.

There were:

Cows with calves of all sizes, young bulls of various sizes (presumably a year or so old - I'm not sure), and cows without calves.

"And the bits I do own, I own down to the centre of the earth (if you look at drilling and mineral abstraction rights, you'll find that this is commonplace). Sorry about that."

The crust your bit of land is made up of is floating on a 2180-ish KM deep continuously moving mass of hot, ductile rock (the mantle). Beneath that is a fully liquid core and beneath that a soild core made mainly of iron with some other metals. The mantle is not a static - it flows and creeps, driven by the same convection currents that cause the earths tectonic plates to move. So even if you own your bit of crust down to the moho (I'll let you Wiki that one) you don't own whats underneath as it's not static - it's in constant motion.

So from that point of view, in reality you can't own down to the earth's core under your land any more than you can own the wind that ripples through the grass above it. Sorry about that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 May 07 - 01:40 AM

Eh? Isn't a bullock just a bull with no bollocks? Or am I showing my higgerance again? :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 May 07 - 08:48 PM

SO that would be steers or bullocks then?

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Schantieman
Date: 27 May 07 - 06:17 PM

Just to bring this back ever so slightly towards the original subject, are we actually talking about bullocks with the dairy cows or are we talking abut bull calves/young bulls?

I think we should know.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 May 07 - 08:54 AM

Methinks the Captain protests too much...

C'mon, Ginge, look back over the thread - Who started the whole 'townies are all a load of wankers' shite? Tell you what, save you looking it up, it was you! Then you act all surprised and hurt when people take exception and start using reciprocal insults against you!

Something else. I am an IT professional. I earn far too much for what I do and am genuinley appaled by what the politicians have done and are still doing for the 'real' jobs. But I am also a realist and know I would not be happy working down the mines, on the sea or in the fields. All most of us have left of the 'old world' is folk music and as much time as we can spend in the countryside. If the makes me a borgois urban wanker then so be it, but I am far from jelous of the farmers life! Why should I be? I have the best of both worlds:-) I can fully understand why you would begrudge me the wonderful life I lead but I am afraid that the law, and most people, are on the side of the 'Manchester rambler'. Just learn to live with it.

I am, incidentaly, also from Manchester, so I seem to be everything that you hate. As to me hating you? You just don't know how wrong you are. If you are indeed a farmer or smallholder you have my admiration and every sympathy. Even, should you ever need it, my support, but I shall never stop walking on 'your' land. Going back to Mr MacColl

He said "All this land is my master's"
At that I stood shaking my head
No man has the right to own mountains
Any more than the deep ocean bed


Final part. I guess you were being purposely obtuse with the 'Queen's highway' business. If not, can I just point out that it does not mean that the monarch, government or any such person actualy owns it. It is a legal device meaning that whosoever owns the land has an obligation to provide free and unobstructed passage along the route known as 'the Queens highway'. In other words it is simply an archaic version of public right of way. As such, it brings us full circle. The stewardship of the land carries many obligations, one of them being the provision of unobstructed rights of way where appropriate. The purpose of this thead was to point out that someone in Derbyshire may not have been fulfilling this side of the deal.

Let us know where you farm by the way. If I am ever in the area, rather than just using the paths across your land, we could perhaps get together for a pint or song or two on they way. My round:-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 May 07 - 08:16 AM

Sorry Liz - Mea Culpa and ten Hail Marys! I completely misunderstood you, we're clearly of the same mind.
Forgive me dear lady! :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 May 07 - 06:34 AM

Yes, Backwoodsman, as one of those 'townies' (as I am now), I was agreeing with you!!!

I've also suffered at the hands of daytrippers in shell suits and pseudo ramblers in expensive new boots that have them blistered to buggery by mid afternoon.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Stu
Date: 27 May 07 - 06:07 AM

"I wonder why it is you dislike 'the farmer'"

Oh Ginge, get over the persecution complex - no need to start flinging insults. You make so many assumptions - how do you know I don't live in a country village? What's the view like from my window as I sit and write this - I might be fortunate enough to have open fields at the bottom of my garden, looking out across the hills at the edge of the Peak District. Perhaps I have family that even as you read this are farming their land somewhere in England . . .

Or perhaps I'm townie living in a tower block. Does it really matter?

I wouldn't be a farmer for all the tea in China. Bloody hard work if you ask me, but then I assume most farmers do it out of choice. Jealousy? Not really, but a convicition the countryside should be available for everyone to enjoy (but as previously stated, not at the expense of someone's livelihood).

And I have to agree - you really do have to be a 'fat landowner on his arse in his four wheel drive' to be a proper folk musician. Just ask Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick and all the other bourgeois urban wankers that clutter up the CD shelves of record shop folk sections.

Come on Ginge - let us know where we can buy your spuds and I'll support you directly!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Teribus
Date: 27 May 07 - 04:35 AM

Having read down through this thread I must say that I am 100% in Capt G's corner on this one. Irrespective of public footpaths and rights of way, you are entering someone else's place of work, it is therefore sensible and just plain good manners to ask. If the farmer/land owner are aware of your presence and of your intentions, he/she can tell you of anything that you might have to watch out for, or of anything he particularly wants you to avoid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 May 07 - 03:56 AM

"Ah.... a pair of posh hooky boots and a fancy handled stick doesn't make you a walker, neither does an account at Millets"

Read again Liz, I don't think I said it did. :-)

"Respect for your path, its surroundings and the elements, that's what makes a proper walker."

Read again Liz, isn't that what I said? :-)

BWM - who looks a fat, bald, ugly bastard no matter what he wears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 May 07 - 03:27 AM

Ah.... a pair of posh hooky boots and a fancy handled stick doesn't make you a walker, neither does an account at Millets.

Respect for your path, its surroundings and the elements, that's what makes a proper walker.

LTS - who wears sandals and a hat no matter how silly it looks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 May 07 - 03:14 AM

"In that sense it is sad that folk music has become a pastime for bourgeois urban wankers - mostly teachers and IT spods with a handful of social workers and other useful sorts...;-) "

That's the Mother of All Insults, Ginge! Folk music is MY pastime, and I'm none of those things, I've got a real job. :-) :-)

I think there needs to be a distinction made here between 'real' walkers, who understand and respect the countryside, the farmer's rights and the rights of his livestock and crops to remain undisturbed, and what Mrs. Fenswoman and I call 'The Shell-Suit Brigade' who invade even some of our wild places in clothing which is completely inappropriate for outdoor activities, pushing buggies, screeching and shouting, swinging from branches of trees, effin' and blindin', pissing in watercourses and drinking bottles of premium lager as they make their less-than-stately progress.

I'd like to think that Mrs. Fenswoman and I fall into the former category. We stick to the paths, we avoid whenever possible disturbing livestock, we religiously close gates (many of which we find left open by the SSB), we don't feed the sheep (except when the cheeky buggers snaffle a sarnie themselves from an unwatched lunchbox - LOL!), we take our litter home, we conduct ourselves in a dignified manner (mostly - occasionally say "Sod it" when I get a boot full of water).

And I'm scared of cattle so I avoid them like the plague. LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 May 07 - 08:13 PM

..but on another tack, I wonder why it is you dislike 'the farmer' so. Is is jealousy? Is it a latent feeling from childhood Beatrix Potter stories? Is it guilt at buying cheap shite from Tesco? Is it a burning socialistic conviction that you and your mates could do a better job of husbandry? Or is it just that you feel our three-year-old people carrier is a bit naff and you'd rather drive a 15-year-old Land Rover but can't get hold of one?
It does amuse me how many people will happily sing songs about farming and 'the country life' without having a fucking clue as to what it actually entails. In that sense it is sad that folk music has become a pastime for bourgeois urban wankers - mostly teachers and IT spods with a handful of social workers and other useful sorts...;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 May 07 - 08:01 PM

No, Stigweard I rent much of the the land I farm. I pay hard cash once a year for the privilege. And the bits I do own, I own down to the centre of the earth (if you look at drilling and mineral abstraction rights, you'll find that this is commonplace). Sorry about that. I probably makes me a hate figure in the eyes of any 'Mancheser Rambler'-singing radical, but there you go. If it makes you happy, I don't have a mortgage.
And as for rights of way - yes, there are rights, but the land does not belong to the Queen, the council or anyone else. It does belong to the poor sod who actually, er, owns it. And who has to keep it cleared. And what exactly is this 'Queen's Highway'? Is it in London? The link you post doesn't make any mention of such a concept. Can you make it clearer please?


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Stu
Date: 26 May 07 - 06:27 AM

Farmers:

I'm fascinated by the concept of land ownership and wonder if you could clear some things up for me.

Obviously, you own the land you farm. I wonder how you judge the extent of that ownership? As you know the earth is made up of floating plates of solid lighter rock (the crust), which are drifting on top of semi-liquid and liquid convecting mass of denser molten rock.

Now, let's say the crust under your farm is 40 miles thick. Do you own the crust for 40 miles beneath your fields, then a slice of the mantle and liquid core underneath that until you reach the nickel-iron core? Or do you just own the crust bit (as the mantle and core are constantly moving)? Or do you own down to the bedrock?

Was any of the land you currently farm taken during the Acts of Enclosure?


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 May 07 - 06:00 PM

Captain Ginger

Rights of Way

The most widely known right to enjoy the countryside is that given by "public rights of way". Rights of way can be in or near to towns or in remote countryside. They can be wide tracks or narrow trails but all public rights of way are highways in law. Anyone may use a right of way, and may do so at any time, just as they would any other kind of highway.
http://www.countryside.gov.uk/LAR/Access/rights_of_way/index.asp

Strikes me Ruth Archer was as close to correct as makes no difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 May 07 - 05:49 PM

Hey, we don't even HAVE footpaths out here in the West...we DO have open range....unfenced range land with public roads (for vehicles) running across it. It's marked, un lit, and if you hit a bovine, YOU pay for it.

We also have landowners who charge the public to cross their land on the way to Public Land. The way a lot of the pasture/range land is set up, it is every other 'section'. A section is a mile square. Pay every time you go a mile, unless you manage to go catty corner. Don't cut the chains on the gates, either.

When its 'acres to the cow' instead of 'cows to the acre' and no water for miles, it's a bit different. We still fight wars over water, and water rights too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Cats
Date: 25 May 07 - 05:00 PM

Well, if where I live is a theme park I am so glad that no one comes to it. The cows in the field across the lane or behind our cottage live in this theme park. They are naturally curious and will come to see what is happening, but, put naything different in their way and they will stand still, ready to run. As Lynne said, they understand herding but don't understand people waving arms and shouting. It'll make them stand still and gather together for safety's sake. When my cat went to watch them coming down for milking for the first time, they didn't recognise her and stood stock still until she walked away. As for the remarks about farmers living off subsidies and farm land just being there so people can look at it and it being a tourist attraction... Do you know any other 'tourist attraction' where you have to be up by 4am, get paid less per litre of milk than it costs to produce due to the supermarkets forcing down prices, do hard manual work all day in all weathers, have virtually no social life as you have to be to bed early unless you have a relief milker in, just so the odd tourist who happens to pass by your farm and wants to spend a minute or two looking over your gates, can? I certainly don't and I'm sure all the farmers I know don't either. All the farmers I know love the countryside, don't do it for the subsidies and would much rather be paid a reasonable price for a quality product.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 May 07 - 02:55 PM

I would like walkers to do what they already have to do in towns, and that it bag the crap and take it home.

Just goes to show those people in the countryside just don't understand towns.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 25 May 07 - 02:04 PM

MMario, you are absolutely right. My footpaths do indeed belong to me, as the land deeds indicate. They certainly are not 'the Queen's highway' (whatever legal confection that may be!). I have a duty to keep them passable, but that is usually done by the local ramblers themselves, who are a responsible bunch who will always take care with stock.

Which is more than can be said for the urban holidaymakers, who strew the paths with rubbish, including broken bottles, plastic bags and used nappies (which take around 30 years to decompose, but I don't suppose the filthy pigs care about that).
I would have no problems if all walkers were like our local ramblers - but sadly they are not. Too many people do treat the country as if it were some giant theme park, with paid litter pickers to follow them around to pick up their swill and staff on hand to close gates.

And don't get me started on dogs. Having lost one ewe already this year to toxoplasmosis - almost certainly from dog shit - I would like walkers to do what they alredy have to do in towns, and that it bag the crap and take it home. Your Fido's free expression can be a death sentence to sheep and deer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: MMario
Date: 25 May 07 - 11:38 AM

The qoute given was ;"6. Section 59 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 bans the keeping of bulls in fields crossed by a right of way, except if they are:

under the age of 10 months; or
not of a recognised dairy breed, provided that they are accompanied by cows or heifers."


So if they *ARE* of a recognized dairy breed they must be under 10 months. Otherewise it doesn't prohibit the keeping of bulls as long as they are mixed with cows and /or heifers.

Ruth also said: Footpaths DO NOT belong to farmers. They are part of the Queen's Highway. inconvenient as this may be, it's a fact.

Can you document this? Right to use can exist without ownership. In many places in the US the property title would still reside with the owner of the field even if there was public right of way.

There is a public boat access on a friends property; it is officially part of the Parks Departments; it is maintained by the Parks Department; my friend cannot deny public access or use of the boat ramp - however, OWNERSHIP and TITLE of the property is covers reside with her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 25 May 07 - 11:12 AM

All farmers are well equipped with electric fencing, which they use as a matter of course to confine their animals to a desired part of the field, usually for planned grazing. So if they wanted to, it would be no problem to protect the footpath. If an injury occurs, failure to do so could potentially be construed as negligence.

Having said that, walkers who let dogs roam loose are also negligent, and may make the cattle nervous of others and also aggressive- often to other responsible walkers. Dog owners- the countryside is NOT a free expression zone for your pet.

There are farmers who deliberately set out to be awkward- one local farmer usually plonks his hay feeder right on the footpath, resulting in a quagmire for yards around in winter. Others block off footpaths, alter signs, plough over paths and plant crops, dump heaps of out-of-date silage on them, string electric fences across them. These people are usually filthy farmers, their animals crusted with muck, their farmyard knee deep in slutch. The sooner they go bust, the better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 25 May 07 - 09:46 AM

Most bulls aren't that good for dairy purposes - they lack the wherewithalls as it were....

If a bull is obviously not black and white patched, dark red/brown with a white head, or looks like those big, round-eyed brown or cream ones that Disney is so fond of, then it's a pretty safe bet, to the "iggerent townie", that it is not a dairy herd bull. Usually dairy herd bulls are singletons, you only need one or two animals to service a herd, and then only at certain times of the year, so they're the only animal in the field. If they have their wives with them, they're usually perfectly docile.

A tip my uncle has used for decades is to carry a pocket full of cattle cake pellets. Most cows recognise the scent of them so when they get too frisky and close, he hurls the cake off to one side. The animals go and look for it and leave the path clear. Of course, you need to have access to cattle cake and not mind having it in your pockets all day.

I'm sorry that you had such a traumatic experience with our milky friends, I can only presume that those northern cows aren't as polite as the southern ones.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Stu
Date: 25 May 07 - 09:13 AM

"Wild animals and farm animals can behave unpredictably if you get too close, especially if they're with their young - so give them plenty of space."

OK, read my original post - there was no way through the gate, they were stood across the bloody footpath and there was no way round (apart from the wall we ended up climbing over to escape). Bolllocks to this 'give them a tap on the arse' lark. For one thing, their arses were the other way and they were packed tight and for yet another thing I bet old Farmer Giles would be well pissed off if he sees some 'panicky townie' giving old Buttercup a twat with a big stick.

If you've been raised with cows since the year dot then good for you - just don't assume everybody has the same lack of anxiety when it comes to being confronted with a field of frisky bovines - across a public right of way.

As Ruth mentions, Section 59 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 gives us rules on the keeping of bulls in fields with public rights of way - would the Countryside Alliance reps here like to point out to us ignorant townies what a bull 'not of a recognised dairy breed' might look like and contribute a bit of that knowledge for the common good?


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 May 07 - 08:16 AM

Yes, it is taxation and subsidy that keeps the farming industry afloat and yes, I believe that one of the main reasons that this situation is allowed to continue is because farming is becoming increasingly about positive land management and less about food production. Maybe you don't like the term theme park, but this is how I see it:

Look at what happened to mining and steel as industries. Now, no one subsidised those jobs through taxation to let them carry on their traditional way of life - instead, the pits and foundries closed. But over the past 10 years or so, all these "industrial museums" have popped up where the pits and foundries used to be - and the people who used to work in them are now employed showing school parties and tourists around and explaining how things used to be when we used to have industry in this country.

Now, I don't know about you, but all these diversification grants look like doing the same thing to the countryside. You may not be able to make food production pay (unless you're in high-end organics), but the government pays you to look after the countryside, maintain the idyllic view of Pastoral Britain, encourage diverse habitats and species...and what for? I would suggest one of the main reasons is so that people can come and look at it. It's the service economy, which is built on tourism. Come to think of it, the whole small-producer, organic-growers movement is all part of the visitor experience too, isn't it? It's like when they make you go through the gift shop after the rides at Alton Towers...take home a souvenir!

Welcome to Theme Park Britain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 25 May 07 - 07:55 AM

aye aye to John Giok! I agree


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 May 07 - 07:50 AM

SHARE


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 May 07 - 07:17 AM

If a public footpath went through a steelworks I doubt very much if the owner would be foolish enough sit a Bessemer converter in the middle of it. No one is disputing that the farmer has every right to earn a living, Ginger. That is a far cry from the comments you first made. Let me refresh your memory -

Frankly I'd be happier if panicky urbanites stayed in their towns and didn't clog up the countryside at all. There's a bank holiday looming, and my heart is already sinking at the prospect of tourists, caravans, litter, dogs, stupidity and the like.

Yes, ignorance can indeed kill but more often than not it just results in comments like that.

Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 25 May 07 - 07:02 AM

So, farmers are all large-scale landowners kept afloat by subsidies? You may live in the country, but it's a bit you don't have the nous of your namesake.
Grazing is about grass management - there are reasons that heifers, bullocks or whatever are in particular fields. And if you should find a bull in a field with a public right of way, yes, you have every right to report it. Otherwise, remember that you are walking across someone else's workplace, and show a little care. If a public footpath went through a foundry you'd exercise a little caution, so do the same in the countryside. It also behoves walkers to be aware of the risks and of how they can minimise their impact. Ignorance can kill.
And I can only assume you had your tongue in your cheek with the 'theme park' remark!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 May 07 - 06:47 AM

From the Ramblers Association website:

"In the period 1990-1998 the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) reported 18 cases in which members of the public were attacked by cattle in fields. It is of the utmost concern that almost half of these incidents were fatal."

"6. Section 59 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 bans the keeping of bulls in fields crossed by a right of way, except if they are:

under the age of 10 months; or
not of a recognised dairy breed, provided that they are accompanied by cows or heifers."

Keep in mind, chaps: there is legislation governing public safety in the workplace which covers farms. That means if anyone is attacked by an animal kept by a farmer with a "sod you, you're just townies" attitude, they can sue.

Stigweard, the RA also reccommends that "If you are attacked or suffer a frightening incident, report this to the landowner and the highway authority, and also the HSE and police if it is of a serious nature."

Footpaths DO NOT belong to farmers. They are part of the Queen's Highway. inconvenient as this may be, it's a fact. It's also true that if it were not for countryside tourism by unwelcome "townies", a lot of farms would've gone under by now.

Let's face it: farming as an industry hardly pays for itself - it's kept afloat by subsidies paid by the "townies" you've such contempt for. The countryside is really just a big old theme park these days, and people who are not large-scale landowners, whether they live in the town or in villages, have as much right to enjoy the benefits of their taxes as the farmers themselves do.

It's about mutual respect. If you can't see that it's important to make sure people are safe when crossing your land on public highways, don't feel too hard done by when you get sued. Or when the public stops supporting those vital subsidies that keep your business going.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 25 May 07 - 05:20 AM

cows is cows, get on with it. Be sensible, and confident and get on with it. I too have been used to cows since the age dot.

Re the tongue thing, nothing much wrong there apart from they are raspy, but there's something lovely about the suckling calf who mouths your hand.

Most animals can be moved (farm ones) unless you ar Seamus the horrible (uncle's bull - nasty piece of work, I'm sure he was part scillian, he had an everlasting memory and was meaner than a mean thing) - note it's in the past tense.

Farmers have to get on with their work, and so what if there's bullocks in the field.

I used to do some archaeological digs in my summer hols, and always remember sitting in my trench thinking someone was watching me, and then I had the hot breath on my neck. I turned around and leaning over the rope barrier in to my trench was a line of cows who'd come to see what I was doing. I just explained to them what it was and they all had a little lecture. Nothing else happened, I worked, they watched (so what else is new).

Countryside = cows and other animals , countryside isn't all free from danger it's not all sanitised and it's the farmers land, countryside is what it says on the tin. WIth it comes animals of all sorts, they were there first. You visit sometimes.

The ramblers and countryside code say:

Wild animals and farm animals can behave unpredictably if you get too close, especially if they're with their young - so give them plenty of space.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 25 May 07 - 04:21 AM

Giok - now THERE'S a surprise!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 May 07 - 04:18 AM

I'm not allowed to say anything about cows on this site now !
G.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 25 May 07 - 03:16 AM

Why do people have such a problem with cows? I spent the early part of my life with cows (but she's moved to New Zealand since - joke!!) and never had any problem with them. I've been out walking with friends of all dispositions and intelligence quotients but all of them get silly when a cow looms up on the horizon.

Keep the dog on a short lead, try not to let him bark, stop the children from running screaming and keep a steady pace along the pathway. If they are blocking your path, be careful as you walk round them, that you don't fall over a hummock or a tussock, or slip in natural fertilizer.

And if you can't resist the urge to whack a cow, don't whack 'em on the behind... cows can kick damned hard - just ask any milking parlour attendant or vet. A shoulder pat is often enough to get them going.

Don't let them lick you. It's not dangerous, just really really nasty... they can lick their own nostrils you know!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Greg B
Date: 24 May 07 - 06:49 PM

Now, go out and rent the film 'City Slickers.' I'll seem far
more amusing after your experience.

Large animals can be intimidating, and you're right to be
intimidated. I work with horses almost daily, and I don't
let even the ones I trust get me into a position with no
escape (such as between them and a stable wall).

(And I'm a former sea-lion trainer, so have an in-built
caution.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 24 May 07 - 06:43 PM

There's a nice stone circle you can see from Robin Hood's Stride: but it's in a field with no footpath in.

I've noticed that the cows in the field often gather and stand inside the circle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Stu
Date: 24 May 07 - 03:31 PM

"You don't have to be a toff to get fed up with the apalling behaviour of some ignorant townies who think a good day out is wrecking the countryside."

You don't have to be a townie to get fed up with the appalling behaviour of some farmers whose idea of countryside care is making access difficult for those not fortunate enough to live in the countryside.

Like many people who like to be near the land and use lawful paths, I close all the gates, take my litter home (I scooped the dog's shite when we visted the stones) and make sure my impact on the landscape is minimised - I realise farmers have to make a living and I respect their livelihood needs to be protected.

And by the way, not every townie is ignorant either - farmers who think it's OK to leave herds with bullocks, calves of different sizes and their mothers over a public footpath to an ancient monument are just as bad as any suburban oik.

You poor take courage
You rich take care
The earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
All people one
We come in peace


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 24 May 07 - 02:16 PM

I never said you should wave a stick and shout - I said the opposite.

As it happens, I've lived in the country for most of my time in England, and two of my best friends are farmers. I have helped with lambing, looked after dozes of cades, and moved beasts from one field to another when required. I know how to herd sheep, and usually have no problem with cows.

It's when bullocks are involved that there's a problem. Particularly bullocks which are over the statutory age when they are legally allowed to be kept in fields containing footpaths.

I know a lot of you farmong lot don't like having footpaths through your land. Tough shit - live with it. You're legally obliged to keep the paths clear and safe for walkers, and that means ensuring you don't keep dangerous animals where they don't belong. End of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: MBSLynne
Date: 24 May 07 - 01:28 PM

The cows I work with are almost never even tapped with the stick. I only have to get it from the dairy and they trot along like good little cows. You're right...cows understand stickology. Like all animals though, they can sense when someone's heart isn't in the shouting and arm waving.

And by the way. You don't have to be a toff to get fed up with the apalling behaviour of some ignorant townies who think a good day out is wrecking the countryside.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 May 07 - 09:05 AM

Nags Head - Start of the Pennine Way. Trouble is after sitting down for an hour after a 15 mile trek I have trouble getting up again!

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 May 07 - 09:00 AM

Dave P.
I absolutely love walking around Kinder when I can get there but have not been for over a year now...great little pub in Edale where we can sit outside and sup after 15miles of hiking...Bliss!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cows on footpaths - oh bullocks!
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 24 May 07 - 08:08 AM

aaaaa haaaaa

I'd go with a stick next time, make yourself much bigger if necessary. Lift up arm and don't have to wave stick unless to prod or push cow out of the way (don't wack em - they's not yours to wack). Certain breeds are more curious or more agressive, mothers will protect so watch out.

Yes, cattle udderstand stickology


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