Saturday, 5 November 2011

Roups and ruined pastures.

Neighbouring farmers held a farm sale today or roup as it is known.

All machinery, tools, odds and ends are sold and whilst it was a good turnout, I spoke to the lady who was the outgoing farmer about how she felt. She found it very difficult to see items which were part of her everyday life held up and scrutinised then flogged off to the highest bidder; a small collection of belongings which took a lifetime to collect, gone in two hours.

We will miss this family and miss seeing them when they were gathering hay, out lambing in all weathers, a wave from a tractor...
My father used to lend a hand on this farm (he and the farmer were cousins) and have a lovely photograph from the 1950s of dad and his sisters plus the farmer and his siblings all waving cheerfully from an old car. Dad said they had all gone out to help with the harvest and everyone looked tanned and happy, the farmer relieved that the work was done and for family celebration to begin.

It is the end of an era, another tenant farmer gone and many of us talked about how we felt.

The roup is one of those rare occasions where you meet people you have not seen for a long time, years sometimes so there is a lot of news to catch up on.
We had a few comments like "Oh my goodness, is that the baby!" to our strapping four year old and how Rosie had changed from a shy little girl to a beautiful young woman.

Now, roups at farms bring lots of cars, 4x4s, trailers and even the odd tractor and trailer. It churns the fields up something terrible and becomes a sea of mud where people try to jump out of the way of cars trying to leave the field, skidding sideways, spraying great fountains of mud everywhere.

We headed home with spares for the combine plus a huge chain and The Farmer thought he would have a quick look to check our cattle as we were passing.

We were left horrified.

While we were at the roup, a shoot had taken place in the field where the cattle were. We were given no indication that this would happen as we would have moved the cattle to a different field. Their pasture churned up by the treads of many 4x4s and ruined.

The field had all the fences completely renewed last month, new gates and posts added.

So where are the fifteen cattle which were grazing there this morning?

We will look for them first light tomorrow morning but my guess is that they have been scared off by the guns.

Would it be unreasonable to attach the big chain we bought at the roup to the gates?

To keep the cattle in, of course.....


  1. Oh God that is awful for your cattle. They are SO inconsiderate doing this to you.

    Sorry that your neighbours are leaving too.

    I hope you are well otherwise.xx

  2. Thank you, LittleMe. x

    We feel upset at losing our neighbours and bewildered at the loss of the cattle. What happened to our field is wholly inconsiderate, ignorant and will take a lot of work to return it to proper pasture again.

  3. Hmm... is is merely inconsiderate, or is the fact that you recently "went public" connected to this, do you think?

  4. Yes, funny that, workbike....

    A pasture is still a crop and this is tantamount to vandalism or deliberate damage.

  5. So what is the legal situation re use of the land with no warning given and damage and potential loss caused thereby??

  6. I will find out on Monday, the fly in the web. It is pretty serious damage and we will find out who is ultimately responsible.

  7. It is both criminal and dangerous.
    I hope that your cattle come home safely.
    The stupidity of some people leaves me speechless

  8. We are completely speechless, horrified, bewildered. What a perfect example of the position you face everyday. We can only offer sympathy through this internet world but you have ours completely.

  9. We found the cattle this morning. A gate in the corner of the field had been opened and just pushed shut (not fastened properly) so the cattle had gone in to the woods. Thankfully they had not gone as far as the river as it is in spate just now.

    A few hours of extra work due to a moment of thoughtlessness.

    We have been so careful not to go on the fields with machinery as it would destroy the soil structure or cause huge ruts once it froze....

  10. Legally speaking, there is little you can do or have done,
    my experience comes from a similiar situation whereby the landowner who was our previous landlord, churned up our fields in much the same way, the police said it was deliberate and malicious damaged to our grazing/s, but that it was a civil matter and could not be dealt with by them!
    On speaking with our solicitor we were politely but firmly advised that as the landowner owned the land which comprised our holding, that he (the landowner) could do as he wanted on our land, without warning or notice.
    Whilst I sympathise fully with your situation, I cannot really see that you can take any action whatsoever, let alone find remedy to what clearly is an action of "rebellion" instigated by none other than the landowners.

    Yet again, this is the catch 22 the tenant too often finds himself in.

  11. If the perpetrators of the damage can do this regardless of what crop or livestock are affected then I really feel they do not have the common sense to be wandering about with guns....

    Could lack of common sense make them forget that they could have walked to the area, approx 300 yards?