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What to see in February

As soon as the fields are dry enough to work on, there is work to do to prepare for spring.

Tractors are out spreading farmyard muck, a mixture of animal dung and straw from the sheds where the cattle live in the winter. The muck is loaded into a spreader which flings its load out as it is driven across the field.

The muck provides important nourishment for the soil, encouraging earth worms and feeding the grass. You'll probably be able to smell it when a muck spreader has been working nearby!

Hedges keep livestock in the fields and provide them with shelter. They are also provide a home for all kinds of wildlife. Trimming the hedges from time to time ensures they grow thick and can shelter farm animals and wildlife.

Where hedges need trimming, the work must be done before spring comes and birds begin nesting. If hedge trimming is put off as late as possible in the winter, birds have the chance to eat up any remaining berries in the hedge.

A hedge-trimmer mounted on the back of a tractor quickly cuts back any straggly growth.

In the sheep sheds, lambing is well underway. Lambing indoors when the weather is bad protects new born lambs from the wet and cold and from predators like foxes.

The lambing shed can be a noisy place! You might think all sheep bleating sounds the same but a lamb quickly learns to recognise its mother’s call. Listen.

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