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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher



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24 May 2022

    Bluebells at Rushall Farm I first met...


14 Apr 2020



It seems to have escaped the notice of some parts of our world that we are in crisis.  The bluebells have emerged strong and beautiful after buckets full of rain in February.  The River Pang is flowing fast and confidently, so clear and clean, good enough to drink and more enticing than a gin advert. A young blue tit was showing his bride-to-be around a bird box on top of our dustbin store.  He looked like an estate agent pointing out how close our big MacDonald’s bird feeding station was, with peanuts and sunflower hearts.  She was not impressed by him or the location.  A normal succession of wild flowers has appeared as usual: primroses, violets, wood anemones and yellow archangel. There is already a good smattering of butterflies: brimstones, orange tips, peacocks and red admirals, while everywhere enormous solitary bees are very much doing their own thing. There is a cock pheasant who has amassed a harem of 14 hens in the next door field.  He is rather large and splendid, probably increasing attractiveness by stories of survival from the local shoot.  Other less fortunate males spend hours in pairs each day in head to head confrontation now there is nothing left to fight over. And as for our hens?  A winter of discontent with no eggs has given way to a spring surplus including an early onset of broodiness.  What do you do with 16 very attractive blue, green, cream, white, light and dark brown eggs a day?

Farmers have always been set apart so are complaining that it is too hot and dry.  Drowned over winter it is true but now it is too hot and dry.  They have always been good at social distancing, why else have a tractor cab or prefer to be with cattle, sheep or pigs and be quite comfortable smelling like them.

Our dog Phoebe continues to want to rush up to say hello to people.  She must have overlooked the latest letter from Her Majesty’s government.  What about us?  We look up when we hear the sound of a plane and wonder how quiet it can be here without the roar of the M4.  The only traffic down Scratchface Lane is cyclists not missing this opportunity to show off their plumage.  We have seen some lovely sights of families walking together and even enjoying being with one another.  And the garden is being well tended, THOUGH WE SO REMEMBER THOSE WHOSE RECORD OF THIS TIME WILL BE SO VERY, VERY DIFFERENT.


John Bishop