22nd July – Release Pen

Welcome to the first Rural Courses blog, I hope you enjoy it and continue to follow what’s going on  at Rural Courses H.Q.

With pheasant poults arriving for the shoot at the end of the month ‘the first day of Summer’ was spent building shelters in the release pen for the pheasants and encircling the whole thing with electric fence to deter Reynard. The shade beneath the mature oaks was welcome, but didn’t come without a price. The unseasonal puddles around the pen, shallow and warm teamed with mosquito larvae and as we worked the adults did the damnedest to suck us dry.

When the work was done B, R and I walked the strip of cover crop beside the main wood. A disaster, a combination of the cold and wet, flea beetle and slugs has left nothing but a small patch of chicory, there won’t even be scruffy weeds to hold the birds. On the bare earth, still wet from the recent rains there was evidence of some good news though.   Small slots accompanied by tiny heart shaped impressions revealed that the local roe doe is with young and what’s more I’m  90% certain I  picked up the track of a wild boar.  Probably a young male recently arrived as it was alone and there were no signs of rooting, but the splayed toes and prominent dew claws leaves me in little doubt.

A trip down to J’s yard in the evening served as a reminder of the dangers of foxes. Nine hens dead for once forgetting to close them up at night.  My small freezer is now full of ferret food!


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