Farmer Focus: Walk reveals the failings of footpath app

Over the bank holiday weekend, we all went for a lovely walk (or a 15km “route march” as the children call it) along the old Thames and Severn Canal and through Siccaridge Wood, managed by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

It was beautiful, with bluebells out in bloom. We did a loop and followed a phone app for directions. I was surprised how many footpaths on the app were not footpaths in reality.

So don’t always shout and complain at ramblers, as they, like me, may think they are on the correct route when in fact they are not.

See also: Public access in rural areas – how to avoid and deal with problems

About the author

Robin Aird
Arable Farmer Focus writer Robin Aird manages 1500 ha on the North Wiltshire and Gloucestershire border with a further 160ha on a contract farming agreement.  Soils vary from gravel to clay, with the majority silty clay loams. A diverse estate with residential, commercial and events enterprises. He is Basis qualified and advises on other farming businesses.
Read more articles by Robin Aird

The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity, with rye crops due to receive their final nitrogen and growth regulator applications.

The winter wheat had its first fungicide of prothiconazole, trace elements and growth regulator and will have its last nitrogen when rain is due, taking the total N applied to 210kg/ha.

The spring wheat is up in rows and we are going to trial a clover understory on a block – something we saw at a recent Niab Tag day at Overbury Estate with Jake Freestone.

It looked fantastic, and thank you, Jake, for the tour.

All maize ground has been cultivated with the Terrano and we are due to start planting in the next few days as soil temperatures are rising nicely.

We are growing a new variety this year with a later maturity, so, hopefully, I will not regret this in a few months’ time.

Countryside stewardship and BPS are next on my office to-do list, and with any luck this will not be too painful this year.

We will soon begin planting our mid-tier wild bird mix options for the coming year. It has amazed me how many birds we are seeing, since we feed them over the winter months.

Hopefully, the new and current hedges will give the increasing populations homes going forward.

We have just launched our new dog-walking exercise field, or “unleashed” as we call it. It was sold out on the first day so, hopefully, this will continue.

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