Springtime was a long time coming this year, and only now can we enjoy the growth of the grass which our livestock are desperate for, having been housed indoors until lambing or calving, and now in need of the lush pastures to keep the milk flowing and their offspring thriving.
The fields, hedgerows and watercourses are awakening and nature is bursting into life. The countryside is full of optimism at this time of year.
So lambing is all around us. Thousands of lambs have been born on our Romney Marsh farms in Kent and in the Brede Valley, East Sussex. All hands on deck, the lambing season is full-on, where there has been a huge amount of attention and care focussed on ensuring “mothers and babies are doing well.” The production line of ante-natal and post-natal care is on a major scale, and lambing is a 24/7, 7 days a week operation.
For the second year running at Hare Farm, we ran “learn to lamb” courses for the public and took much reward from the students’ appreciation for having experienced first-hand the miracles we take for granted every day, and those that so few do ever get the chance to see.
Springtime is a fabulous time of year to organise a location shoot on the farms here. Lambs are available a-plenty. Is there anything cuter in Spring to capture on camera?
A cold March has meant for delays in grass growth and we now have another fear surfacing: when will those April showers finally arrive for on our farms in Kent and Sussex? Grass will stop growing soon without some rain, and likewise the newly-seeded fields need some water to encourage and maintain germination.
This month has been incredibly busy for the arable farmers too. The extended dry spell has meant for smooth sailing when drilling (planting) the new spring crops (wheat, barley, oilseed rape, beans), and the ground is dry enough to spray and spread fertiliser on the older winter crops. Pigeons continue to pester. In their droves they descend for mealtimes on the fields by us, so all sorts of scare tactics are being used (we all love seeing a new scarecrow take charge). Now we are all praying for rain, to make sure any seed that germinates will not dry out.
At Whitehall Farm on the Romney Marsh in Kent, potatoes are being planted by a team of tractors each with their own individual tasks in the planting process: ploughing, cultivating, rota-forming, ridging, de-clodding, and finally planting. Painstakingly slow, the tractors go up and down for hours, working meticulously to form the perfect seed bed for the humble potato. Satisfaction sets in when the seed is finally planted.
The stripes of the potato fields and the smiles of the farm kids in just their tees are a firm sign that the joys of Spring are here at last.
All photos are taken on location at the Farm Locations farms. Organise a photo or film shoot on one of the farms, and take advantage of the hive of activity, the animals, machinery and landscapes. Give Jo a call on 07802 979348 or email [email protected] with your brief.
Farm Locations has pooled together thousands of acres of farm locations for film, TV and photo shoots. We are specialists in farming and its landscapes. All the shoot locations are based in Kent and East Sussex, just an hour’s drive from London.