In dairying, there are essentially two production methods. Cows are either housed in sheds for all or part of the time where they are crowded together. Or they are out on pastures, where their movement is not restricted in any way and they harvest grass or legume pastures as nature intended. It has been our experience that cows that are “free range”, that is grazing on pastures for a large part of the day, are generally healthier and more contented – these are Healthy, Happy cows and this is a truly Humane way of dairy production.
Free-Range Dairy is a new initiative that could reverse the trend towards industrialised mega-farms.
The Ecologist office is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within a United Nations Biosphere Reserve. Hartland peninsular is dotted with steep, wooded valleys where bluebells, early purple orchids and woodpeckers abound.The hills afford breathtaking views across the Bristol channel to Lundy Island, itself a nature reserve with a no-fish zone that is having a beneficial effect on marine ecology, and looking south-west down to Cornwall, on a clear day, one can see to Boscastle and Bodmin moor beyond.
But something is missing from this bucolic scene – one notices it first whilst walking the country lanes on a warm spring evening. There is no rhythmic munching of grass on the other side of the hedge; no bovine belching or contented sighing as the cows enjoy the sun on their backs after a long winter in the …