My week began on the last day of the Royal Bath and West Show , which was a warm and sunny. The rest of the week's weather just spiralled downwards, being rather miserable and damp for most of the time, with chilly breezes. To me it felt more like autumn than summer, with the longest day of the year not far away.

Our fields of grass, barley, wheat and maize need some rain , but although the week was damp rainfall only amounted to 12 mm, not quite half an inch. Although forage maize varieties have been bred to grow well in this country they do like warmth, but saying that our maize crop is now about 6 to 8 inches high and looks to be coping with the changeable weather.

During the week we moved our beef cattle onto fresh pasture. The Ruby Reds were moved to an adjacent field and the Aberdeen Anguses were moved across several fields to their fresh grass only having to be guided straight across two roads. This made the moving of the two groups of cattle very easy and they were soon happily settled in their new surroundings.

Other work done has been to remove half the cubicle frames from our large barn, which used to provide winter housing for our dairy cows. As we are now keeping beef cattle , the younger ones, being smaller than dairy cows will need appropriate winter housing. This will be in bedded straw yards within the barn, with the older larger animals able to use the remaining cubicle bedded area.

Sheep work has involved vaccinating, worming and applying fly repellent to the youngest lambs . All the spring born lambs are now protected from a number of clostridial diseases, intestinal worms and from the incidents of fly strike, when blowflies lay their eggs in smelly patches of wool and the hatching maggots burrow their way into the flesh. The oldest ewe lambs were gathered and weighed for a second time as the scales were not working properly the first time, so had to be sent away for repair.

Mid-week Melissa and I helped at a Coutryside Learning event held on Badminton Estate. It was held over 2 days during which time a number of classes of local primary school children were invited to come and learn more about farming and the countryside. Guides took their classes of children, on foot, to a number of locations at the site including the gardens, kennels, stables and our set up "mini farm ". Melissa , Emily and I manned the farming section and were very grateful to Allington Farm Shop who kindly lent us a large gazebo, as we decided at the last minute that the weather forecast did not look great. In fact we only had a shower of rain, but on the second day the gazebo protected us from the wind, which would have blown things everywhere.Within the gazebo were some tables laid up with samples of crops including wheat, barley, oats, maize, peas, oilseed rape and stubble turnips. We also had samples of the different grains and a selection of informative booklets and posters for the teachers to take back to school. Melissa brought fleece sheared from one of the sheep, which the children rubbed between their fingers to feel the natural lanolin found on wool. We then got the children to spin a small length of yarn using their fingers.

We had a selection of eggs on display , the smallest laid by a bantam getting larger from there to a hen's egg ,duck, turkey and finally a very large goose egg, which a number of children thought belonged to an ostrich or dinosaur! The two days were much enjoyed by all, with picnic lunches eaten sitting on the grass under beautiful trees with sheep grazing in the background.