Life in the countryside
Most wintered cattle, including calves, will be indoors and being fed by early November. Watch out for farm vehicles taking them feed. Once cattle are housed for the winter, farmers need to remove slurry and cattle manure on a regular basis. This may be spread on the land or stored in middens. Livestock manure carries bacteria which are dangerous to your health so you are advised to avoid any fields where this has been spread.
Cattle can remain out of doors as long as the land is dry but they will be fed on a daily basis. Hay or silage will be taken out by tractor or the cattle may be fed in troughs.
Male sheep or rams (tups) will be put out with upland sheep flocks. These rams can be dangerous and unpredictable. Keep a sensible distance from the animals and make sure that your dog does not chase or worry livestock by keeping it under close control or on a lead. This is an important time for sheep. If they are chased by dogs they will lose their newly developing foetuses. Keep your dog under control or on a short lead.
Farm vehicles will be working on the land to prepare the ground for planting next year's crops. Some winter wheat drilling will still be taking place. Swedes are harvested for winter feed for livestock, or in some cases, may be strip-grazed using an electric fence to sub-divide the field for sheep. Look out for any signage advising you of electric fencing, or of alternative routes.
Pheasant and partridge shooting takes place during the autumn and winter around woods and forests. Take extra care and follow signs and notices where shooting is taking place.
Help to minimise disturbance by being alert to possible shooting on grouse moors (the grouse shooting season continues until 10 December), and take account of advice on alternative routes.
Wildfowl shooting takes place close to water during the autumn and winter usually around dawn and dusk.
Avoid crossing land where a shoot is under way until it is safe to do so.
Some farmers have grown unharvested crops for birds and this can be a good opportunity for bird watchers. Do not linger if you are disturbing birds.
Last updated on Tuesday 11th November 2014 at 09:51 AM. Click here to comment on this page