Tuesday, 9 July 2019

We arrived back into Gatwick at 8.30 pm after the flight was delayed and then got in the car for a marathon drive to Stranraer. We were hoping to attend our annual Nuffield Beckett weekend which was based at Portstewart this time, and I have to say, passing the Banbury turn on the M40 at 10.30pm without turning off took an enormous amount of will power having been up since 6am. We got as far as the Tebay service station in Cumbria at 1.30am and decided to have a few hours sleep and then leave early in the morning to meet up with everyone else. Our tiredness was soon forgotten when we met up with them and went to the first visit of the day - Beef cattle, dairy farming, grass management, cheese making, farming people were all on the agenda and it was absolutely fascinating. We could not believe how much grass they could grow in that area - They were on their third crop of silage having already grazed it twice (the cattle go out in February) The cattle looked magnificent, and the margins looked impressive. They clearly know how to do the job properly and also know how to get the best grants available which is fair enough. You can definitely see why the Scots did not want the UK to leave the EU. Understandable when you see the benefits they have gained.  Our last visit on Sunday morning was a huge farm on the Mull of Galloway, the most western point in Scotland - It was quite extraordinary how the farmer (Harvey) had been able to mould his buildings (twenty of them!) around the steep banks and harsh conditions and yet fatten some of the best cattle I have seen in huge numbers. It was great to catch up with everyone else and wonderful that Alan and Anne Beckett, our sponsors, who although they are approaching their nineties are still able to enjoy the experience with us.

Mull of Galloway - The most western point in Scotland