So, just to recap, last month shortly after the hay was all cut and dragged up into a big pile in the paddock, we arranged for a waste management contractor based in Richborough in Thanet to come with a grab lorry to take it all away to a green composting facility somewhere in the Midlands. However, there was a hiccup involving a railway bridge and the lorry never arrived. Now, three weeks later, was the rearranged day for it to try again..
A cold northeasterly was blowing with gusts of rain, not at all the lovely autumn we had dared to become used to.
I am not sure either of us had realised what a large and heavyweight machine it was going to be- it looked completely wrong to see it driving on the meadows. However, it just fitted through the gates into the paddock which was a relief.
Straight away it got down to the job in hand which probably took it just about two hours to pick up the hay, drop it into the lorry and compact it down before going for another mouthful.
We were worried that the length of time that had passed would have given time for animals to crawl in and so were standing by to see if there was any rescuing to be done (….there is a small chance that the grab lorry driver found this a bit ridiculous) – we saw a couple voles get out safely but we did have to rescue a vole nest with tiny voles inside. We did what we could for them, placing it in a corner of the paddock with a covering of hay in the hope that the mother would find them again – who’d have thought that babies would still be being raised at this time of year?
In the end, it wasn’t possible to quite fit in all the hay from the paddock- he drove away to offload initially at the depot at Richborough leaving a little bit in the paddock and the whole great pile by the gate into the second meadow.
We will now gradually dispose of whats left by loading it into Hippo bags and taking down to the dump in dribs and drabs. In fact, after the lorry had gone, we straight away took one load down which felt like we’d got started, although many, many more trips to go.