We have fenced off four fields and two additional areas. These are sketched out on the aerial photo below.
We deliberately arranged the fields so that it is possible to walk all the way around the land without having to enter a field. This makes it possible to walk dogs (and children and llamas!) on a circuit of the land without disturbing any livestock. There is also a substantial play/amenity area of grassland running from the house, past the hangar, down to the stream and along the far side. This provides ideal spots to sit and watch animals in the fields. In the summer, the grassy area shaded by large willow trees is a lovely cool place to relax on a hot sunny day.
In addition to the walkways that we have created on our own land, we use tracks that run along two edges of our our property. Although these are public rights of way, they are rarely used by anyone other than ourselves and a neighbouring farmer. These provide a delightful extension to the walks that are possible around our land, and also allow for access from a road to the top of the Willowfield, which has been useful for bringing in equipment and materials on occasion.
All of the fields have areas of shade provided by trees. This means that livestock can find places to escape the heat of the summer sun.
1 Big Field
2 Small Field
3 Willow Field
4 Rough Land
5 Pig pen
6 Veg plot
The Big and Small fields are behind the house, each with two gates – one to the grassed area behind the house, and thus on to the barn/stables, and the other to the lane down the side of the property (Big Field) or to the stream area (Small Field). There is a small gate connecting the Big and Small Fields. Together, these arrangements provide direct access to the Big Field for a horse box or other vehicle, and an easy way to transfer animals between the fields and to the Willow Field.
The Willow Field has a field shelter, suitable for three or four llamas (although recently we have seen as many as 15 sheep choosing to pack in to it!). The Willow Field can provide a useful hay crop if it is not grazed in spring.
The Rough Land has poorer quality grass. It is the only field with a stream running through it (much of the year, depending on rainfall) and there is a significant amount of reed. It makes very acceptable summer grazing for llamas, who enjoy eating the variety of vegetation. It also provides an excellent ‘reserve’ habitat for a wide range of wild life, including butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, and a variety of small mammals.
The Pig pen was once a small fruit orchard. It has a wooden ark, and is big enough for 2 or 3 small breed pigs (we used to keep Kune Kune). The fencing is standard stock netting, without the additional higher strands for llamas that surround the main fields.
The Veg plot is a similar size to the Pig pen. We used it for pigs at first, as they very effectively cleared the grass and prepared the soil for planting. In the last few years, we have grown very little veg, and have started to plant some individual trees in this area. It could easily be used again for vegetable/fruit growing, or for pigs/other livestock.