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Last month we welcomed two new Dexter Cows to the farm. Their arrival marked the much anticipated return of cows to Mudchute and we’re delighted to be able to share a little more about Dora and Delilah. Visitors may have been surprised at the size of our petite new cows, which is characteristic of their breed. Dexter Cattle are the smallest British breed of cattle. Dexters trace their origins to the South Western region of Ireland and were first documented in an 1845 report on Irish cattle. The breed have been in England since 1882 and were first shown at the Royal Show at Norwich in 1886.

Dexters are bred for both their meat and milk and are described as a “dual-purpose” breed. They are known for both early maturation and longevity. They produce a rich milk that is relatively high in butterfat (4%), similar to that of a Jersey cow. A Dexter cow can produce 2-2.5 gallons (7.6-9.5 litres) per day.

Farmer Cliff showing Delilah's petite stature.

Farmer Cliff showing Delilah’s petite stature.

Dexters have thick curved horns, but can also be polled (have their horns removed). You will note that one of our cows (Delilah) has horns, while the other (Dora) is polled. Dexters come in three solid colours, black, red and dun, with the most common being black. The breed comes in both a short-legged and non-short variety. Our cows are of the short-legged variety and have notably short stature.

You can find out more about Dexter cattle from the Dexter Cattle Society and find more photos below.


The long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus) has a distinctive long tail and small round body,

This weekend is the Big Garden Birdwatch, which is taking place across the country for its 35th year! Spend an hour getting outside and watching the birds that visit your garden to help us better understand the birds that live in and visit Britain.

Here at Mudchute, we are lucky to be home to numerous bird species, with many nesting in the park and farm and many others stopping by to refuel on their migrations between Scandinavia in the North and the Mediterranean and even sub-saharan Africa in the South. We are also home to both native species and controversial introduced species that have become resident, such as Ring-necked and Monk Parakeets. You can see a few of the more common species we see at Mudchute in the gallery below and in these pages from Shirley Wheeler’s “The Wildlife of Mudchute”.

So as you enjoy your weekend, keep an eye out and an ear out for birds this weekend and remember to register and report your sightings at https://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch. The website includes a guide to what to look out for and get ideas for family friendly activities. Spot a bird you don’t recognise? The RSPB also have a handy Bird Identifier that can help too!


A starling bathes in the puddles, but not all farm residents are so please with the wet weather!

A starling bathes in a puddle, but not all farm residents are pleased with the wet weather!

Over the past month, we have been battling the wet and stormy winter weather. The farm has withstood the wind and rain admirably. However, the land is now saturated and as the rain continues, so does its toll on surfaces across the farm. Wellies at the ready!

We would like to improve drainage and enhance eroded footpaths across the site, but we need large volumes of aggregate to do so. Could you help? If your site has a bit of extra road stone (MOT Type 1 Road Stone would be ideal), concrete, scalpings, or any other form of aggregate under 40mm, we would love to help upcycle this for you. We can also reuse aggregate that has been removed during resurfacing works. Given the large areas to cover, we can accept fairly large quantities of material (at least a lorry full!). If you might be able to help, or know someone who might, please get in touch with us by email to farm@mudchute.org. Thank you for your support!