Things I know about cattle: they are incurably nosy; they a bit dim but very persistent; if given a choice between grass – wholesome and safely digested – and something else – (grab bags full of soil as it might be) they will climb over their own mothers to get at and eat the other thing. Things I didn’t know about cattle on Wednesday night: they could get onto our bit of the hill…
The electric fence was not up to the job, as you can see, and the cows made short work of our nice neat grab bags of topsoil. We think the battery got a bit low on Wednesday night. Fortunately they were so happy to play with our spoilheap that they forgot to crap all over our nicely cleaned surfaces.
While everybody else put the soil back where it belonged I got some advice from John about fencing and he hooked us up to the large mains powered fence he uses. We also managed to get some archaeology done today. Trench C, over the enclosure bank and ditch, was completely cleaned up and Mike took some record shots.
In this photo we are looking from the south-east towards the interior of the enclosure. The raised ground has proved to be a natural outcrop of limestone, overlain by a darker sub-soil as we move north and west. While we were cleaning we couldn’t see any structural evidence of a surviving external bank but there is a clear difference in the subsoil visible on the photo just where we would expect the bank to be. The rest of the trench is covered in an orange-brown silt loam, which seems to be marginally darker and looser in the centre of the ditch.
This area should be the most recent of the deposits to form on site. If we assume that the ditch filled in through a process of weathering from both sides then the earliest of the ditch fills will be at the lower edges and the most recent will be in the centre at the top. We had just started to explore these topmost fills at the end of the day.
Wildlife of the day today: there was a largish red-brown hawk of some kind hovering aorund the hill at dinnertime. Too big for a kestrel or a sparrowhawk but not as big as a buzzard. I will look it up and see.