Today was my penultimate day on the Nene Washes and as the Corncrake Reintroduction Programme Assistant 2013.
I was driving down the drove, leaving the reserve, when I came upon four cheeky horses trotting along, like they knew exactly where they were going. Traveller’s horses. They had all escaped from field one. A titchy field, hardly a field really, with a bit of a bank. How they have been surviving on the nearly bare ground, heaven knows. Clearly they’d had enough of the situation.
I couldn’t drive behind them, as that would probably scare them on to the busy fast road. So I turned around and headed as fast as I could (with the back of the pickup ram packed full of tables and debris bouncing with every pot-hole) to the other exit. My plan was to meet them from the other direction, to stop them nearing the hazardous road. Alas, they were already on the other side of the road, munching on long, healthy, green, green grass. Looking chuffed to bits.
I popped the hazard lights on, and phoned for backup.
For two hours Lizzie, myself, and a lovely horse-owning girl who pulled over to help, coaxed, and pushed, and petted, and fed, and befriended, and herded these three adult horses and foal. In the pouring relentless rain. Back across the road, down a track, through woodlands, across ditches, down the drove, and finally in to a freshly hay-cut field – where we firmly fastened the gate.
During this time, we were constantly updated. The owners will be there to collect them soon, they are on their way. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.
They never did turn up. But I am a great believer in things happening for a reason. These bonnie four will be remaining in this very lovely and large, with fast growing grass, field for the foreseeable future. For a small fee paid to the RSPB.
Those four horses wished for something better, and they made it happen.