Marking Day

Cows are crucial to maintaining the grassland

Spring has always been an important time for the graziers. There's one day in particular that holds more importance than most others - 13 May.

Traditionally 13 May is the day when the cows are brought from the overwintering fields and sheds and released back onto the commons to roam and graze.

History

From as far back as anyone can remember, livestock owners would gather with their animals beside The Old Lodge where each cow would be tagged - or marked - for identification before being released. It's no surprise that this day became known locally as Marking Day.

Sadly, the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 led to strict disease controls and movement restrictions which brought the tradition to an abrupt end.

Bringing back Marking Day

The Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons Advisory Committee has been making sure that the tradition isn't forgotten. For the past few years, the Old Lodge has once again been the focal point for local people to gather and celebrate Marking Day.

Committee members work hard to bring the past and present together, putting on displays, showing rare film footage and organising talks and guided walks.

This year the Marking Day celebration will be on Sunday 12 May, 11am to 3pm. 

The Marking Day celebration will include guided walks with Dave, the Lead Ranger, helping you spot wildflowers at 11.30am and 2pm. 

You can chat with Mark, the Hayward, at 12pm and 1pm, he'll be on hand all day to chat about cows and the Commons, too. 

Back from the Brink, The Butterfly Conservation Trust and the Golf Club will be there, too, along with childrens activities throughout the day.