Colour - 1st - Gold
David Fletcher - Losing a calf
Ann is a New Forest commoner, the 13th generation of her family to have farmed there, and probably the last. The commoners’ rights over the use of common land date back to the 11th Century and include the right to graze animals and to gather wood.
Scaled back over the years, the economy of her farm now depends largely on buying in calves to fatten for sale. Margins are tight.
Last year Ann bought eight calves in December. After Christmas they began to fall ill. The first one died in January.
Despite the efforts - and expense of the vet, only two calves survived the winter.
Ann carries on, sustained by her hereditary stoicism and an indomitable sense of humour.