Now this is an interesting one !
This project is all about muck !
As you can imagine, all the animals produce quite a lot of this & we have a rather large much heap across the road next door to the Pig paddocks.
Unfortunately, the people who usually cart it away to spread on the fields will not take it away again as it is not "clean" !
eh? I hear you cry - of course its not clean its Muck ! How can it not be clean? - Well there's clean muck & there's dirty muck & yes - ours is dirty !
Allow me to explain...
Dirty muck contains not only muck, but lots of other things like:
Bits of baler string - bits of plastic, bits of wood, more baler string, bits of metal, old worthless endowment policies, more string & well basically anything that isn't manure, hay or straw !
You see in order to "spread" the muck, it goes into a muck spreader - however all the "foreign" bodies - mainly the string - clog the machinery up and causes the whole thing to grind to a halt.
So, before we can get the muck removed (at a cost of £1200) we need to clean it up !
So what's involved?
Well, you will need keen eyesight & a pitchfork, because what we have to do is take a fork load with the tractor & spread it out on the floor & then the "spotters" - (thats you) pick out anything that isn't muck - string, plastic, bricks etc & throw them to one side & then the tractor can pick up the clean much & start a new pile !
Yes - this is a huge piece of work, but the alternative is to have it taken away for landfill. The cost here would be about £45 to 50,000 - so yes, that's not happening. (£80 per ton land fill cost EEK!)
So we have no choice really - although we expect this project to take a year - volunteers every weekend & perhaps if you have free time in the week, once you know what to do, you can turn up & get on with it !
The work is clearly physically tough, but technically very easy !
This page was last updated on: June 30, 2012
If you would like to help financially with this project, (diesel for the tractor, plus the eventual spreading costs) you can make a donation on line with this button, or to avoid Paypal charges, you can send a cheque to the Sanctuary, details HERE
If you are looking to help physically with this project, please get in touch via the e mail below.
This project doesn't need any specific experience, but you need to be keen eyed & able to bend down frequently to pick up string etc etc - Gloves are pretty essential & we are short on pitchforks.
Having seen the prices of Farmyard Manure bagged up at garden centres, we are probably sitting on a small fortune! - & we did have the idea of selling Tower Hill Stables Sanctuary Manure ! - nice idea, but would need an entrepreneur to work out how to achieve this - so if you know of any budding entrepreneurs who could pick this idea up & run with it, please feel free to mention it.
We couldn't get involved with this as we just don't have the time with the day to day animal care & management - there are no staff here remember - Just Fiona & Martin at the weekends.
Latest News on this project !
Today (19th September 2009) the much heap was pushed up into one very large pile ! - we needed to make some room in the field where the much heap lives as we need to slowly sift through it all & as it is "cleansed" we need to start a new pile - which can be taken away to be spread on local farmers fields.
As you will see in the video, there is rather a lot of manure !
Today we were joined by Claire & Charlotte who helped start this mammoth task as well as helping with unwrapping the bread.