Animals

I watched Springwatch this week on TV and it made me think of my first experience seeing wildlife. I was about 11 years old and lived in a concrete part of Glasgow. We got taken by the Salvation Army, bless them, taking a group of 50 deprived Glasgow kids! , to the countryside outside Glasgow at Loch Lomond.

So we were all being boisterous.....moi?! ......and I saw my first wild animal, it was a cow.

It was beautiful, black and white but huge and frightening but everyone on the bus starting shouting Coo, coo ,( Glasgow for cow) I was amazed and couldnt believe this was what i saw in my books, i think that's why I now like being outdoors in the countryside!

Of course this was the days before cars being common and buses in our area were few and far between, now it's a ten minute drive.

On the way back we sang , this little lamp o mine, wonderful day and I always give to he Sally Army because of it?

What it made me wonder was, can u remember the first time you saw wildlife, of the animal variety, not me on the bus!! .

28 Replies

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  • Being a farmers granddaughter, living in the country all amounted to encountering them early in my life. My early thoughts which are hard to bear even now, was every single Tuesday night was horrendous, the cows would be mewing for their calves as they had been taken to market to be sold on the Wednesday to where???? Grandma used to say we don't think about that one! I am not saying all were sold to the abattoir but a good majority would have been.

    Has it made me a vegetarian, no, but I do consider what I purchase and how it came to be on my plate. Everyone in the animal kingdom is someone's food and I just happen to be at the top of the food chain. I always make sure that the meat comes from a British Farm, to help our farmers industry, especially as my uncle inherited the farm. Which goes for vegetables as well, BUY BRITISH is my motto.

    On the upside to living in the country is when all the babies are born. To be in a field on a spring morning, misty and to watch a calf spring from it's mother, for her to turn around and lick the baby clean, and watch baby get up and nuzzle it's first meal, heavenly.

    Myself I would love to own a woodland, and let nature take it's course, but would have some wild boar to help keep the vegetation down. When I have a spare few thousand, that's my first priority. Now where is the nearest Lotto machine!! xx

  • Now that sounds like an idyllic childhood to me, so when we had our kids we bought a house which is ural, in the countryside but near the village and school.

    I was vegetarian for about 25 years, that's another story involving a plate of scampi!, and stopped on doctors advice.

    I am going to look at a farm tomorrow, but don't think it will b for us as half of it I demolished and now with RA etc I maybe not the bet time to take on that project but it's worth looking at !

    How lovely to see calving! And imoffto gt a euro millions too!!

  • Chickens and pigs are easy to keep, lock them in at night and let them roam during the day. Grandpa used to keep those as well. The only thing he would not allow on any part of his land was horses, he said cattle and horses don't mix. Some thing to do with the different feed through winter and what it can do to the fields after. I will leave the rest to your imagination.

  • I would love chickens, my friend says they r easy to keep and gave me a poultry magazine, then I had a panic when I talked about expensive feeds and medicines, he laughed and said he hadn't usd them and he has the healthiest flock!!

  • I can't remember when I first saw farm animals. We lived in London & my mum worked full time,so us kids were sent off to Aberdeenshire to my aunts farm where we were sent out to play with the coos & told not to come home until supper time!! It was right near the beach as well. Those were the days,you didn't have to worry about the kids or maybe you did but my aunt didn't! I used take my children there,when they were young & they say they had the best time ever because of the freedom.

    I helped out on a school trip to St. Albans it was with a very expensive private school & I'll never forget the look on this boys face, when we fed the ducks, this boy had been all round the world but had never been to a park or near animals. Afterwards he said to me this has been the best day ever Miss,made me cry.

    At the other end,I once took an inner city class on a school journey, again magical. Happy memories. Xx

  • Well u should be proud, you have given him the same wonderful memories as I Got. It is so important I think for kids to get out there into our beautiful countryside. Xx

  • I just cried too! It's such a privilege to give someone a very happy memory that changes their view of the world, and probably of themselves. Wonderful story.

  • That's a wonderful story! I worked for the Salvation Army for a while and still have links, a few of my friends are in Glasgow so I'll let them know. I remember when I did the same thing, from Derby out to Skegness and most of the kids had never seen the seaside or countryside before. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.

    It's great to hear your happy memories!

  • I was also brought up in the concrete jungle of Glasgow where the only wild animals were the razor gangs! There were regular chalk body outlines at the top of my street.

    Your blog got me to thinking of when I first saw any 'wild' animals apart from Glesga pigeons, and that would be on trips in the bus to Dalmellington in Ayrshire to my grandparents. Seeing cows and sheep actually moving around and eating, and having their babies with them was just awesome to me. There was a farm nearby and we were allowed to play in the barn, picking up a baby lamb which promptly shit down the front of my dress taught me a lesson! Never did that again ??

    The love of animals of any kind has always stayed with me, their unconditional love has been one of my best teachers .

    E.G.

    I hate peperami ! It's disgusting to taste and the texture is vile. My wee dog Sushi, who is 15 and has no teeth, loves it ! I chew it to a pulp and put it in my hand to give to her, now THAT is unconditional love. ??

  • Xx

  • Hi

    Born in London but went to live in Ireland when I was 6, returned when I was 9. First time I saw an animal other than cats, dogs or tortoises was when we would visit and stay at my aunties farm in Co.Longford, Ireland, before we moved there. It had a big cattle herd and lots of chickens and ducks (I love ducks, my husband prefers cows)

    We then moved to Shannon to live and had to walk down an old boreen to get to the entrance of a big field with bogs to get to school. Lots of cow patts in this field and once I deliberately fell into one because I couldn't face going to school with the outfit my mum had made for me (it was the early 70s, need I say more!!)

    The old farm house in Longford has long been abandoned and a larger one built. 10 years ago I took my husband to Ireland for the first time. Knowing his love of cows we went to Longford and found the old farmhouse which only had 2 bedrooms. My cousin told me that we all stayed there as kids for the summer holidays (9 children and 6 adults), the parents slept in their cars so we could have the rooms. He was enthralled by the cows.

    On that visit we stayed at my other cousin's weekend house down the road. We got there late the first night and parked out the back as instructed. It was pitch black. My husband was first out of the car and he heard a big mooo sound near his head and jumped so high and ran to the house!! In the morning we looked out the window to see the next door neighbours cows grazing in her back garden, right up by our car, it was so funny, he couldn'[ have been any close the night before if he tried!!

    Happy memories.................

  • I was born and brought up in the Kyles of Bute Tighnabruiach so wild life all around we loved when we went to Glasgow to barrow land it was a experience for us country bumpkins that was wild life for us

    lizz

  • i like my small furrys! lol! my first memory of wildlife is sitting with a tiny shrew of some kind on my lap when i was little - that was very strange for a wild animal and to this day i have no idea what type of shrew it was but it was very tame.

    i used to fish for tadpoles and sticklebacks when i was little - i must have had hundreds of them.

    i've also had the odd hedgehog for a few days when i've found them coming out of hibernation - sadly they died while waiting for the r.s.p.s.a to come and get them but last night i had my two spikey visitors in my garden crunching on the cat biscuits i throw out for them- one of them looks plump so i might have a pregnant lady visiting - they've been grunting and squeeling a few weeks ago so i think they've done a bit more than flirting!

    i have a bat too - he lives somewhere around the neighbourhood and comes out to catch moths around 7pm.

    a few years ago the new next door neighbour moved in and we suddenly got mice in our house when he started his diy.

    one of them dragged a dog bone across the gap between the upstairs floor and downstairs celing and what a racket! it sounded like the little sod was wearing pit boots! one of the buggers scampered across my foot when i went for a wee during the night - i dived down the stairs butt naked and cornered him under the stairs (this was before the arthritis lol) i put it my girls hospital cage to look at it and it dived through the bars! luckily it was hiding under my skirt so then i picked him up and put him in the bath with some food until i could release it into the field the next day - they come straight back inside if you release them too near your home!

    i don't mind them in my garden and havent seen anymore inside thankfully! lol

  • Well i am what you call a country bumpkin. My granddad worked on a farm. Which grow hops for beer. In the summer Londoners used to come and pick them when we were very young.

    For me big cities were the strange thing. Not at all normal for me. Mum and Dad used to take my brother and i to london for a day out museums and the like. I still not very near to a large city we live on the cost.xxx

  • I want to live by the sea when I retire, when you live in London, like most things you never take full advantage of it when it's on your doorstep. Some of my cousins have been to more museums, gallaries etc than me and it's still free!!

    Note to self: must try harder to take in what London has to offer

    xx

  • Xx

  • I was born and brought up in fife with 3 brothers and 2sisters. We lived surrounded by farmland and country side, mining village.

    My first memory was my brothers and sisters climbing through a fence with a tin lid from a biscuit tin to slide down the grassy hillside( we called it the Ro man steps) don't think the Romans ever got to that part of fife. As we climbed thru the fence my brother shouted watch out for the big black bull, I had seen cows before but when this huge black bull came running towards us. Never had I seen my sister scramble thru the fence so fast. She caught her skirt on the fence's jagged wire, taking no notice for fear of being pronged by it's horns. She left half of the pretty skirt behind. Arriving home with only the waist band intact.

    I have encountered many animals to this day. Living not far from Chester zoo, my children have been exposed to some of the world's most wonderful exotic animals and birds of every colour, something I never encountered till my late 20's when I married and moved to England.

    My children and myself have spent most of their childhood on the west coast of Scotland visiting my sister.She works in one of Scotland most prestigious golf courses, exploring she grounds we have seen badgers, deer, squirrels, water voles, geese, pheasants and birds of every species.

    Away on holiday with both of my sisters to Oban to a rented lodge by the water.

    I have no doubt that many evenings will be spent reminiscing of the events of our childhood, grown up in a mining village with the hardships of the 50 & 60. But our thoughts will be of the open spaces the drinks from the 'burn' & the jam pieces that lasted you all day till teatime.

    Little money but oh...... what fun.

  • Just remembered another funny episode with sheep. We had a touring caravan. Once when we were away in Wales. We arrived late at the park to the only free camping space next to the fence. We reversed the caravan in then put the kids to bed.

    We were awakened in the early hours.

    To my daughter shouting there was something in her bed.

    A rather disorientated sheep had stuck its head in thru the open window and could not get it back out. Ha ha....

    Don't know he this may be my daughters 1St memory, but it certainly amused us.

  • Lol xx

  • I can remember at school they took the class to a farm that had pigs (sows) in pens with their young. It was very noisy and smelly. As i got older we a few friends and i would go for walks across fields to a brook to hang out. We new which fields had cows in and which had cereals in, one of my friends would take her dog never on a lead and we would have to shout him back as he herded the cattle. We had great fun .

    Good to remember the good days LOl.

    Chris

  • Thank you for all you lovely stories, just to think watching some wildlife on TV can bring back all these memories. Have a good weekend...outdoors if possible xx

  • Just loved all the stories from childhood......I used to visit Glasgow and I loved the people and the place.....I laughed out loud when you mentioned coos, very very funny and brings back lovely memories, thanks.

  • Xx

  • Great tales Allanah - lovely idea. I grew up in London but used to go and stay with my grandparents where they lived in the Scottish borders and visit other relatives at weekends in rural Essex. I remember that when I was eleven I contracted whooping cough and my cousin of the same age landed glandular fever. He and I were dispatched to grandparents in Midlothian and we used to go out and beat the pheasants out of the trees so our grandpa could shoot them for our tea! I didn't mind this but hated to see the rabbits with mixy and used to be really scared of the bullocks in the field nearby because they would chase me and I thought I might get trampled. That's my main memory - along with horse riding with my grandparents and all the sheep when we drove down to North Cornwall to stay with cousins once a year. I even helped with the sheep dipping one year and that was brilliant. Tilda x

  • Lovely xx

  • What a lovely read this is. Great idea Allanah.

    I have my mother to thank for my interest in wildlife.

    Brought up in North London on the edge of green belt land she would take us out for marathon walks into the countryside every weekend with a picnic of marmite sandwiches and lukewarm water. (There were 7 of us!) We loved pond-dipping and fishing in the brooks and somehow she had a poem or a song for every plant, flower or animal. (It drove us mad)

    Of course, as we reached our teens we were less inclined to participate in it and would sulk our way around the walks muttering to ourselves as she declared brightly "Look at the glorious view children!" followed rapidly in response to our disdain with growls "I've brought you here now just bloody well enjoy it!"

    Naturally, I have repeated the whole process with my own children - who to this day mock my singing.

  • I know the feeling, my 16 year old outdoor mountain climbing daughter is now saying, no I wanna go to a party!! Well at least when she is settled hopefully we will have time to get out in the caravan!

  • How did I miss this post? I was born in a city, my mother decided us kids (there were only three of us at that point) would be better off in the countryside so we moved to absolutely the middle of nowhere in a tiny village, it was the most magical place I've ever lived, it even had a little ruined castle along with a mill, holy springs and an interesting church. We had chickens (a fancy breed my mother sent of to London for, the locals thought she was mad) and when the house filled with mice- a cat our landlord, a farmer, gave us (my mother came back to the house one day and found him in a sack on the doorstep). Sadly we didn't live there long, we moved nearer my father's work to a larger village and then my parents split up and it all went downhill a bit.

    I went back to that lovely village last year, over 40 years after I moved out and it was barely changed- a few new houses that is all.

    I've never been without a cat since. xxx

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