Fascinating Herefordshire by:Tony Cooper
Herefordshire's most prominent export is its beef cattle especially the Hereford Cattle. Herefords are delicate but extremely hardened animals and this has led to their increased reputation across the world, especially in South America, US and Australia. The breed is so humble that a Hereford bull was used as the mascot for Hereford United Football Club for years, leading to packed stadiums even before the major matches.
The county is popular for its pear and apple orchards and of course its cider. There are many orchards around the county. For the last few years, some soft fruits like strawberries have become a major and extremely extending area in economy of the agriculture of the county.
The introduction of French tunnel or polytunnel has helped a lot in the growth of fruit market. It made possible for the strawberries to grow for a longer season and at a better quality with nothing to worry from the rains. The strawberries are mainly picked by East European workers who migrate here in the season to earn some quick bucks, more than they could have bargained for, many of them learn or improve their English fluency.
Although some polytunnels are harmful for the landscape, Herefordshire Council have ignored it, knowing that if agriculture has to then it must be allowed to innovate; otherwise, the industry will stagnate and make the county suffer.
Keeping Cattle used to be a thriving business for milk production, but due to many reasons and declining milk prices have led to its downfall. Only a few farms keep cattle these days.
The soils in this county are mostly clay; it means that potato production on a large scale was very difficult, as powerful tractors were not there to pull the large machinery that is needed for sowing and harvesting the crop. In early 1990s new technology made it possible. Potato production started increasing as potatoes were not grown previously; there was no danger of infection from eelworm.
An unblemished potato was produced by the clay soil and it was of the excellent grade. Emphasizing nature of the crop meant that potatoes can be possibly grown on a selected field in only one of the five years. As they always required more land than they already had, they started renting extra land. This demand for rental fields was very helpful to many farmers in such a stressed period.
As part of an awareness campaign organized by the charity Plant life on conservation issues, the people were asked to vote for county flowers, that best represented their county. Mistletoe won hands down in this competition as a choice for Herefordshire in 2004. This mark had no official status and is not widely accepted. So Herefordshire Council started using a logo that had a green apple.
The M50, the first motorway that was constructed in the UK, goes in the southern county and with the A40, which is a dual carriageway also forms a part of a major route. The hilly nature of the landscape means to connect North Wales with South Wales; you have to pass through Herefordshire. A49 and A465 cater to the local traffic.
Welsh Marches Railway Line runs north to south with passenger trains administrated by Arriva Trains Wales that offer link with Manchester along with North and South Wales. Hereford is situated at the western end of the Cotswold Line which runs after touching Worcester and its services are extended to Oxford and London, which is operated by First Great Western. This line also goes to Birmingham and Nottingham, which is operated by London Midland.
In Herefordshire Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol are international airports within easy reach. The Rail Air coach that is operated by First Great Western makes connections available from Heathrow through Reading station. Gliding and general aviation can be done at Shobdon Aerodrome near Leominster. Hot air ballooning is also very popular and majestic at Eastnor Castle as it is one of the best and favorite launch sites in the area.
The rivers Wye and Lugg can be explored, but the unrest caused in water levels mean that the craft should be bigger than a canoe and small boats, which are used now. Canoe can be hired from centers like The Boat House, Kerne Bridge, the Hereford Youth Service, Ross-on-Wye and Glasbury-on-Wye. There is a rowing club in Hereford.
The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal is presently being renovated and this might include the construction of a brand new canal basin in Hereford city centre so that the regeneration of the Edgar Street Grid is started.
About the author
Tony Cooper is your man for a Heathrow Airport Transfer.