Cow tracks - finding the right path

Cow tracks - finding the right path

When it comes to constructing a cow track drainage is key.  Get it right and your track should have a long and useful life, get it wrong and you could be facing track failure in the first few years.  This is the message in a new booklet from DairyCo.

"Cow Tracks," says DairyCo extension officer Jo Speed, "also covers the design and building of cow tracks, dealing with gradients and the use of waste material."

DairyCo has worked with the Environment Agency to look at the best possible sites for tracks and the issues of drainage and runoff.

Mrs Speed says "Look to site cow tracks in quick drying, free draining areas, preferably somewhere exposed to sun and wind.  Avoid tracks in heavy shade by keeping them on a south facing side of a hedge if possible, as this allows them to dry faster.

"Ensure your track has adequate drainage by raising it at least 0.5 metres above the surrounding ground.  Creating a camber and ditches either side of the track will ensure that water will drain away quickly and effectively."

The booklet also shows that good maintenance across the whole track is crucial to its longevity and effectiveness.  "One 10 metre section of the track can often cause 90% of the problems and it is important to budget in an annual cost for repairs, whatever material you are using for track construction," advises Mrs Speed.

Cow Tracks is available to download or copies can be ordered from DairyCo publications on 02476 478702 or from publications@dairyco.org.uk.

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