WATCH: Ready, Set, Go... UCD Lyons Farm cows walk under new underpass for the first time

Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Following a reluctant start and confusion amongst the cows, the UCD Lyons Farm dairy herd yesterday managed to successfully walk through a new underpass recently constructed on the 220ha farm.

In mid December construction began on the first underpass under the main driveway at the farm located in Newcastle, Co Kildare. Farm manager Eddie Jordan said that a lot of work went in to preparing and planning the site but that it only took three days to build.

“We’d have liked to have gotten it built last summer but we had some procurement issues. We decided to go for a slope design because it has a better long term outcome. It can last 40 plus years,” he told FarmIreland.

Eddie said that he was worried how the cows would take to the underpass on Monday. They had a few minor hiccups but by this morning they managed to complete the journey without any major mishaps.

“They couldn’t get out to grass until the underpass was ready, so Monday was their first morning out in it. Some of them turned back but they wandered out under it very well today. There was a heap of us there watching them, but we won’t need that many there again,” he said.

Eddie added that the farm's proximity to Dublin means the roads adjacent to the farm are very busy and that makes the construction of underpasses more necessary than ever.

“It’s a busy place. It’s not feasible for us to have cows moving and standing on the road with traffic increasing. We stopped moving cattle on the roads a few years ago. It's not safe," he said

“It takes four or five people to move sheep across the road too which just isn’t feasible and wastes a lot of time when those people could be doing other jobs.”

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A second underpass being built on the farm will link a 67ha block of land to the main farm and is the first time that land will be grazed on in living memory.

"It's exciting and changing times here on Lyons Farm. There's always something happening. I'm glad that we could get the two underpasses done before the busy spring period really gets underway."

He hopes that the herd will be able to stay out in grass until about 3.30pm for the next couple of weeks.

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