COWS will be marked ready to roam on Minchinhampton Common this weekend.

This Saturday is Marking Day, so called because it’s traditionally the day when farmers would bring their cattle to the common to be ‘marked’.

Once they could be identified, the cattle were set loose to roam as they pleased across the commons, after spending winter in the safety of the farm.

These days, the cows are marked elsewhere, but Marking Day has kept its name – and its importance in our rural calendar. Stroud Valleys Project (SVP) is joining forces with others including the National Trust and Butterfly Conservation for a day of activities to recognise this auspicious day.

“We’ll be at the Old Lodge in Minchinhampton between 11am and 3pm for a range of activities for people of all ages,” says SVP’s Sharon Gardham.

“Youngsters – and the young at heart – can join us making origami Duke of Burgundy and Chalkhill Blue butterflies and Skylark kites. We’re also running a Guess the Species game.”

This event is part of Stroud Valleys Project’s Landscapes of the Lark festival, supported by the Cotswold National Landscape’s Farming in Protected Landscapes fund and SVP’s Garden Guardians project, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.