The cows are moo-ving back to Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons — and everyone's invited to give them a warm welcome at the free annual Marking Day celebration on Saturday 13 May 2023.
The auspicious occasion marks the day when farmers would traditionally release their cattle back onto the commons after spending winter on the farm, so they can graze and roam throughout spring and summer.
For years, local livestock owners would bring their cows to The Old Lodge pub on Minchinhampton Common, where each would be tagged — or 'marked' — before being let loose on the rolling hills above the Stroud valleys and Severn estuary.
And while nowadays the marking process takes place elsewhere, the Marking Day celebration returns to The Old Lodge each year, thanks to partners from the National Trust, Stroud Valleys Project and Butterfly Conservation who are committed to keeping the tradition alive.
Totally free to attend, there's craft activities for kids, a 'guess the species' game and an exhibition for people to discover the history of the commons.
Plus, join a guided walk to learn all about the nature and tradition of commoning, while soaking up the gorgeous views and meeting the famous bovine residents of Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons.