Jackie’s cows over the moon with underpass

Cattle using the new underpass at Jackie Dale's farm. (DER3713PG102)
Cattle using the new underpass at Jackie Dale's farm. (DER3713PG102)

For the past 40 years, when it came to milking time for Roe Valley farmer Jackie Dale and his wife Diane, it was a race against time to get their 110-head of cattle into the parlour safely.

What lay between the field Jackie would walk his Fleckvieh dairy cows from, and the farmyard, was the busy Ballyquin Road from Limavady to Dungiven.

Three weeks ago, however, the stress and worry disappeared as Jackie’s cows used his long dreamed about purpose-built and completely self funded cattle underpass.

Four times a day the hard working couple would cross their herd, but it was far from a walk in the park.

Waiting for a gap on the sometimes never ending stream of traffic would prove lengthy at times and, when a break did finally come, “your heart was in your mouth the whole time the animals were crossing”, says Jackie.

“Years ago it wasn’t so bad because there was less traffic and you could have coped with it, but nowadays there is serious traffic on the road,” says Jackie, explaining remarkably there have been no accidents.