On a walk the other day with our cousins we went through a gate to an area of our village which has cows roaming freely. There are big notices warning people, and telling people with dogs to keep their animals on a lead – cows can be very dangerous, to the dogs, and also to their owners. The area has been grazed since early times, with various intermissions, and now it is grazed again; the cows keep the grass cut and also provides nourishment for it and the profusion of wild flowers, some really rare, which grow here. We have a particular orchid, a tiny pretty purple thing which grows, and I remember when we first moved here and my daughter had a little friend to stay and the two children went to play on the hill, they come with bunches of flowers for me and the other mum, bunches of flowers which contained the really rare orchid! The little friend was a visitor from far away, but later I told my daughter not to pick any more wild flowers, in a nice gentle but firm way!
The gate which allowed us entry to the cow field was a sturdy wooden one, but there was no problem with careless people leaving it open which would have allowed the cows to wander down into the village. There were no bolts to slide, or hooks to unhook; there were no springs to become rusty and stop working – there was the most simple technology you could imagine, a weight and a chain: