Ancient grazing rights are to be respected in Britain's capital city, following a landmark decision by the European Court of Justice. George Humbert took the matter to Europe after finding a legal document in his father's loft, which suggested his family had been granted 'faire cowe wandrage' throughout Hyde Park at some time in the 15th Century. Humbert plans to eventually bring over 350 Friesian dairy cows to the popular London site.
Boris Johnson isn't in favour of the move, but has reluctantly agreed to accept the court's decision. "Yet again, Europe is making rash judgements and expecting the British taxpayer to pick up the bill", declared Johnson, from the platform of his new 'Boris Tractor'. "I've spoken with Humbert, and in the interests of London, we've agreed a timetable for the handover of the parkland to ruminants."
Strict planning laws meant that Humbert couldn't erect a new milking shed, but Mr Johnson agreed to part-fund the conversion of a conference centre in nearby Regents Park. "In a way, watching milk being sucked out of udders is an education to the children of our borough, although the logistics of moving several hundred cows across Marlyebone in rush hour has caused a few headaches."
The Lord Mayor quickly dismissed suggestions that cows could be driven through Oxford Street twice a day. Instead, using a grant from the EC's Unexpected Infrastructure Commission, ramps, electric fencing and sluice gulleys have been installed at Marble Arch station. "It's safer for everyone if Humbert takes his cows on the Tube", declared Johnson.
"We're closing Marble Arch and Baker Street for a few minutes twice a day, and I ask the public to respect Humbert's privacy when he transfers his herd to the Central Line." Underground staff are being trained in the use of silage squeegees to get the carriages somewhere near clean after cow use. Johnson believes London's commuters will quickly adapt to being treated like cattle, but is recommending wellingtons as a sensible precaution.
The ways of country folk are a mystery to many city dwellers, and it is hoped that the bloody-minded awkwardness of Humbert’s dairy business will be offset by the opportunity to learn a little about rural life. Families have stared in awe at the massive pile of old tyres, barrels and empty sacks of feed that's appeared at Speaker’s Corner, and can’t wait for New Year’s eve, when it will be set ablaze. “It’ll burn good and long”, confirmed Humbert.
Commuters have welcomed the gentle lowing of cattle as they pick their way through the park’s foul-smelling, churned up filth, but are wary of the beasts since Humbert put up dozens of ‘These Cows Bite’ signs. The sage countryman denies he’s exploiting people’s ignorance of the countryside. “If they want to pay me seven quid for a dozen eggs and think they’re from my cows, I say let ‘em. I never told ‘em eggs is dairy.”