Looking forward to Lambing.

In Agricultural, farming on February 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Once again, as a means to keep myself busy and active I visited Sophie Barnes (@SheepishSophie) and her flock of Castlemilk Moorits recently. I feel very thankful that I have found somewhere that’ll let me come and gain experience whilst I finish up my degree. I think this feeling of sentimentality and appreciation is mostly down to the fact that I have excellent friends in Agriculture. I’m still looking very much to the future and still very much excited.


One of the many new and interesting experiences I’ve had recently; meeting the Barnes’ second flock of rarebreed sheep, a harem of Whitefaced Woodlands. I’ve learnt that these are one of the biggest hill breeds of sheep in Britain and considering where I live I think it may be wise to pay some attention to them. I carefully straddle then clear the electric fence, approach and examine a pleasantly docile and pretty flock of sheep.  Any animal bred with the Pennines in mind has to be both a charming and practical one.


There is work to be done however. We leave the Whitefaces to their winter forage and go see the Castlemilks, with an aim to do some Sheep repair work. After a bracing and potentially embarrassing attempt at filling the role of sheepdog we guided the sheep into a pen and got underway. Feet were clipped, Worming meds were administered, Inoculations were given and fun was had. I learn that almost all of the Castlemilks in the flock are pregnant: I become even more excited for Lambing time.


On an unrelated note I see that an interesting question has been asked in this weeks edition of Farmers Weekly: ‘Do you have a successor lined up for your Farm business?’. Naturally, difficult access to land is one of my greatest hindrances. If schemes can be put in place to encourage live-in apprentice schemes with a view to hand over tenancy at some point then I feel this could prove an appealing prospect. Perhaps applicants can be sourced from agricultural colleges throughout Britain. I am aware that this may seem somewhat hardline, a tricky subject with a great deal of imagined and inevitable teething problems. But it pains me that at home, the old hill farmers sell up to property developers who sell off the land at a high price to established farmers. It doesn’t make the mean feat of establishing yourself in agriculture any simpler.

  1. Love the picture of the Whitefaced Woodlands. Always fancied some. One day… Good luck with the degree and all your plans. Liz

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