Archives for posts with tag: sheep

This summer the National Trust is opening up some of its most special places for a one off event where people will get the chance to go camping in a place you would never normally be allowed too.

At Black Down we are joining in and on 19th July (for one night only) we are offering the chance to sleep out on the highest hill in the South Downs National Park with an incredible view across 3 counties towards the setting sun. It is going to be a really special evening.

Big camping site

We are going to be joined by local band “The Burning Glass” who will be singing songs for us as we enjoy the summer evening air.

There will also be nature walks led by our Countryside team and refreshments in the form of beefburgers from our herd of rare breed Belted Galloway Cattle and cider made in our Orchard at Swan Barn Farm.

Places are limited and as you can imagine are going fast, to book your pitch email sarah.fisk@nationaltrust.org.uk

Big Camping 2

I think it is going to be a really wonderful evening, I cant wait.

It has been lovely hot weather lately, perfect for growing vegetables in the garden, but not so great if you are a sheep with a big thick woolly coat on.

Shearing 2014

A quick visit with from the man with the clippers provided the answer yesterday. I discoverd years ago that I am the worlds worst shearer and am therefore only too happy to ask someone to come along and weald the clippers for me, better for the sheep, and better for my back.

Shorn sheep 2014

Its no good hiding at the back sheepy, you are definitely next for the clippers!

 

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In her mind, Willow (my dizzy collie) is the best sheepdog in the world. Sadly, in the real world she is a bit rubbish. But, any day when there is work to do with the sheep is definitely a favourite day for her.

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With the summer here and warm sunshine (intermittently!) making an appearance, today was shearing day.

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My shearing is about as good as willow’s rounding up, so a call was made to Susie the Shearer. She did a grand job.

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They look about half the size with their wool off, and a bit shocked too, but when the sun shines you can almost feel the sense of relief that the massive jumper is gone.

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Susie gave me the phone number of a local sheepdog trainer, so who knows, maybe willow could be about to make herself useful after all!

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This week the sheep that graze the speckled wood orchard got their annual haircut.

Unfortunately my shearing skills leave rather a lot to be desired. I get the wool off, but they look a bit like they have been through a mincer and my time per animal is so bad I wont even mention it here.

So, Susie the shearer came to visit, and I am sure the girls were gratefull to be dealt with by her rather than having to put up with me.

Even so the one that is waiting to be shorn in the picture above has a decidedly suspicious look on her face. She is the oldest of the sheep and has seen it all before, she still didn’t seem too grateful though.

The fleeces will go to my freind Polly to be spun. I am told Jacob’s produce good quality wool for spinning, with the added bonus that you get both light and dark colours off one animal.

Its incredible how different they look after their haircut, they look about half the size. You might not believe it now, but it was a really sunny day and you can’t help wondering how it would have felt to be wearing that thick a wooly jumper and then taking it off, must be quite a relief.

The new building will be insulated using sheeps wool. Unfortunately my tiny flock only produced 8 fleeces, so the insulation will have to be bought in. Its been nice to see it being used more for insulating buildings in recent years though, it always seems a shame that at the moment many people still struggle to find a market for their fleeces. Wool production used to be such an important industry in this country, it shaped many of our best loved landscapes, maybe it is something that will become more important again in the future.

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