News from the farm
It has been a while since I have shared any news from the farm. But this blog post will hopefully remedy that!
It is nearly midsummer. The weather has been disappointing so far for June, but the landscape looks lush and green from all the rain. And the orchids are beginning to flourish!
Lambing is the most intense 6 weeks of the sheep calendar. It finished a few weeks ago. The weather was good which makes life easier! We have 4 bottle fed lambs this year. Somerset is up at first light and doesn’t usually get in until the sun has set. With nearly 500 ewes lambing on the hill there is a lot of ground to cover to see them all and then there are the two in-bye flocks – the Herdwicks and the Cheviots to check on too.
First time mums
The gimmers, our first time lambers, are lambed in the shed so that they can be checked up on more regularly. They are put in a pen to bond with their lambs before taken back out to the fields.
It is always lovely to see the lambs playing on a spring evening, jumping up on rocks and running down slopes, chasing each other.
There are various superstitions in our house at lambing time, the main one being that you wouldn’t risk saying things seem to be going well. But this year I think they did, though I said nothing! Didn’t want to tempt fate.
We are taking part in a pilot scheme designing a new system to help farmers and crofters to manage the biodiversity on their farms. It is loosely based on a scheme already in use in the Burren in Ireland, which we visited in 2018. Over the next few weeks I will be using a specially designed app to survey our fields, recording the flowers I find in the different places I stop on my ‘W’ walk across each field. The person in charge of the project will come out later and resurvey them to then compare with my results.
I have to confess I find it difficult to select my W routes across the fields without purpose or intent, knowing as I do where the interesting patches of wild flowers are. I will do my best though.