Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A big move for the girls!

One of our favourite jobs is moving our flock of ewes through the Little Wittenham woods from where they graze in Shillingford to the Wittenham Clumps. Yesterday was the perfect day for it, it was warm but not hot with a nice breeze. We had some key helpers to form our team - Steve, who is a trainee warden with the Trust and Graham and George and Sam who are our friends from Little Wittenham. They were all a great help as there are some key points along the route where the girls need some guidance and encouragement as to which way to go. Belle worked hard as ever and managed to keep us and the flock altogether! It all went well and they are now happily grazing on the Clumps alongside the Hereford cows.

There are certain times through the sheep season which feel significant and yesterday was one of them. The next time we move the ewes it will be back to Shillingford where they will stay to be tupped (meeting the rams) before being brought indoors ahead of lambing in January. Very excited to see what Basil's offspring will look like. Lots of lambs looking like teddies with woolly knees!

Haymaking is finally done for this year. It has been a tricky time for everyone as there haven't been the windows of dry weather which we have needed. One of the fields Clifton Meadow, which runs alongside the river, is particularly wet and Roly had an unfortunate time where the trailer actually sank! Oops!

We are at Oxford and Abingdon markets this week, come along and see us.

Camilla, Roly, Molly, Boris and Belle

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Now that the flock has been weaned (a rather noisy process where the lambs are separated from their Mums), we have a lot of different groups of sheep across the farm. Roly has spent this morning moving one group of ewes over the Clumps, through the woods, to meet some of their friends over at Shillingford who are currently in a huge field with plenty of grass. The field is called Ferry field, it is right by the river and we were considering cutting the grass for hay but decided against it. This means that if the sheep are lying down they are very difficult to see! Poor Belle can't really work when the grass is that long. So we check them on the quad bike instead.

Our plans for lambing next year are already underway! We have made a big decision not to lamb in January next year and lamb all the flock in March. As well as our popular lambing weekends we run with our landlords the Earth Trust we will holding 'evenings in the lambing barns' where groups can come and be part of this special time of day. Dates for these are 18th, 20th, 25th and 27th March. More details will follow. We already have bookings too for 'shepherds for the day' which will run as usual during lambing time as they do throughout the year.

Camilla, Roly, Molly, Boris and Belle