Tuesday, 29 June 2010

And yet more photos!

Yes the incentive of lunch was enough to get everyone back down again!

Thankyou to Stuart Nelson and his family for allowing us to visit and for taking the time to show us around. Even the weather was ideal, from the description of what it was like this winter I don't think a January visit is on the cards any time soon!

On Friday some of the community groups took advantage of the fine weather and visited Low Bleakehope farm at the top of the Ingram valley where the farmer kindly showed them around and explained how a hill farm with no flat ground operates and what is involved in raising stock in such remote areas.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Phew warm again today. We have sheared most of the sheep now with a few more to do tomorrow to finish. I'm sure they will be glad to get their coats off too. Hopefully it will sat warm for a few days afterwards too so they can acclimatise. They can't just pop their fleeces back on if they feel chilly!



Wednesday, 16 June 2010

One of the thing we use our grazing animals for during the summer is scrub control. This particular area has been grazed by Exmoor ponies to knock back a lot of scrub regrowth in the centre of a woodland. At one time this area was an open glade but it has slowly been lost to scrub over the years. Now that the scrub has taken a big hit this can be backed up with some annual late summer grazing which given time the this will open up the glade again for butterflies and other invertebrates.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Today I went to have a look at some new sites that will require grazing this winter. It seems a long time away yet but plans need to be made now to ensure that the animals are available when needed.
I took Jess with me so she could have a day out which proved to be a good idea. One of the sites consists of a large area of bog which were walking across, it wasn't much deeper that our ankles until all of a sudden Jess disappeared over her head! After scrabbling out and a quick shake she didn't appear particularly bothered, much less that I would have been anyway! I must remember to get her to walk in front of next time I am crossing wet ground! The downside was I had to share the car with a rather smelly dog for the rest of the day!
Any way we are off shearing tomorrow so back to rounding up sheep for her.............and not a bog in site!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

We vaccinated the our sheep against Blue Tongue Virus (BTV) yesterday. There are many different strains of the virus but only a vaccine against BTV1. Hopefully the other strains won't spread here from mainland Europe. It is spread from one animal to another by biting midges. These have been blown over from mainland Europe and brought the disease with them. However there were no new out breaks here last year and so hopefull y if we have another outbreak free year we will achieve 'disease free' status again.

Quick their escaping...........where's that sheepdog.............this ones a bit slow!
We had hoped to start shearing today but the wet weather has put paid to that. We can only shear them when the wool is dry otherwise it will rot in storage.
With any luck the weather will settle down soon so we can get on. Some years it is a question snatching every chance between showers which inevitably means shearing in the late afternoon and evening when the volunteers want to tucked up beside the bbq with a beer. Maybe they're the sensible ones!