Late June saw us run a small trial on a block of Carr woodland which is becoming dominated by birch. 88 swale wethers were put out onto the woodland as the birch started to come into leaf and left there for a couple of weeks. We then took them off to give them a break, grazed them on some adjacent grassland for a week and then put them back onto the woodland for a further two weeks. Thanks to Kevin for taking the pictures.
Once they had grazed down the more palatable grass around the edges the tucked into the new birch leaves stripping them bare. The sheep were then removed and taken away ready for shearing. The birch leaves have since regrown but the small trees are now looking weaker and more 'shrub' like in appearance. We plan to repeat the process next spring to see if we can limit the amount of birch which is starting to dominating the site.
The other major task this month has been to shear all the sheep. fortunately the weather has been kinder this year and we were only rained off once. With lots of small groups of sheep dotted around the area the shearing can be becoming quite a drawn out process with having to move 2-3 times a day. A big thanks to all those volunteers who helped move the pens and roll the wool the job was completed in good time and the wool all packed up ready to be sent away. Let's hope it runs as smoothly next year.