Saturday, 4 February 2012
If you are familar with the fells you may have noticed strange circular enclosures on the fellside. These are called Sheep Folds or Laying Folds. A six foot high, dry stone wall construction, generally built in a circular shape, to offer maximum shelter from all wind directions. The position of the fold was chosen as a place of safety and shelter from drifting snow and is where the sheep are fed daily in bad weather conditions. Each 'Heft' (a heft is a group of sheep, more about this later) has its own fold, know locally as Laying Folds. Quite often a small fodder building can be found close by. In the days before 4x4 tractors and quad bikes, hay would be stored in these buildings so that it didn't have to be carried daily from the farm.