Many of our pastures have field drains running across them. Beautifully constructed of brick and stone and topped with heavy stone flags, they help to drain water from the land and surrounding high ground. Over time, due to land erosion and heavy machinery, the top stones can move forming a small gap which can easily go unnoticed producing the perfect LAMP TRAP.
This ewe gave birth to her twins this afternoon and about 3 hours later they both disappeared! Chris spotted the sheep hanging around the area of the covered drain and soon discovered the tiny gap where the lambs had slipped in. He was able to rescue one immediately but its twin took a bit longer to find. The trouble is they go wandering off down the length of the field drain and the only way to find them is to take off the top stones, lay spread eagled on the ground with your head down the hole making baa.. baa..ing sounds! Eventually after repeating this every 10 feet or so we heard faint bleating and after much baa...ing (in an attempt to sound like its mother) managed to persuade it to come towards the open hole and it was lifted out.
The poor little things were wet, cold & hungry so Chris brought them into the shelter of the garth by the house for shelter and attention. Sometimes a ewe can reject her lambs when this happens but this one was very keen to have them back.
I know I'm always going on about how tough the Swaledale breed is but how many creatures do you know, at only a few hours old, could survive such an ordeal and be none the worse for it? Certainly not the human kind!
Ah well, all in a day's work!