Summer on the farm is all about making fodder and clipping sheep.
We have made over 2000 small bales of hay and hundreds of round bale silage.
We have been lucky. We cut at the right time, the weather was on our side and the end result is a winter's worth of first class hay and silage for our sheep and cattle. A lovely feeling.
So now all the hay and silage is made Chris, his brother and his nephew can concentrate on the sheep.
The weather is warming up so its time to clip. The first to be sheared are the hoggs (the young sheep, born last year, who haven't been sheared before), then the ewes with singles and finally those running with twins.
Heidi the Herdwick has a thick, dense fleece. She will look very different without her coat which will be coming off soon.
Earlier this year there was a big fuss on social media that clipping sheep was cruel. Ridiculous claims made by people who don't understand stock and farming. The sheep are not ill treated during the process, they are held securely but carefully so that the fleece comes off quickly and in one piece. It is in the interest of the sheep's welfare to shear, maintaining healthy skin and a clean fleece for the coming winter. Not to clip would be like making us wear our heaviest winter coats all summer long and never changing our underwear!
Almost all finished. Note the lambs are not clipped. They are too young and their wool is still fine.