Tuesday, 16 June 2020

On and around the farm in June

On and around the farm in June

The ewes with single lambs are now back on the moors but those with twins stay on the farm until July. Despite the good weather this lambing time the sheep that are rearing twins need supplementary feed and experienced shepherding every day.
 The herdwick lambs are growing fast and so is Heidi's fleece.  She will glad to get rid of it at shearing time!

 This was the last ewe to lamb this year and didn't she give us a surprise?  She is one of our 'crossed sheep', in other words she was put to a Texel tup not a Swaledale so we weren't expecting pure Swaledale lambs however ...... one all black and one all white is quite unusual.
She was very late to lamb so these gorgeous little lambs were born during the recent disturbing times of unrest and injustice.  I look at them as a sign of hope and a reminder of equality in all things.
Unlike the little black Texel cross lamb above, Herdwick lambs are supposed to be born black.  After a few weeks they start to get their distinctive 'mask' which is the start of them losing their black face.  Their black woolly coats lighten to a dark brown colour which they keep till they are clipped for the first time at about 18 months old.
   Messing about by the river is a great way to spend an afternoon.  If you are here when bluebell wood is in full bloom it is an extra treat however Whamp Bridge is the perfect setting at any time.

Wild swimming.
There's nothing like a refreshing dip in the cool water of the infant Swale. 

Upper Swaledale is famous for its miles of dry stone walls and the hundreds of stone buildings that in Swaledale are known cow'uses.  Swaledale is also known for its meadow fields that flower in profusion from the end of May through to the end of June.

These meadows are very special and only flower like this because the upland farmers stick rigidly to traditional farming methods, applying natural feed (muck) instead of heavy, nitrogen based, artificial fertilizer.  They only get one crop but the hay from these flower & herb rich meadows is the sweetest, the most nutritious and the best. 


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