Swaledales at Hauxley

Swaledale sheep at hauxley
Swaledale sheep at Hauxley

Our sheep flock is a relatively diverse mix of breeds.  We have some rare breeds doing our grazing for us including Hebridean and Shetland.  However we also use some more run-of-the-mill varieties such as Swaledale.  These hill sheep are hardy if a little less specialised than some of the rarer types.  We tend to purchase the smaller and less valuable whether (castrated males) from some of our local hill farms and then utilise these on our grazing schemes and, ultimately, in our box sales of shearling mutton.

Some of our Swaledale flock can currently be seen grazing at Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Hauxley Nature Reserve.

Swaledale

Advertisements

Two days training

Gathering sheep ready for the training
Gathering sheep ready for the training
Fleece folding
Fleece folding

Stephen spent two days this week training some staff and volunteers working on Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Magnificent Meadows Project.  This HLF funded project is managing some important grassland areas in south Northumberland, particularly those on the Whin Sill and other ‘calaminarian’ sites along the River South Tyne.  Some of these sites are being grazed by Flexigraze.

A sheep is caught
A sheep is caught

The day was used to introduce those attending to handling sheep, shearing them and general sheep management.  The two Exmoor ponies on the site were also brought in to consider the different needs of these larger animals.

There were plenty of chances for hand’s on as well as more theoretical aspects of grazing.

Jess enjoys the company
Jess enjoys the company

The course included getting to grips with the terminology used in sheep farming, all the names used for different ages and stages that confuse most non farming folk.

Jess had plenty to do gathering and helping out but also enjoyed the company when not on duty!