For several years we were lucky

For several years we were lucky. We lost few new-born lambs and each ewe produced just over t o lambs on average. We get several sets of triplets and almost always the mother manages will.

In many areas foxes can be a real problem for those whose sheep lamb out of doors. Normally ewe can defend a single lamb, but when giving birth to a second it means that the first is u protected. Foxes are cunning and strong, and a young, fit lamb is no problem to him.

The only other real predators of newly born lambs are eagles. This creates a real problem because I believe that we should make a plan for our large birds of prey.  golden eagles are magnificent creatures: I have seen them in both Scotland and the Lake District and there is no doubt that they do occasionally take lambs. Consequently, the eagle has always been persecuted, not only by. gamekeepers but by shepherds, too.

 

26. Scotland

Now, in Scotland, the white-tailed or sea eagle has been successfully re-introduced, and I was lucky enough to see some of the efforts to return it on the island of Rhum read more information. It is a mag-nificent bird, though sadly, a few of the newly breeding sea eagles are also taking lambs, and some shepherds are outraged.

I believe that there is a place for both sheep and eagles and that shepherds should be given good financial compensation for all losses. In areas where, predation is high, they should also be given generous aid to enable them to build lambing sheds, where the young lambs can remain until they are too big for the eagles to snatch away.

Tradition has it that shepherds are simple, but well read men. That may well have been true in the past, but tradition is quickly changing, because shepherds can now sit back on a cold winter’s evening and watch a video.

I have just watched two — Sheep of the Hills with Joe Henson and Preparing Sheep for Show with that wonderful, traditional old Dorset shepherd John Randall. I can recommend them both.

 

 

 

Cotswold crafts

DISCOVER the legacy of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds with a new leaflet which provides a trail around the area.

The illustrated map highlights places

to visit, from Kelmscott Manor, the

country home of Morris and his wife Jane, to Selsley, where you will find fine stained glass by Morris and his colleagues.

The leaflet also features the galleries and workshops of contemporary craftsmen.

Anniversary in Canterbury

THROUGHOUT 1997 Canterbury celebrates the 1400th anniversary of the

arrival in England of St Augustine. Sent by Pope Gregory in 597 A.D., Augustine re-established Christianity in southern England and founded the country’s first cathedral on the site of the present Canterbury Cathedral.More about England, cathedrals and Europe at this site.

Shakespeare’s Globe

SHAKESPEARE’S recently recreated Globe Theatre in Southwark, London, officially opens in June and its first season will include productions of Henry V and The Winter’s Tale.

Mill day

WINDMILLS and

watermills across the country will open to the public on 11th May as part of a campaign to increase public awareness of their history and increasing rarity.

Two hundred years ago every parish had its own mill, usually to grind corn, but today, though some mills still thrive, such as Mapledurham Mill, others are at risk of demolition or decay.