Well, it's nearly Christmas and we are getting organised so that we can have a few days off.
The rams are beimg removed from their ewes and being put back together in the ram paddock. They have been in with the ewes for 9 weeks and hopefully the ewes will all be pregnant. The ewes and ewe lambs will then all come to the fields at Home Farm for the winter before they come in for lambing in March. They are next to the workshop and office so we can easily keep a close eye on them as they progress through their pregnancies.
We have a new group of ewe lambs which we have brought in to imrove the quality of our fleeces. They are Romney which take their name from the Romney Marsh area of South East England, where this breed has been kept since the 13th century. The Romney is classed as a longwool breed with a fine fleece much loved by spinners. The pictures above do not do them justice as they were taken on one of the murkiest days this year.
The flower beds have all been put to bed for the winter and the dahlias lifted and stored safely. The tulips are planted and a new hedgrow is soon to go in at the holiday let as well as some specimen trees.
The arable fields are left for the winter ready for spring planted crops. We leave cereal stubbles uncultivated for as long as possible to provide seed food for birds. Seed-eating birds forage successfully in the stubbles that we leave, in particular our lovely skylarks.
We are about to wean the White Park calves and send them to a different unit so that they can avoid the harsh winter that Salisbury Plain can give us. The main herd will outwinter and the joy of our native breeds is that they can happily outwinter and are more than hardy enough to cope.
Lastly we come to the holiday let which has been a disaster this year. Hardly any income and booking still very unsure. We are eternal optimists though and have decorated it for Christmas with crackers for our guests and Prosecco in the fridge!
We now just wish you a very Happy Christmas and I good luck for next year which hopefully will be so much better than this.