Billy

I always wanted to farm. From leaving school at 16…

I began to work on the farm every day to help my father.  He did the same for his father, albeit they did things very different back then. Today we make conceded efforts to focus on good animal welfare, understanding that happy sheep produce better quality fibre.

I love seeing a clean white fleece and it’s nice to see that it is being used for product in the UK.

The land is spread across 450 acres and we grow wheat, oats and barley. We have followed in the family tradition using crop rotation to ensure there is a crop of stubble turnips for the lambs to feed on. The colours of seasonal changes are incredible and I can’t imagine being anywhere else or doing anything else. In fact out land is very special; we have ancient grazing meadows which have never been ploughed. This land is rich in nutrients and benefits from having only seen animals. We also have a roman forest with relics that which is off limits!

I really enjoy lambing time and the experience of new life is unbeatable. Lambing for us happens after Christmas and we get a short break in then before calving. Generally speaking, winter farming involves plenty of maintenance around the farm yard and moving sheep. We work on fencing fields, hedge laying, banking. For us to secure any funding for bio-diversity you need lots of hill land which we don’t really have. Next week we have a meeting to go for some funding to help with hedging and fencing that will encourage wild birds.

  • Years shepherding: 24
  • Location: Quantock Hills
  • Flock size: 300
Summer farming is all about spraying and drilling, planting and make hay before harvest. Working with the sheep can be very hard in the summer because it is so hot and we need to stay vigilant about health and fleece. We have done really well with the health of our flock and might treat 1 sheep a year with antibiotics, if that.
I finally got round to registering as part of the Poll Dorset Breed Society last year which has been a life long ambition. We really love the nature and calmness found with the Poll Dorsets and they fit really well with our lifestyle. It takes use around ½ day to sheer the flock. We use local lads who shepherd for us during the winter. They’re skilled, you see the sheep get bored sitting on their bum, so it’s important to keep them moving the stretch the skin when shearing.
598
KG

Wool produced
this season

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