At last I am established at the new Lightwater Cottage - and looking forward to assessing a new crop of lambs for the autumn sales.
Roston Starky is the new 'ram of the moment' in 2013 and has produced a crop of strong, brown lambs of good conformation. After previous experience I shall save my entries for the Ryeland Flock Book Show and Sale at Carlisle on Saturday September 21st.All this is tinged with sadness this year. The dam to protect Morpeth from flooding is under construction 150metres from my house. A site of about 10acres has been cleared of trees and a haul road established. Foundations are being built and very shortly the river will be diverted to enable work to go on in the riverbed. It's a massive project [estimate £22 million] and my part in it very small, to some, but my home of 40years must be demolished and I have to build a new place on higher ground. My riverside grazing may disappear and then I would be restricted to 6 acres. However, if things go well, I will have a well-insulated home, a barn attached to the house and I shall buy some land of my own adjacent to the house. It may be 6 acres of thistles at the moment but that will change! In preparation, I am selling some of my older ewes and shearlings,to keep lambing small next year. Two people have already kindly offered to look after my ewe lambs until my grass comes on stream. Soon It will be helter skelter to get prepared for building. Despite a very difficult winter for forage quality, the flock clipped well. I shall go to the Ryeland Flock Book Society Show and Sale at Ludlow on Saturday August 24th and take a couple of fleeces with me for the coloured class. I'm hopeful!