Sunday, 23 October 2011

How Not to Catch a Sheep

While I have been working on the computer my husband has been watching the Rugby World Cup Final. It has reminded me of my one failed attempt at a rugby tackle; the grazing officer and I were trying to catch one of the Herdwick sheep that needed medical attention. After it had run past me twice without me catching it, the grazing officer shouted in exasperation, " You have to rugby tackle it!" Now, one doesn't argue with the Grazing Officer when he is stressed, so off I went, mumbling grumpily under my breath, "Doesn't he realise how old I am!" and "Hasn't he noticed I'm female so have never played rugby in my life!" Anyway when the sheep raced past me for the third time I duly threw myself through the air in my best imitation of a rugby player and of course fell flat on my face:) I expected the grazing officer either to be laughing his head off or screaming that I was useless but he was already in hot pursuit of the sheep putting in his own rugby tackles. Just as we were giving up and were about to get the dog out the sheep also gave up and we caught him easily. In retrospect it must have looked very funny and I would have loved to have had it on video:)))

This week we have moved the female lambs from the farm where they were born back in March, to their first conservation grazing site. It was all very scary for them but Granny Alice (see previous post) went with them and they all stayed close, following her every move.

The site they have gone to is another Cowslip field at High Elms in Bromley, a couple of miles from where I live and close to Charles Darwin's House at Downe. High Elms Estate used to be owned by Sir John Lubbock who, as an MP in the 1800's, was instrumental in the introduction of the August Bank Holiday. The estate is now run as a nature reserve by the council. In the Spring and Summer there are lots of wild flowers with some quite rare orchids but at this time of year it is lovely to walk through the woods kicking the fallen leaves or to stroll in the more formal gardens, admiring the autumn colours of the many beautiful trees that were planted by the Lubbock family all those years ago. There is also a sensory walk, various ponds, beehives, nature cabin and cafe so well worth a visit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up with the rugby, it a great way to keep fit even when only playing with sheep!
Granny Alice must be a great team player leading such a young team...