If you can't beat them...

By Jerra

Sheep Shearing.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust were holding a joint event with "Susan's Farm".  Gosling Syke reserve is on the farm which has been gifted to the Trust on the condition it is never built on.  Susan Aglionby still farms the land as an organic farm hopefully soon to be certified as an Organic Grass farm.  This means the animals are able to feed all they need on organic grass without the need to resort to concentrates.

The cattle are English Longhorns as I blipped on 28th May.  The breed was chosen for its hardiness and ability to make use of very course fodder.  Such as the reeds the one in my blip are grazing among.

The blip shows the shearing of one of the Greyface "mules".  These are a cross between the mountain breed - Swaledale and an Upland breed Leicester.  This gives the mule hardiness and the ability to use coarse forage from the Swaledale.  The Leicester has prolificacy (twins & often triplets)  coupled with high milkabilty to feed all those lambs.  Mules from Cumbria are sold to go all over the country to cross with large lowland breeds such as the Suffolk or Texel.  The cross provides lambs in good numbers which grow large and mature quickly.

The shot brings back happy memories of the sheep shearings at school when I taught Rural Science.

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