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In Your Field: Marie Prebble - 'I'm visiting beautiful landscapes in search of sheep'

Marie Prebble runs a 93ha (230-acre) Ministry of Defence-tenanted farm with her parents, David and Diane, near Dover.

 

Largely permanent pasture in Higher Level Stewardship, the farm is home to 400 breeding Romneys which Marie puts to high index Lleyn rams.

Since I last wrote I have weaned the flock, drenched the lambs and moved them to better ground to mitigate the lack of grass at home, as well as fly-spraying my ewe tegs.

 

The ewes can stay where they are with a big range across the farm for now. I will need to have a big sort out in a couple of weeks to pull out the older ewes for sale and sort others by their condition score.

 

The lambs will be coming to the end of their fly cover later this month so I will be shearing them all and moving ewe lambs onto some newly rented grazing.

 

I have already shorn the ewes which were done in winter again as the wool was long enough to be worth something, and just in time for the heatwave.

 

What was more unexpected was the massive storm which followed and it was not much fun moving sheep in shorts and singlet [vest top] with giant hailstones and rain bucketing down.

 

Extreme weather is certainly becoming more common and I am saddened by the terrible flooding in Yorkshire; how hard it must be for the farmers who live there.


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As we get the last of the hay inside I am grateful for the easier weather at home. Less fun are the endless queues of traffic congesting the South East, like sinuses suffering from hay fever and feeling blocked up.

 

As an antidote to the traffic, not the hay, I am writing this from Orkney, about as far from Kent as I could be. Ironically, I have left Dad with the Highlands calving while I have been in the Highlands doing a bit of shearing and speaking to a few folk about my National Sheep Association study bursary.

 

How lucky I am to be seeing some beautiful landscapes while keeping sheep on the brain. This is a common affliction in my circles and I’ve not yet found a cure. I’ll keep looking.

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