Christine Ryder: 'The heather is starting to flower on the moor'

Another busy month dodging showers but, finally, we got all the silage finished. Our contractor managed to sort out some pink and purple wrap for us and this has been quite a talking point among the guests and a great way of raising money for Breast Cancer Research and the WellChild charity.


We also managed to get a massive smiley face sticker for one bale which has raised a few grins among the walkers who come through the yard.

Chris is busy starting to get some Mule and Texel cross shearlings ready for the first sale at Skipton.


They have been into the yards a few times lately for various treatments and dipping, but this has led to a major sense of humour failure on my part several times.


The thing is, the guests love to go and see what is going on, which is fine and it gives us a chance to talk about what we are doing and why. However, they do not seem to appreciate it would be great if they took shoes off before going upstairs after visiting the farm. I am thinking I need to get shares in a carpet cleaning products company.


Now the heather on the moor is starting to flower, some of our regular bee keepers are bringing their hives back so hopefully I will soon be restocked with lovely heather honey.


We have also redone some bracken spraying by helicopter on the moor, following up from two years ago. It has been generally successful but there were one or two patches which must have been missed last time.


As part of our Higher Level Stewardship scheme we have done some more work on wild flower meadows. One of our fields has done especially well and we used this as a donor site for the others.


We harvested the grass as green hay and spread it onto just cleared land. Hopefully next summer we will see good results from this. If anything is a negative, we have found one type of flower, usually yellow rattle, seems to take over on some fields.


This last week we celebrated 29 years of wedded bliss. While cooking breakfast, Chris suggested he would take me out for lunch. I thought this sounded great but did not initially appreciate this also involved a trailer of fat ewes and an auction dinner. Hey ho; it is the thought which counts?

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