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Rachel Lewis-Davies: The weather may have been awful, but our hill ewes are doing well

Insights

At last a welcome day of sunshine, following week after week of terrible wind and rain.

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We have gathered and scanned the hill ewes which were on target at just over the 100 per cent - just what we want as twins are a nuisance in the hill flock as they would have to stay down until weaning.

 

With our sheep outdoors and the ground ewes grazing on root crops it has been utterly dismal over the past few weeks - the ewes are doing well but the conditions are quite difficult - thank goodness we are not lambing.

 

Given the weather of the past few weeks I have decided Bobby can keep his ‘dog and stick’ and ‘wading ankle deep in mud, driving wind and rain’. I will take some convincing that more livestock housing is not the way to go at Yscoedreddfyn.

 

Ceri, our eldest, has just started her work placement. For the next month or so she will be living and working in the ‘land of milk and honey’ with wonderful people on a spring-calving dairy unit at Pendine in south Carmarthenshire.

 

What a fantastic opportunity for Ceri and her fellow students to learn about different systems and scales of farming.

 

On our visit ‘down country’ to drop her off we were very envious of the grass growth with spring definitely on the way - we even spotted daffodils out in St Clears. I will have to keep you updated on when our daffs flower but I can promise you they are barely up at the moment, let alone out in bloom. A simple but pertinent reminder, I think, of the sheer variation in the length of the growing season across Wales, the physical and financial disadvantages of farming in the hills and of the very real need for a dedicated Areas of Natural Constraints scheme for farmers in the uplands.

 

Away from the farm, I am delighted to have been recruited to serve as clerk to the local community council. An excellent way of meeting people, although I don’t know a great deal about local democracy in action.

 

Bobby says since I now have more than a fleeting resemblance to the well-known Vicar of Dibley of late, I will probably settle to it fine. Keep smiling.

 

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