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Shepherding Skills

Saturday, July 18th 2020

The small flock of Hebridean sheep have chosen to graze at Plovers Pool rather than on the wetland bunds where they were needed most! It was decided that they might be more beneficial in the heather paddocks which are filling up with unwanted grasses, rushes, willow and birch. However, the first attempt at moving them between these two different habitats failed miserably as once they were herded to the main gate they soon scattered and ran back to Plovers Pool!  With limited staff and volunteers it wasn't the easiest of tasks!

A second try was more successful as the team had an extra helping hand; Ian's talented sheep dog Maisy! Here she is cooling off after her hard work.

It was an eventful occasion with people placed at strategic points along the way to prevent the sheep from turning off into the woodland or along Risedale Beck. It took around 45 minutes to round them up and move them to the paddocks. They took an unexpected detour along some of the net rides but Hayley outflanked them and then they came back along the main road. Thor (the ram), then managed to close the field gate from the outside by butting it with his horns at the critical moment! 

The team successfully turned them around and finally they arrived in their new surroundings. They seemed to settle in well and will stay here for a few days or so until they are moved again to an adjacent paddock.

We hope that visitors enjoy seeing them as they drive up the main track to the Field Centre.


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