Another lambing zips on by our fifth on the farm and already the prospect of a busy summer approaches. The marking of the seasons is such a huge part of farming and something that has really struck us since taking on the tenancy at South Town. Even though I've worked in the countryside all my life and was always aware of the seasons and seasonal work its not until your whole livelihood is dependant on the changes that you start to mark the year not in months but by the season.
We opened our campsite this year for our first full season and had a great time meeting all the campers. We've had people from all over Europe visit us. French, German, Lithuanian,Hungarian,Polish, Wales and lots of people from Bournemouth! All seem to enjoy our back to basics campsite and we hope to see many of them again. Some were treated to a Barn owl hunting over the long grass in the camp fields during the evening and the fields were full of butterflies and wild flowers. We have worked hard to create a site that feels natural and works with nature and we are very happy with the results and lovely feedback we have had.
A new addition to the livestock were 9 hens who have provided us with lovely eggs. We let the hens free range during the summer when the campers are about, as long as they don't become to much of a pain. Once the site is closed we create a big run which they can use through the day to protect them from foxes.
Just a few words about an unsung hero of our farming team. Wynn our working collie is now 4 years old and although she behaves like a puppy most of the time she is finally settling down to her work. She will never make one man and his dog but she really saves a huge amount of time. Her gather is erratic, she pushes the sheep on too much and she will not lie down when required, but we love her and she keeps us laughing. We have had a breakthrough with her now being able to bring a flock back to me and put them into the work pens pretty much on her own. Even more than working the sheep, her favourite job is riding on the quad bike. She will scream if I dare to use it without her.