Time to move the sheep….
they’ve been grazing the field behind the house now for a couple of weeks & could do with some fresh grazing. This is a thankfully easy job; for as soon as they see me coming into the field they come racing over, then follow me through whichever gateway I happen to open for them.
Today I moved them slightly further up the hill – back onto Bryn Carreg Gwen (literal translation being, “Hill of the White Rock” or “Whitestone Hill” – named after the abundant craggy quartz whose moon-silvered, unforgivingly solid surface lurks shark-like just beneath the soil’s surface to break the blades of the farmer’s unsuspecting plough. However it’s been frustrating to have to keep them to the lower pastures at present, with the hay still not having been cut nor with any clue as to when that happy day may yet arrive.
So the sheep were duly moved to graze rich pastures new….however, some of them had other ideas! Unfortunately it transpired that Dyfrig (a local groundworks contractor who has been carrying out some work for us) had neglected Rule Number One of the Countryside Code: “always leave a gate, as you find it” (i.e. either open or closed).
Bryn Carrg Gwen has four gates: one, up to Parc Dan Fordd’s (field below the road) hay meadow; an adjacent, small gate between that pasture & Parc Cam (‘Bendy Field’!); a third, between said pasture & Parc Tu ôl Ty (the Field Behind the House); & finally, the fourth gate leads from Carreg Gwen & onto the drive just above the farmhouse (to the left) & the Dairy Complex (to the right).
Owing to the high hedgerows, not all the gateways can be seen. I walked up through the orchard & then into Tu ôl Ty; & was immediately spotted by the sheep who came bustling over. I led them into Carreg Gwen & popped my head through the gateway to confirm the water trough was full & clean; then returned the way I had come, carefully closing the gate behind me.
Whilst working in the Dairy Complex a few minutes later, however, I happened to wander outside for a moment; only to spot our diminutive black ewe, Headcase, taking a leisurely stroll along our lane with several of this year’s crop of lambs in curious tow.
Hastily summoning Tony we worked together to retrieve the feisty flock, which proved a delicate operation owing to the need to ‘head them off at the pass’, so to speak. The Milkforce went wild with excitment, able to see the operation clearly through the misty green gauze of the Galebreaker at the southern end of the building; not helping the situation in the least by chortling & bawling encouragement to the skittish sheep.
Thankfully, after a few moments of mayhem which seemed to last an age, common sense (if the term can indeed be applied to ovines) prevailed; unhappy at being separated from their chums, lambs & ewe skittered back up the hill into Bryn Carreg Gwen; the gate latch clicked home; & peace was restored.
Thankfully, on this occasion, no damage was done & our crops & livestock were unharmed. But it just goes to emphasise the old adage: please, folks,
“FOLLOW THE COUNTRYSIDE CODE”.