Butser Hill from the south east

Butser Hill from the south east

 
Finally some proper winter weather has arrived with several days of hard frost on Butser Hill. The weekend was very busy with walkers and cyclists all over the place. The Park’s sheep flock of 221 ewes are not troubled by the temperature and there is plenty of grass available across the hill. Lambing for the main flock is a while off in April and as a consequence they can cope with fairly rough grazing for a little while longer. Currently they are in ‘Grandfathers Bottom’ an area where a winter graze is essential as part of the sward management of the National Nature Reserve.
 
Shearlings on the southern slopes

Shearlings on the southern slopes

 
On the southern slopes there is a small flock of this years lambs which are waiting to go to market. And finally in Wascombe Valley there is a flock of shearlings, last years ewe lambs, which have met the ram for the first time and will lamb in March this year. They have just been wormed and ear tagged and will be grazing an area recently cleared of scrub by the tractor and ‘destroyer’ (see earlier blog post).
 
More sheep

More sheep

 
Butser Hill and its livestock are all registered as organic and the management regime is designed around a low stocking rate and slow growth for our lamb, mutton and beef. No fertilisers or herbicides whatsoever are used on the hill.
The sector body which inspects and licenses this registration is the Organic Farmers and Growers who are based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.  www.organicfarmers.org.uk 
The flock is also registered under the FABBL Scheme, otherwise known as the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme. This ensures high standards of animal husbandry, quality control for feedstuffs and traceability for all livestock movements.
Their web-site  www.redtractor.org.uk contains the latest news, recipes and campaign activities.
Organic lamb and mutton are currently on sale from the visitor centre shop. 
Advertisements