The shearing team

The shearing team

The Park’s 250 Beulah ewes have just been shorn. This annual event takes place each June and was a little delayed this year due to the wet weather. A fleece must be dry if it is shear and store well.

The ewes are owned by the Country Park but managed under a 5 year Farm Business Tenancy by local farmers Shon and Simon Sprackling. They run Rother Valley Organics, a Rogate based business which provides on-line sales of fresh, free range organic meat. More information about the on-line shop can be found at www.rothervalleyorganics.com

 

 

Bill Hedges is the shepherd responsible for the management of the flock and carries out the shearing of the Park’s sheep as well as working as a contractor to shear 40,000 others each year. A good shearer can finish 300 sheep a day and so our 250 ewes do not take too long to process. At 50 pence per kilo the income from the wool barely covers the cost of the labour.

Bill Hedges

Bill Hedges

The wool os sold directly to the British Wool Marketing Board which coordinates the sale from most of the producers in this country.

The lambs do not have enough wool to be worth shearing. They are growing well and the best ones will be ready for market in a couple of months time.

The Park’s sheep are used to keep the National Nature Reserve in favourable condition by grazing the right areas at the appropriate time. The sheep are joined by a herd of 30-40 cattle in the late Summer/Autumn.

For more information about wool production or farming in general go to the UK Agriculture site at www.ukagriculture.com

Nathan Hedges

Nathan Hedges

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