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Becky Sherman, The Squire Farm, Chapel Lawn, Bucknell, Shropshire. SY7 0BW

Tel/Fax - 01547 530530 E-mail - becky@squirefarm.co.uk


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Traditional, low beams, farm cottage, open fire, inglenook, hot tub,

THE SQUIRE FARM

The Squire Farm, Chapel Lawn, Bucknell, Shropshire SY7 0BW

Tel/Fax - 01547 530530 E-mail - becky@squirefarm.co.uk


FARM NEWS

For Sale

Eggs from our own hens  are for sale at £1.25 per half dozen.

(Subject to availability and when we can find them)

***

Home Grown Mutton

Follow the link for details or ask me, Becky on

01547 530530 or e-mail

This page is a sort of ‘blog’ I suppose, but I prefer to call it ‘News’ and try to keep it up to date with what is going on on the farm and property.  If you are interested in anything in particular, please ask!

Previous Year’s News

Peter being loved by Skolly

2018

January

All we’ve had so far is ‘weather’!  Cold, snow, rain, gales, storms and a bit of sunshine, I’ll admit, though not so much recently.

These two pictures of fir trees with water drops I was rather pleased with.  The water drops are actually solid ice!

Black Hill one Sunday afternoon

Our valley on a cold, misty morning

April

The weather has been so wet recently, that we wonder (not for the first time) whether we should start building an ark?  

The ewes, which were going to have a year off from lambing this year, started lambing last week!  Porter, our handsome black ram climbed through two fences to get to the ewes last autumn and although he was only with them for five days, ten out of 22 ewes were pregnant!  As he was with them for such a short period of time, the last three ewes lambed this morning and it is all over in less than 10 days.  

I like this!  

All had twins, most of which are beautiful, big, healthy lambs.  

Today, the sun is shining and we have put three mothers outside on some fresh grass.  It makes the late nights and early mornings all worth while.

The first two lambs. Ewes and lambs out to enjoy the sunshine at last Transport

Transport - didn’t want to go  in - didn’t want to come out!

Last to lamb

Last ewe to lamb - she’s got another lamb somewhere…

First lambs

First ewe to lamb - she’s had a bit of trouble feeding them

Numbered and ready to go out

Nearly May… today Peter has been sorting out the chimney in Squire Cottage.  About a week ago, he noticed a crow flying in and out of the chimney.  On examination, the creature had built it’s nest half way down the chimney on top of a cast iron baffle which stops warm air escaping up the chimney when the fire is not lit.  There was so much nest material - twigs and lumps of sheep’s wool, that the baffle was held tight shut.  Of course it would have been impossible to have a fire in that instance - the chimney was completely blocked!  As the crow had only just started laying eggs and we are not enamoured with the amount of crows we have nesting in every possible place they can this year, Peter climbed up the chimney and used drain rods to pull the nest down.  I took some photos, but they are blurred and don’t show the full extent of the problem!

heap of twigs and nesting materials View up the inside of the chimney, showing the baffle plate

May/June

I haven’t posted anything for a while as we have been pretty busy this month and last.  First, Peter got the little digger filling in potholes in our track after the devastating winter and spring rains and people (mostly delivery van drivers) driving too fast up and down the road.  Pot holes now filled.

Then there has been topping the thistles and nettles in our fields, and in some instances, where  tractor cannot go and there are too many of them, blasting them with herbicide.

Having tea while filling pot holes

We got all the sheep in, wormed them and checked their feet and made sure they did not have maggots.  The wethers and ram were put out in the Dingle, close to our buildings.  In the Spring, newly lambed ewes and their lambs were put in here and we made a tin shelter for the lambs to keep out of the rain.  Porter must have mis-heard and thought I said ‘Rams’ not ‘lambs’, because 9 large males have been trying to squeeze themselves under the tin ever since!

This is easier now they have been shorn of course!

Porter considering moving in Most of the wethers have squeezed in Sometimes they just have to wait their turn...

June

Shearing!  It’s a major event in the shepherd’s calendar and a huge relief when it is done.  More so for us as we have to rely on contractors to come and do it for us.  Needless to say, they arrived on the day they promised (early) and after chasing the hogs (shearling or one year old ewes, the first time shorn) round the farm a few times, got on and finished the job.  John is still shearing at 72 (or is it 71?) after having had a heart attack and a new knee.  Even young men find the job hard work and John was every bit as fast as Simon with the shears.

John and Simon shearing inside this year - too hot outside Simon got the short straw with Porter. Peter rolling fleeses

You would think that the ram and wethers would be difficult, but they were pussycats compared to the bolshy, rough, jumpy and downright difficult young females!



Peter was in charge of rolling fleeces this year - he’s still learning, but kept up well with our two shearers.  I sat watching, or trying to catch the escapees or fetched cold drinks or tea!  It was hard work.

July

I don’t like to complain after we have had such a wet Spring, but really - this fine, hot sunny weather is beginning to be a nuisance!  I think we have already lost the beautiful blue/purple hydrangea in the Xidong garden, the lawns are yellow and I dread to think what is happening to the arable crops around the country.  We are fortunate in that our stream is still running as is the river and our north-facing fields are still covered with nice green grass.

Xidong Garden 17/7/18

It has been a long time coming, but finally we have decided the way forward for the ornamental pond in Xidong garden and work will start soon.  The lovely pond has been leaking for some time and in this dry weather it has completely dried up.  Due to the way in which it was constructed originally, it is not a simple matter to plug the leak, so we have decided to re-design and re-shape the pond and add a water feature.  First we will have to clear out the weeds, broken breeze blocks and old plants.  The frogs and newts have already abandoned the area.

In the next few weeks, tidying work will begin and from around 10th August new block work will go in, the stone slabs around the edge of the pond removed and a new liner installed.  I will keep this page updated with the latest news and pictures of the progress.  

The actual messy and noisy construction work will only happen when the cottage is empty, but the work will be ‘in progress’ during times when we have guests.  Our apologies for this intrusion; it really shouldn’t hamper the enjoyment of your holiday and the site will not look very much worse than it does currently with an empty pond, overgrown trees and dying shrubs due to drought!