Filming, simple lambs and complicated lambs...
Emma Heseltine - 05 April 2012
We have started the week with more excitement at the Croft. The other week I had a phone call from Tim Perrett at the Soil Association. I met him at a seminar during the winter and he was telling me about a project based on the very popular lambing live which was on TV the last couple of years. There isn’t one planned this year so the Soil Association have planned to do an online version themselves. Tim rang because his original farm had to drop out and they wondered if I would be interested in helping out. After a consultation with the boss we decide this would be a great idea so planned for them to come down this week.
Bright and early on Tuesday we set out to get some film, hopefully of lambing. I was handed a microphone and told I would have to explain what was happening and answer some questions. To say I’m not a big fan of being on the lens end of a camera is something of an understatement. Grin and bear it Emma, its all for a good cause. Thankfully action soon ensued as one of our girls obligingly decided to have her lambs in the beautiful morning sunshine right on queue. The rest of the day I showed the guys around the farm, we looked at lambs gambolling and checked out the river at Wallace Field. I was slyly grilled some more as I forgot I still had the microphone on. I’m dying to see the results, especially the outtakes. Watch this space…
I’m on lamb duty this weekend; there are two markets so someone has to hold the fort at the Croft. By Friday we are on 38 lambed so we are nearly there. I have to pop to Brampton market to sort out my Easter egg hunt (thanks all that had a go!) when I come back I head down to see the sheep. It seems I am very lucky, a shearling has lambed, she has had two and they are both up and about looking great. That is exactly what we want! Next worry is will she follow her lambs as I put them in the trailer? She does a couple of laps of the bike but decides that getting in the trailer is okay so away we go. I’m very impressed with this girl, if only they were all like that.
On Sunday there is a Ewe playing games with me. She is obviously going to lamb, she has set up shop under a hedge, but there is no sign of anything happening. I check her every hour for the entire day, nothing. When Susan gets back we decide to go have another look. Sure enough she has got into problems; just a head is poking out. That head has to go back in and some feet found. I get the head back with some effort and Susan tries to sort out what’s what. After some struggling we decided to take her back to the shed and get out the heavy duty lubrication, the stuff vets have. The lamb still refuses to be untangled so Susan makes the wise choice to call for backup. It’s an important lesson; know when to call for help. Neighbour Jimmy, who provided our Tups Jimmy and James, comes to assist. With some coaxing, quite a lot of struggling and three lambing ropes the lamb finally arrives. I realise I’ve been holding my breath hoping it was still alive, he is and he is a whopper. That was pretty dramatic, the Ewe has earned a rest, thankfully for her it’s just a single.
So it’s Sunday night, 6 left to lamb, the end is in sight. Now where are those overdue calves?
Emma completed a degree in Creative Imaging at Huddersfield University before working for a photography studio as an editor. Taking a break from the office world she worked in outdoor education for several years, climbing, abseiling, shooting, trampolining and even life-guarding with children of all ages. When Emma found out about the apprenticeship scheme with the Soil Association it seemed the perfect chance to do something worthwhile and fulfilling. After much searching and badgering farms in the North of England she found a position with Hadrian Organics and started in July 2011. So far it is living up to her expectations, every day is a new challenge and every day is different.