I have been the shepherd at Plaw Hatch Farm for the last 5 years. Since I was knee high I wanted to be a farmer but got distracted along the way by an archaeology degree. Having finished my degree I came to ask about volunteering at Plaw Hatch, luckily at the time the farm were looking for apprentices and I was taken on.
During my apprenticeship I took on more and more responsibility for the sheep, I've always had a special place in my heart for sheep. I also took on aspects of the pigs and chickens and after a few years also learnt to milk our herd of MRI cows to cover for our herdsman. During the summer it is often as many hands on deck to make silage and bale up straw to feed and bed the cattle in the winter. In the winter help is needed to bed up the cows, scape the yard and feed the lovely silage from the summer. It is wonderful to produce your own forage when you open a bale of silage on a freezing day in December you can remember the beautiful hot sunshine the day you made it.
I have been gradually increasing the flock from 30 to 85 ewes. Developing the wool enterprise at Plaw Hatch has been a lovely journey and I'm very excited to have the wool of our Romney's and Jacob crosses to add into the mix. Looking after sheep is an ever evolving challenge one gets one chance a year to improve your lambing systems, improve your grazing rotations or put your rams in. Thinking up new ways of doing things to make them more efficient or better for the sheep is endless entertainment.
If you have any questions about our sheep, our management of the sheep or our wool please feel free to email me.