With just under 2000 sheep of various descriptions, spread out over 400 acres it’s impossible to keep an eye on each one all of the time, so we are always dependent on good fences and good gates to keep them in the right place. So a simple incident like a gate left open can cause chaos and a lot of extra work.
First thing on Saturday morning we received a phone message of sheep on the road. My wife, Debbie, relayed the message to me and as I was already nearby, I was there in a few minutes. B ut there was no sign of any sheep. To say that there was no sign is not strictly true, as sheep always leave a sign of their presence in the form of dung on the road. A lot of dung means lots of sheep, but even a few sheep will leave enough droppings to show clearly that they have passed through. A little more detective work led me to a lane which showed signs of many sheep. and following it back to it’s source ( a mile away) I discovered an open gate to one of my fields. Unfortunately there were only 20 of the 75 ewes present! It was at that point that my phone rang again. A friend a mile away, who live in the middle of a housing development. had woken to find ‘quite a few’ sheep in their front garden. With a great stroke of luck they also have a paddock alongside their house, in which they had very kindly penned the sheep.
I arrived to find to my relief that all of the errant sheep were happily settled in. I soon disrupted the Saturday morning routine of the household, by press-ganging Andy, Angie and their children into shepherding action to help return the sheep home.
So all is well that ends well, and I owe Andy and Angie a huge debt of gratitude for saving the day not only by taking in the strays but also in helping to return them hope. And to whoever left the gate open, please don’t do it again!!