This year’s member’s evening had a very “woolly” theme.
Our speaker Rosie Lee, the “Reluctant Shepherdess”, gave us a wonderfully energetic and humorous talk.
Many years ago her parents had bought a dairy farm which, after her dad died, had been tenanted out. When the tenants left, her mother challenged her to do something with the farm, and so her sheep farming adventure began; so different from her former banking career.
This involved a four year agricultural degree course in Countryside Management at Reaseheath College and the purchase of 20 shearling Shropshire sheep plus one ram. A good ram, she had heard, is worth paying a lot for; so this she did. It has to have a good physique with good strong back legs and apparently testicles with a circumference of 40cms would you believe!
With the many ups and downs of this new vocation, her family saw very little of her, starting in September with the breeding season and continuing right through to the weaning the following June.
With conservation and wildlife in mind she has grown an orchard of trees for the sheep to graze around. She specifically chose Shropshire sheep because they don’t eat the bark of trees.
Students from Reaseheath on work experience have built fences for her, and she very much enjoys having groups of schoolchildren visit her farm. Over the years her flock has increased and she never fails to be fascinated by the personalities and behaviours of her sheep. She now wonders if her son will follow in her footsteps.
After her talk we had tea and a quiz about wool. The quiz winner was Liz.
The competition “Something made of wool” was won by Jen with her “Lambs in a photo frame”. Second was Janet with her jumper and third was Mary with a pair of slippers.
Many thanks was given by Chris to Anne, Sue and the rest of this year’s member’s committee for a fantastic evening.