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28 October 2014
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SENSE OF PLACE

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The Truth About Sheep
Elvis the sheep
Colin Shelbourn the Windermere based cartoonist finds that sheep just keep on appearing on bits of paper in his studio.
Stop press! Cumbria’s sheep have lost their Sense of Place
Hear all about it... How sheep have nibbled their imprint onto the Cumbrian landscape and into the Cumbrian psyche.
WATCH and LISTEN
video

Virtual flight over the Lakes

Virtual flight over Carlisle

SEE ALSO
A Bit of Lad?
The thing that makes Cumbria most Cumbrian is, in fact, the folks who live there. Cumbrians! Is there a definitive Cumbrian personality and if so what is it?
The Cumbrian Muse
Lots of people are as inspired by their local roots and a sense of belonging as they are by the hills and lakes.

Caz's Cumbrian Quiz

The Programmes

The programme maker - Caz Graham

WEB LINKS
www.fellbred.co.uk

www.shelbourn.com

www.herdwick-sheep.com

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A Sense of Place
An exciting new project investigating what it means to be Cumbrian.

Listen to the programme online »

Look at many a Cumbrian hillside and you’ll see huddles of bemused sheep trying to work out where they are and where they’re supposed to be.

You see fell sheep are ideal case studies for our special BBC 'A Sense of Place' project because they have a natural sense of place that they learn from early days when they’re nobbut larl lambs frolicking around the fells bullying their mums for milk.

It’s called their heft and since last year’s foot and mouth outbreak and the huge cull of fell sheep, lots of our woolly pals have new hefts to learn. Or to be more accurate their farmers have to teach them their new hefts.

And what a nightmare it can be! Try persuading 50 sheep not to stray where the grass is greener ... it ain’t easy!

Listen to Caz with Helen Greenbank from Caldbeck trying to reheft her sheep

Helen with sons
Helen with sons, Thomas and Richard, off to look for sheep
Sheep are part of the fabric of Cumbria. Look at the hills, etched with that patchwork of dry stone walls. Why were the walls built? To keep the sheep in.

Think of all those old drovers roads, all those pubs called The Shepherd’s Inn, the towns and villages that built their foundations on the wool trade.

Sheep are written in bold in the history of Cumbria and there’s lots of work at the moment to make sure they’ll still be an important part of the county’s future.

Jacob tup near Askham, Penrith
Rough Fell tup near Askham, Penrith
There’s Fellbred, a meat selling co-operative in Milnthorpe, making sure that local lamb gets onto local plates.

There’s The Woolclip, a new co-operative of farming women and craftswomen who’re singing the praises of Cumbrian wool and making fabulous wall hangings, gifts and clothes from it. (I want the psychedelic mohair socks!)


David, Rose and Will Willison with mum and new arrival.
David, Rose and Will Willison with mum and new arrival

Lambing time is especially poignant this year after the ravages of foot and mouth disease in 2001.

Many farms lost all of their sheep to the outbreak, and fields and fells lay empty.

No daft lambs racing up and down, no bleatings of new life; it was as if the natural soundtrack of much of Cumbria had been suddenly switched off.

Hear the Cinderbarrow lambs!

This year is much better as things get back to normal. David and Rose Willison farm at Cinderbarrow near Levens with their son Will and they’ve got a good crop of especially noisy lambs this year!

More - Sheepy shenanigans

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