exciting new project investigating what it means to be Cumbrian.
to the programme online »
at many a Cumbrian hillside and youll see huddles of bemused
sheep trying to work out where they are and where theyre supposed
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 theyre nobbut larl lambs
frolicking around the fells bullying their mums for milk.
Its called their heft and since last years 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.
what a nightmare it can be! Try persuading 50 sheep not to stray
where the grass is greener ... it aint easy!
to Caz with Helen Greenbank from Caldbeck trying
to reheft her 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.
with sons, Thomas and Richard, off to look for sheep
Think of all those old drovers roads, all those pubs called The Shepherds
Inn, the towns and villages that built their foundations on the wool
Sheep are written in bold in the history of Cumbria and theres
lots of work at the moment to make sure theyll still be an important
part of the countys future.
Fellbred, a meat selling co-operative in Milnthorpe, making sure that
local lamb gets onto local plates.
Fell tup near Askham, Penrith
Theres The Woolclip, a new co-operative of farming women and
craftswomen whore singing the praises of Cumbrian wool and making
fabulous wall hangings, gifts and clothes from it. (I want the psychedelic
Rose and Will Willison with mum and new arrival
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
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 theyve got a good crop of especially noisy lambs this
- Sheepy shenanigans