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The sheep behind The Shepherds Loft

What a busy week we have had! Half term was such a great week, the weather was glorious and we had lots of happy caravanners.

We have also been shearing our sheep. We do this once a year, taking the thick wooly winter coats off the adult sheep. It doesn't hurt them at all, just like having a really good hair cut and makes it much more comfortable for them through the summer. So all of our 600 sheep now look much slimmer. I love shearing day, we have a gang of people, 3 shearers, 2 people to 'wrap' the wool (roll the fleeces into a ball to keep them tidy) and pack them into wool sheets (big bags) and others to move sheep. We have a great picnic because it is very hard work and then lots of laughs. Team work at it's best.

We have now delivered the wool to the British Wool depot at Newtown. A massive shed which is a hive of activity of people dropping off wool, machines carrying the big wool bags to the table and people grading the wool for colour and quality.

The wool has lots of uses. The British Wool Board then market it on behalf of the farmers, for clothes, carpets, insulation for houses and cool boxes, even duvets and pillows. It is a great temperature regulator.

I have kept some pieces of fleece - I am no knitter, although it is something I would like to do. However I use bits and pieces for insulating water pipes - like those outside the bathroom on the caravan site. I also use it as a slug repellant to protect my vulnerable plants such as hostas and strawberries. Because it is so rough slugs dont really like to cross it. I am also going to try it in my planters, with a layer of farm yard manure in the bottom, a layer of wool to absorb water and regulate temperature and then a layer of topsoil. Hopefully the wool will break down in the planter and produce lots of lovely nutrients for the plants. I haven't tried this one before so keeping my fingers crossed !

Wool really is a super product, which I guess makes sheep super heros!

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