Lambing finally finished on 3 May 2020 when Skye presented us with twin girls which was agreat relief, as up to that point we had 4 boys and 1 girl - so the latest additions went some way to redressing the gender balance. The ewes and lambs are now in one large pen together and getting bigger by the day. Our four other ewes without lambs are enjoying munching through the lush grass in the field next to our Apiary.
The relaxation of some lockdown regulations meant that in mid May we were able to bring in a small number of volunteers. Our horses and ponies are now finally getting much needed additonal exercise thanks to our volunteers. This was met with some disgust by Merlin, one of our cobs pictured below who had got used to his 'duvet days' but Dotty our latest cob who joined us as an RDA pony just before Covid-19 has greatly appreciated the extra attention.
We decided to move our two pygmy goats Donald & Daisy to the main LCF site. This was for two reasons; firstly to try to reduce their ever increasing waistlines - Donald especially weighed in at a decidely chubby 32 kilos when the goats were wormed recently, as he has been used to free ranging at Ashton Meadows - and secondly to help reduce the workload by having as much livestock as possible at the main site.
The chickens and ducks are happily still laying although our single female goose has decided she has laid enough eggs for this year! We have moved our pair of West of England ganders to an outside pen as they have been fighting with our Embdens. The West of England geese are great guard dogs but if anyone would like them we would be pleased to see them go to a new home for a small donation, as we now have 4 ganders and 1 goose which is not a good mix.
All guinea pigs and rabbits, as well as our two saddlback sows are doing well but missing the attention from the students. The Trustees are hoping we will be in a position to partially re-open and accept a limited number of placements at some point before the summer. This all depends upon Government guidelines and being able to put the necessary social distancing and additional hygiene regulations in place.
We will keep you posted. In the meantime, take care and keep safe.
Once every quarter Wendy Self, our Farm Manager/ Ashley Wicks, our Assistant Farm Manager, writes a short article for publication in the West Ashton Magazine.
This magazine is published by West Ashton Parish Council, and has a local circulation of about 200 copies. It is also available as a pdf for download from the parish website. Click below to read our latest news.