Wandering Herdwicks

Jim Webster

We have only formally wintered Herdwicks once, as an experiment. Fences good enough for cattle and even for mule ewes, might as well have not been there. The chap whose Herdwicks they were fetched them in two groups and they remained in two groups. Even when wandering they stuck to their groups. Indeed at one point both lots were out, and wandered down a track towards each other, passed through each other and kept going in their chosen direction.

At the time I did wonder whether the two groups didn’t ever stop to think, “If they’re abandoning this direction, is it worth us going there?” But obviously sheep don’t work like that.

At the time we had some electrified wire netting we used to keep cows and calves out of certain areas. Imagine a sheep netting fence of string but with thin metal wires fed through it carrying the current…

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