Stay on a Farm
What better way to relax and unwind than to stay on a tranquil Lake District working farm surrounded by stunning views. Farm stays are great for all ages with the chance to gain an insight into a traditional way of life. Children in particular wil enjoy seeing the farm animals and enjoying outdoor activities. In April and May guests staying on a sheep farm will be able to see new-born lambs out in the fields. If you are lucky enough to be there on the right day you may even be able to watch the birth of a lamb or bottle feed an orphan lamb with permission from the farmer. Aswell as sheep our local farms may have cattle, hens, ducks and horses. You may be able meet and feed the animals or even take a tour. If you're on a self catering break you may have the chance to buy fresh eggs for your breakfast.
The Lake District's native sheep survive on the mountains all year long. They never stray from their 'heaf' - the area they were suckled as lambs.The Herdwick is a special breed unique to Britain and the Lake District . They are easy to recognise as they all have a white face and white legs with a coat which changes colour from black on a lamb to blue-grey as they mature. The rams are easy to spot too as they have horns. Originally brought over by the Vikings the Herdwicks are able to cope with exposed steep fellsides and the winter conditions. The wool is widely used for carpet making and knitwear and when blended with Swaledale wool is used to make loft insulation.
Shepherds are said to count sheep by going up to fifteen or twenty and then moving a small stone from one pocket to the other before beginning again, therefore keeping score.
Try Counting Sheep in Cumbrian 1 Yan 2 Tyan 3 Tethera 4 Methera 5 Pimp 6 Sethera 7 Lethera 8 Hovera 9 Dovera 10 Dick
The ewes are brought back down into the valleys to lamb. Please be especialy sure to keep dogs on a lead at this time. The sheep are marked with a colour or a number and an ear mark to make identifying them easier when they are out on the fells.
In the dry months of July and August sheep again are brought down from the fells for clipping. Most clipping is done using electric shears these days but you can often see hand clipping competitions at the local agricultural shows later in the year.
As summer ends the lambs are weaned from their mothers. Male lambs are sold to other farmers or kept to be fattened up for meat. Herdwick meat has a very distinctive flavour but is becoming more popular as people become more interested in where their meat has come from.
Before Christmas the ewes are returned to the fells. In direct contrast cattle are often brought in from December to April or May.