Firstly, the length of time since the last blog post is shameful. Say no more. We think there’s good reason for that though. We always knew that coming in to Spring, the pace of life at Lynbreck was going to shift up a fair few gears.
Well that has certainly happened, and then some. Without going into all the detail, it’s been a few months of hedge planting, fencing, building work and of course the arrival of our beasties – the flerd.
A flerd is a mixed flock of sheep and herd of cattle. Our flerd comprises of 6 Highlanders and 5 Jacob sheep (so far). They live side by side and all come from local farms meaning that they are well used to our ever changing climate.
Our hens are wannabe flerd members
In an effort to get the most out of our grassland for wildlife and for our animals, we are mob grazing. Every day we moo-ve our flerd onto fresh grass in an electric fenced paddock. They stay in there for 24 hours chomping, trampling, pooping, peeing, chewing, playing and snoozing and then with a simple ‘come on’ call, they skip into the next paddock,. We make sure they take some grass and leave some grass, but all the time their impact is improving and building soil. Grazed paddocks are given a long period of rest before the flerd hit them up again.
We want grasslands bursting with wildflowers and diversity
We sprinkle wildflower seed into their mineral lick so they literally poop flowers!
Later in the summer they’ll venture out onto the flats where, free roaming, they’ll see the summer out amongst the heather before coming back in for another sweep of the fields until the depths of winter arrive once again.
The flats. A wide open expanse perfect for a wild roaming flerd
These native breeds fit Lynbreck like a glove. They merrily munch in all weathers and their patience with their novice owners is humbling. They watch us daily as we scratch our heads trying to figure out paddock designs while getting entangled in, and even zapped by mobile electric fencing – we wonder what they must make of us.
It’s not as if they don’t have their own mishaps. In the beginning when we had to supplement their daily feed with some hay, Flora had more issues with wearing hay than actually eating it!
We’re lucky to have them here, and, we’re pretty sure they like it too