Country diary: a pregnant pause as the ewes return for lambing

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Tebay, Cumbria: We rest on the brow of the hill. Even with all the uncertainty there is much to be thankful for. The sheep look well and the weather is settled

It is three-and-a-half miles from one end of the farm to the other, and shortly before lambing, we must walk the pregnant sheep home. Since December, the ewes have been grazing down in the lush green pastures surrounding Low Park Farm, which was abandoned 50 years ago when the previous occupants emigrated to the US.

The field systems and the walled garden still survive at Low Park, but the farmhouse has collapsed. Now only rough fell sheep live there, among the ruins. My son lets out a long cry of “Come on” and the sheep slowly turn to face north and head for home – Low Borrowbridge Farm. Most have been here all their lives. They know the routine. They are heavy and will tire on the walk, just one week out from lambing. So we walk slowly, if purposefully, home.

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