After 6 months of uninterrupted grazing on an undisturbed island, the St Serf’s flock have been taken back to the mainland for another winter. You may remember a blog post earlier this year explaining why we need sheep over on the island through the summer months to graze the grass and prevent too much vegetation growth. It’s mutually beneficial, with the sheep getting some excellent grazing habitat, and providing us with an excellent grassland management service.
For Scott Graham and his father Jim, the tough part of the process was rounding the sheep up in order to get them on board the boat and back to the trailer on the mainland. The father and son team were assisted by mother-and-daughter team Kerry and Fly, and as if they knew we were coming, the sheep were very considerately already on the near side of the island, making the herding process that little bit easier.
After a few initial darts for freedom, the sheep were penned in, and the process of shipping them back could begin. Nine boat loads were required, with the trailer being returned to Leslie after three boat loads filled it up.
The operation is made much easier by favorable weather conditions, and accomplished boat handling skills are required for things to run smoothly. The latter took a few runs to master, but by the last few runs we were ticking over like clockwork!
With the flock safely off home for the winter, I bid farewell to Scott and Jim and set off back to base.
A fantastic evening to make my way back over the loch, I took the opportunity to take a few more snaps.