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  • gilda16

Sweet Scents of May

Everyone is saying it but the blossom is looking simply wonderful this year! On the descent into Thixendale, the hawthorn covered hills are laden with white flowers bursting into bloom that the hills almost look snow covered! The scent is magical too, it smells of honey and almonds and there is nothing better than taking in a deep lungful. The variegated pink is my favourite, who would have thought that mother nature could produce such a vibrant colour? It really is spectacular. Contrary to what you may read on Twitter there are lots of insects about too, attracted by these flowers and also the wild flowers in the fields and verges. I know because I seem to keep swallowing them when out for a run!

Talking about runs, we are surrounded by a multitude of circular walks (or runs if you are that way inclined), most of which can be found on the village website. We are also located right on the Yorkshire Wolds Way and the Centenary Way and the newest route in the area is the Wold Rangers Way. If walking in the countryside is your thing then you can definitely find it here.

Wicket Hut has been full all of half-term with families exploring the area. Children love snuggling up to lamby or rabbit in the bunk beds and having a game of croquet when they find the set under the hut. We hear that some families are more competitive than others! The firepits are getting lots of use for bbq's as well.

There's still some availability for the Summer holidays and unlike other holiday establishments our prices stay the same all year round. With a young family myself, I know how costly it can be to book some time away in the restricted period of school holidays and we want to make sure that everyone can enjoy some value for money, family time together. Check out our calendar and book in. You can also find us on Airbnb where we are proud to be superhosts!

On the farm, shearing is underway. This is a major operation to coordinate as it is the first time that the ewes and lambs are gathered in together after they have been turned out from lambing and while the ewes know the drill the lambs certainly keep you on your toes when trying to get them through a particular space, like a gate.

The shearers bring their own trailer which makes the job much easier for them as the sheep follow the race and wait in turn. It is a very skilled job and one that is very necessary as not only is it more comfortable for the sheep to be shorn in the warmer weather, but is good for their well being as it prevents flies laying eggs in the fleeces and also stops them from getting stuck on their backs which can be fatal if the sheep are not turned over soon enough.

It's quite a labour intensive job as in addition to the shearers, my husband keeps moving the sheep forwards while Buffa expertly wraps the fleeces - there is a particular way in which to do it, before loading up the bags, sewing them closed and sending them to the British Wool Marketing Board.

With 700 ewes, plus their lambs around, it isn't a job that can be done in a day so it has to be planned over a couple of weeks and of course around the weather.

One thing that has made the job slightly harder this year is that we are a sheep dog down, because Nell has had pups! They are just over three weeks old and have opened their eyes now and are growing exponentially! She had two bitches and a dog and has taken to motherhood extremely well. The plan is to keep one of the bitches (though if mum has her way it will be both of them) to train up and take on the work of the older dogs. At the age of 13, Tip is pretty much retired though she lends a hand when she feels like it and while Cora is young enough to carry on for a good few years it's important to have some youngsters to train and share the work load. Though if Nell has her way she'll be back to it pretty soon.

Fortunately a couple of local shepherds have been available with their dogs to help us gather the sheep when we've need an extra pair of legs. We really couldn't manage without them.

Here's hoping for some warmer summer weather, before we know it harvest will be here but there's plenty to keep us busy before then.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.


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