The Newsroom expands ||

When Grandpa Ewan retired from The Courier after 11 years as the Agricultural Editor, there was an old fashioned whip round the office. Rather than a meal out or a weekend away to celebrate the milestone, Ewan spent his envelope on six ewes in lamb. Farming neighbours sighed, the children giggled with glee, we remembered why we didn't miss broken nights and making up bottles in the early hours. And there were only 12 at full capacity in the first year!

Over the last six years, we have relaxed a little - mostly by bringing in a Texel tup to cross with the Lleyn ewes, to breed in exemplary mothering traits and easy lambers. We can pretty much leave them to it, though this year, like always, there were a couple of newborns that need some extra TLC and bottle feeding.

One seems to have moved into Granny's house, emulating the behaviour of the resident dog, following Granny around and demanding ear scratches and food. The flatcoat has also taken responsibility for licking the lamb clean after a bottle feed.

They are definitely a hobby flock, and a slight folly, but we love seeing them in the paddock, and particularly in the spring with the young lambs at foot. They are also an excellent combination of lawnmower and fertiliser for the grass, preparing it perfectly for the turkey chicks when they go out in the summer.

A day in the garden for the new resident: