Saturday, 18 October 2014

A fine set ........ reminds me of a Jesters headwear.

The Wildlife Trust are quite active in livestock husbandry on the reserve to keep the meadows and general vegetation in check.

The sheep on the reserve at the moment are Hebridean, a species that can trace its genes back thousands of years to the Iron Age. In the eighteenth century  (then known as Scottish Dunface ) they were a great favourite with subsistence farmers in highland areas throughout the UK.

It is a small and extremely hardy breed that will eat a broad cross-section of poor vegetation and is essentially self sufficient, the black horned breeds were favoured by many because their feet were harder, grew more slowly and were therefore more resistant to rot in boggy conditions. 

As a consequent of selective breeding of sheep to improve wool and meat production the Hebridean fell out of favour and only survived as an ornamental parkland breed until 1973 when the Rare Breeds Survival Trust identified the Hebridean as  a breed in danger of extinction.

Today the future of the breed is secured and it is the hardy characteristics of the breed that are appealing to conservation bodies. 
                                                     Very Impressive.

Also on the reserve were a small herd of black Dexter cattle, again, a small, hardy breed that originally hail from the south west of Ireland.

Dexters are the smallest native breed in the British Isles.

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