Tom loading the sheep into his double-decker trailer with “trainee” sheep dog Reg (right)
Tom’s sheep have completed their mission to munch in Pheasant Field and have departed literally for pastures new. We’re glad to report that their two-week sojourn on the meadow passed without incident. We’re very grateful to dog-walkers for keeping their dogs on leads and everyone for giving our wooly munchers a happy and contented time. The sheep fence is de-activated but will stay in the meadow for a few days until Tom comes to collect it.
Fifty-three very charming looking sheep arrived bang on time on Tuesday courtesy of their owner Tom Parry and his dog Reg. These are Jacob sheep, an old English breed originally found on great landed estates from the 17th Century and were much more common in the centuries following.
If you are walking dogs in the meadow, please keep them on leads. This is for the safety of your dog as well as the sheep. If dogs sniff the fence they will get a severe shock and are likely to bolt. We aim to make life as undisturbed as possible for the sheep so they can get on with their very important job of eating grass.
“Conservation grazing” with sheep is a very good means of maintaining grassland. It helps us to manage meadow fertility and opens up the dense tussocks to allow the development of a greater variety of grasses, flowering plants and insect life. They are scheduled to leave on Christmas Eve, assuming they have eaten enough grass.
Tom Parry and Reg
A big Lag Wood thank you to Tom Parry, grazing manager at the Sussex Wildlife Trust and proud owner of a flock of very distinctive Jacob Sheep. Fifty-five of them will be on part of Pheasant Field from Tuesday (10th of December) for about two weeks. A sturdy electric fence was installed yesterday by volunteers from the South Downs National Park and a big thank you to them as well, especially as they took the time to do some bramble and blackthorn management for us. Well done everyone.
PLEASE NOTE: we will be asking all dog walkers to keep all dogs on leads while sheep are in the meadow. No exceptions please. The meadow is Pheasant Field between Butcher’s Wood and Lag Wood. The public footpaths crossing the site are unaffected. We will be erecting some temporary signs to warn people.
Lead Ranger Phillippa Morrison-Price with South Downs National Park volunteers. Tom Parry is far left in the beanie hat.
SDNP volunteers clearing bramble by the track.