Not sure where to start other than to tell you the last few weeks haven’t been easy.
At home we have 3 acres (on a hill so not the best) and for the past 4 years have rented another 3 from a neighbour which is on the flat. Since Gracie our Highland calf came along I’ve been on the look out for extra land so we could keep her, but it’s the same story where we are, crazy prices mostly due to people with horses willing to pay them, so with no extra grassland I made the decision to sell our beautiful sheep so Gracie could stay.
Found a super home, and I managed not to cry until they were out of sight. They’ve stayed together which is wonderful and have since gone on to have their lambs, Lily a single Ewe, Shirl twin rams and Lottie twins one of each – so far so good. Then came the bomb shell!
Having just let the sheep go we then moved the cows to their ‘summer quarters,’ just as we were closing the gate, the owner of the land told us he wanted horses on it so the cows needed to be off come September!
Talk about a bolt from the blue, never saw that coming and needless to say I knew there and then what would be the outcome. Yes I could have kept them there for another few months and then brought them back home but to what? our land is tired, the girls are on it usually from November to April with their hay rack, to then keep them on it all year round wouldn’t be right, and to be honest I can’t afford to feed hay throughout the year at £35 per large bale.
Other than winning the lottery within the next couple of weeks the only other option we did talk about was moving home, heading to somewhere with more land but would we really be able to sell up and find somewhere else within a few months?
After a lot of soul-searching I knew I had to let them go, and sooner rather than later so Blossom and Ruby could then go straight to the bull. I wanted them to stay together which I knew was asking a lot, but I managed it, and so one week ago today I said goodbye to my 3 hairy Highlands which I admit, broke my heart and still does me a mischief when I think about it.
What is next then for Hedgebottom Home? well, we still have our hens and the land can now have a well deserved rest. I don’t want to make another big decision for a while yet and we don’t have to. My compere work begins this weekend and goes through until the end of November so that will keep me busy.
I do miss having the animals around but I wouldn’t have swapped our time together for anything, it’s just that everything happened so fast, so much so I have warned Glyn he might be next!!