Ellen spends the Easter holiday hard at work on the farm
For our students who live on farms, April is one of the busiest times of year in the farming calendar. Spring marks the start of lambing time which requires round-the-clock checks of the flock to ensure the lambs are born safely, the sheep are fed and all the stock is in good health.
Ellen Atkinson, a Year 10 student, spent her Easter holiday working with her Dad and Grandad on their Dale’s farm. Ellen has helped on the farm since she was a toddler so is extremely capable and can be relied on to keep a close eye on the sheep. Ellen does regular checks of the sheep that are due to lamb and if she spots any that are in distress or are struggling to lamb then she knows how to assist a safe birth and will lamb the sheep if necessary. She is also responsible for looking after the pet lambs who need bottle feeding.
However, it’s not only lambing time on the farm, there are also cows due to calve so Ellen also checks on the cows several times a day to make sure they are well.
Thankfully, the weather has been extremely kind this spring so the sheep can be let out of the lambing sheds to the fields as soon as the lambs are up on the feet and all the checks have been done.
As if this isn’t enough, there are still many other jobs that need to be done at this time of year, so in between all the lambs being born and the sheep being fed, Ellen has also helped her Dad put up new fences and repair dry-stone walls.
Ellen said: “I love working on the farm, it’s a way of life for me and it’s great to feel that I have done something worthwhile with my holiday. It’s incredibly hard work as lambing goes on for several weeks and means that we are up early and finish very late. My Dad also has to get up during the night as there are always some sheep who choose to have their lambs in the early hours of the morning.”