Island at the Edge – the Sheep

It is always the sheep that draw me to explore a new place, or re-visit an old place. This time it’s the Isle of Skye and the croft Island at the Edge. Renewing an old acquaintance with people I had stayed with in their B&B on Colonsay, a tiny island about 100 miles from where I am now, but also in the Inner Hebrides. In the 5 years since that visit, they have relocated to the Isle of Skye, the northern most and largest island in the Inner Hebrides.

I am lucky enough to be staying on the croft in a caravan, which they first lived in while building their house here. They built their house as close to the water’s edge as they could so that, when the tide comes in, they could fish from their back door if they wanted to! Set on the shores of Loch Greshornish, a sea loch so it has tides, it is a very beautiful place.

On this croft they raise Hebridean and Black Cheviot Sheep, as well beginning to breed North Ronaldsay Sheep. They use the wool for a number of products, including yarn and bespoke knitwear.

The sheep are fantastic and the positioning of my caravan right by the pasture lets me make frequent trips out to visit them. The Hebrideans are a little smaller than the Cheviots and have horns. Here are some of the rams.

Look at the wool on this Hebridean ram!

It is, of course, recently after lambing time. I am not sure I can travel any other time of the year!

The Black Cheviot lambs are more muscled and stockier than the Hebrideans, who almost look delicate in comparison.

 

 

 

Sometimes they come and visit me!

The ewes and their lambs are just so photogenic in this setting. There is just something about the black and white, with the occasional grey, that is very appealing to watch.

 

Here’s a good view of the different coloring in some of the Black Cheviot ewes.

What a magical place!

Published in: on May 10, 2018 at 8:18 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes, it is truly magical. Thanks Jackie for sharing your wonderful trips. I look forward to Scotland in September. Unfortunately, I won’t get to North Ronaldsay.

    • Sorry you won’t get to North Ronaldsay but pretty sure you will enjoy Shetland!

  2. J & D > That’s the first good look – albeit still only in photos, not in person – of their Black Cheviots. As a rule Cheviots are white, and this is a carefully bred strain … which perhaps one day could end up being a separate breed, rather like Black Welsh Mountain and White Welsh Mountain. We too have got lamb races in progress – our dainty Hebrideans are amazingly quick on their feet, and can change direction in less than the blink of an eye! I wonder if those visibly heavier Cheviots will only be at the front if they reverse direction when their at the back!

    • That’s a funny thought about the race order. I will have to watch and see if that’s what happens!


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