I stood on the hillside and listened, I could hear curlew and lapwings a truly heartwarming sound - Jill Thorp

Our lambs are arriving thick and fast.

It is lambing time at Stott Hall Farm

Following the first few births, the floodgates were opened and we struggled to keep up to the new arrivals.

Thankfully, the weather has been on our side and as yet our big lambing shed remains empty.

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The fields around the farm are filling up faster than I can move all their occupants back to the ground at Farnley.

We decided to do things slightly differently this year and lamb all our Farnley sheep back at Stott Hall.

Splitting the workload between the two farms was putting a huge strain on us, so we brought them all home.

The disadvantage of this, of course, is our lack of grass, something essential for our big mule ewes.

As soon as they’re strong enough we load them up and move them back to Farnley.

There is no doubt that this weather has been an absolute Godsend to us and all the farmers working flat out to ensure the safe arrival of their lambs. I hardly dare utter the word ‘rain’ but the reality is, we could do with a drop or two to get the grass growing now!

John-William has been a huge help, filling the role of chief lamb catcher and wielder of the marker spray!

However, heated discussions aplenty are to be heard coming from the pens. John-William has yet to understand that he can’t keep all of his tup lambs as tups.

The tub of rubber rings seems to mysteriously vanish when it comes to marking his lambs and as is usually the case, he’s been very liberal with his can of red spray!

As long hours are spent outdoors, we rarely get to watch the television, which at this current time is perhaps no bad thing.

The endless updates and death tally is shocking and only serves to pull us all down. Hoards of cars and people still descend on the moors surrounding our farm.

It’s particularly frustrating for us as we have a footpath that runs through our yard. Despite there being people acting irresponsibly, the message has clearly hit home with many as the motorway has certainly quietened down.

The Easter weekend was peaceful and that’s something we can’t often say! I stood on the hillside above the farm and listened. I could hear the curlews and lapwings, a truly heartwarming and evocative sound. The ewes calling to their lambs, something we strain to hear above the usual din.

The occasional car and wagon went past followed by long spells of silence. Perhaps it was just tiredness but I felt so much more relaxed and at one with my surroundings.

The tension and annoyance I feel at the constant noise all but gone. I wonder when we come out of these scary times how many of us will make significant changes to their lifestyle?

Will they be more responsible for their actions especially those that cause such damage to the environment? I also wonder how many will finally admit that farmers aren’t the environmental terrorists we’ve been made out to be.

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