I always find that I work best when I have small goals or projects to work towards, so this week I decided that I was going to give the farms sheep set up an early spring clean.

There aren’t any sheep on the farm any more, apart from a small batch that a local farmer brings down for the winter, so the dip and pens had become quite over grown through lack of regular use. The dip sits directly opposite our house, so I figured that a good clean up would not only improve its use but also our view!

The race and pens themselves were in great shape and despite being put in over 30 years ago, they look as good as new. The real issue was the amount of grass, weeds, brambles and moss that had grown a little out of control.

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The over grown grass was the main culprit and had grown over concrete and around flakes, making it hard to see underfoot (not ideal when there’s a sheep dip buried under there somewhere!) and nearly impossible to move flakes and open gates. So the first job was to take a spade to the grass and cut, hack, scrapeand dig all the moss and turf away.

In doing so I rediscovered a lot of concrete, making things a lot safer underfoot for both man and beast, and freed the race and flakes from their grassy grip.

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Along with the concrete, I discovered a whole host of items ranging from pipes and bits of broken plastic to a footrot trough!

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The biggest discovery of all, was the elusive sheep dip itself. The dip was hidden under a mass of grass, weeds and roots and was by far the hardest area to clear as the foliage had grown through the dip’s wooden cover. The wood itself was really rotten, so once cleared I used an old trailer side panel (farm’s are excellent at having all sorts of great things like this lying around when you need them!) to cover the dip and make it safe.

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With high winds and stormy weather blowing in, I knew I only had a small amount of time to carry on with my project this week. After checking the sheep this morning, I decided that I would try and tackle one corner of the pens that had become heavily overgrown with brambles.

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A pair of secateurs, a hand full of thorns and some serious hacking and cutting was all it took and the job was done. The corner was clear.

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All done and I even had time to take the farm dog for a wee walk with Iona before the rain set in and I retreated in doors for a cup of tea and to write this blog!

The job isn’t quite finished yet, so I’m sure you’ll see another blog or two following my progress, but I think I managed to break the back of it this week and made it look a hundred times better in the process!

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