Fresh from watching our duck taking her chicks away we continued our weekend by attending the annual Skipton Sheep Day. This event is held on the first Sunday of July every year and it took us several years to actually attend. Every year since I moved to Yorkshire I’d see the sign a couple of weeks before Sheep Day and realise I was away that weekend and couldn’t make it. Then a couple of years ago we made sure we were around to attend and it was well worth it. From the sheep shearing to the owl demonstrations to the duck herding (yep, you heard it right). It was a wonderful afternoon although I forgot to bring my camera. Not so this time! Cue some more cute duckling photos (I’ve seen more ducklings this weekend than in a year):
Last year we were away on Sheep Day (as usual) but this time our friends were staying with us so we just had to take them along. Since there’s been rather a lot of rain lately it came as no surprise that it torrentially rained most of the day. However the skies cleared as soon as the sheep dogs came out to show us their stuff. Since Sheep Day takes place in the middle of the high street, there isn’t enough room to demonstrate them herding sheep so ducks and geese have to suffice instead.
This was very entertaining as they really didn’t want to play along – they were like naughty children – and the sheep dog had to work twice as hard as it should have!
After the ducks and geese were herded and cajoled into their pens it was time for some good old-fashioned sheep shearing. Instead of using the high-tech electric shears they demonstrated the old-fashioned ones which involved wrestling the sheep to the ground, holding it fast and carefully giving it a short back and sides with a pair of giant scissors. I think it’s one of these things that looks easy but in fact requires a certain knack to do!
What’s surprising is that the average fleece is only worth around 35p which gives you an idea of the fine margins farmers work under these days. Sounds like a tough way to make a living if you ask me. Anyway, there was also a farmers market (where we spent a bit of money) and some sort of show going on but the thunderstorms were coming back and our friends had to head home so we left. But we’ll be back next year for more – and if you’re anywhere near Skipton on the first Sunday in July I suggest you go along too!
Oh, sheep shearing…! 😉