Good Fences make Good Neighbours

Since the cows went in for the winter, we haven’t had any next door neighbours for a while, but about a week ago, some sheep appeared in the field next to the garden.

sheep running away

They’re pretty flighty, so I haven’t been able to take any decent photos of them, but today as I headed out to get the washing in, I noticed that the bleating was a little louder than usual, and looking again, realised that two of them had decided to pay us a call.

sheep in the garden

This is in fact two sheep, not some weird two-headed sheep creature as it appears here

It is a universal sheep truth that, while they can get through some amazingly small holes in fences when you don’t want them too, they cannot get through a wide open gate when you do. Our garden has four corners, and in one of them is an open gate onto the lane. Our visitors and I proceeded to spend the next fifteen minutes extensively testing this truth as the sheep ran inot every corner of the garden except the one with the open gate. They were even willing to bolt directly past me (at an impressive speed) in order not to go anywhere near the opening.

speeding sheep

Apologies for the blurry photo but it was moving at some speed and the light was poor

Tiring of the game, and a bit worried about panicking possibly pregnant sheep, I left them lurking behind the shed like a pair of naughty schoolchildren, and went and rang the farm.

sheep behind the shed

‘I’m pretty sure she can’t see us here’

Two farming chaps came pretty promptly and in the fading light gave a masterclass in garden de-sheeping (farming chap one hides behind the shed, just by the fence. Farming chap two starts chasing the sheep towards the shed. Sheep gets up to warp speed. Farming chap one catches it and effectively bounces it over the fence. Repeat with second sheep).

The problem, apparently, is that our predecessors cut a hole in the fence so their dog could get in and out, and although the farmer keeps closing up the gap, it keeps opening up again. I left them allegedly sheep-proofing the fence again with string (it was too dark by then to see anything), pleased that we discovered this gap in the defences before we had planted the veg plot and not after. I’m already working on a design for a hare-proof fence around the new plot; I might have to upgrade that to a sheep proof one now…

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5 Responses to Good Fences make Good Neighbours

  1. john gibson says:

    This is good stuff. I look forward to hearing of more sheep adventures.
    John

  2. Just wait for all the fun you’ll have once there’s lambs getting their heads stuck in your sheep proof fence. They maybe cute but they are only ever selectively smart.

  3. welshcyclist says:

    I can do without troublesome neighbours, too

  4. Autolycus says:

    You’ld better start practising your whistling and “Come by!” and all the rest of it (or whatever the Scottish equivalent is).

  5. disgruntled says:

    @john – I’m rather hoping that’s the end of it
    @TWC – at least with lambs I can just pick them up and chuck them over the fence – hard to do that with a full grown sheep
    @welshcyclist – at least they aren’t going to have parties into the wee hours
    @Autolycus – I think that’s for communicating with the dogs, not the sheep

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