Lambing Time


We’ve been enjoying our fair share of spring-like weather this week, a welcome state of affairs after a long, dark winter. Few here in the Outer Hebrides will welcome these dry, sunny days more than our local crofters who are in the middle of their busiest time of year.

It’s lambing season, and all across the islands bright, white new arrivals have been making an appearance as the circle of life begins once more. It is a real sign of spring and only the hardest of hearts can fail to be cheered by such a sight.

For the shepherds, it’s a challenging month or so, as they work tirelessly to ensure all goes well for their animals. Expectant mothers and their offspring often pay no heed to timing, and so an around-the-clock vigil must be kept.


   


Many crofters also hold down other jobs, so it’s fair to say there will be gallons of tea and coffee fuelling them over the remaining weeks. Even our head of production Kenny Maclean, is bringing newborns into the world alongside his usual distilling work.

Earlier this week we caught up with local crofter Richard Maclennan to find out how his own lambing season was going. Our new social media assistant Shona and cameraman Kenny took time to capture a little bit of his life at this exciting time of year, and we look forward to sharing the film with you next week.

Meantime, we hope you enjoy the photographs of these latest lambs, Blackfaces and beautiful Cheviots, hardy breeds with wonderful wool. The latter's soft fleece is the mainstay of another island industry, with the ‘clip’ sheared from them each summer going towards making yarn for the iconic Harris Tweed.

We wish all the crofters across the Outer Hebrides a successful lambing season in 2018, there’s not long to go until a good night’s sleep can be enjoyed and a glass (or two) of Isle of Harris Gin raised in toast to another good year for our island flocks.


Our thanks to Richard Maclennan www.westharristrust.org

Images © Shona Maclennan

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