The Dalveen Flock
We don't have what you would conventionally call a farm, with a farm house, yard, steading surrounded by land. We have built our farm from scratch buying small parcels of land locally when they become available and renting additional land to support our growing business.
We have a large polytunnel for lambing in. We also use it for sorting and housing sheep outside of lambing time. It makes a great place to grow tomatoes!
We farm in a sustainable way, producing high quality, high welfare lamb whilst developing habitat and managing our land in an environmentally conscious manner. We use very little synthetic fertilisers and rely on the natural benefits of shed muck which is spread back onto the land and liquid seaweed.
We have planted hundreds of metres of new hedges in the past couple of years and lots of trees. We have also been repairing the traditional dry stone walls that surround our fields.
Paul and I farm in the Eden Valley. It is a beautiful part of the world, just north of the Lake District between Carlisle and Penrith.
It all started on my 21st birthday when I asked for money to buy my first two Jacob sheep, the two became four and then six and then along came Paul - who said he didn't like sheep! After that our flock grew. We now have a flock of about 140 breeding ewes, made up predominantly of three breeds. Jacobs, Herdwicks and North Country Cheviots.
We have three working collies, Paul's dog Blue, fully trained and very capable, the pup who is a little pocket rocket and very good with the sheep and mine, Gannon who does what I need him to do.
As well as the sheep business we both work full time. I'm a primary school teacher, with a passion for teaching outdoor activities and where food comes from. I also run my craft business The Specked Hen, making and selling items from our wool and things inspired by the natural world around me. Paul is self employed, turning his hand to a variety of things from farm work, HGV driving, fabrication and everything in between. We are both from rural families with links and experience in agriculture.