The North Branch held an open day on Sunday which was very well attended by over 60 people from near and far. The day started with a visit to Issy Hartley’s Pendle flock after coffee and delicious cakes and scones Issy and her family showed us around her farm the walk included a visit to the Pendle British Blue herd,Pendle Zwartbles and the recently started Pendle Blue Texel flock. Everyone enjoyed viewing some fantastic stock and farm.
We then moved a short distance along the road to the Odgers family farm home of the Quarrydale Zwartbles flock where everyone viewed several large fields of Zwartbles. Quarrydale Zwartbles is one of the largest flocks in the country, established in 2007 the origin of the flock coming from 10 Beech Hay foundation ewes in lamb to Woodston Kenny. Fifty ewe lambs was certainly a great sight, the majority of lambs are later born and grass fed only, they were a well grown impressive group. A small number are lambed in the Christmas holiday’s by Jessica for early potential show sheep. Tups being used this year include Bobet, Holmlea & Scottfair as well as a homebred shearling Quarrydale Asteroid and tup lamb Quarrydale Coldplay.
Seldom do you get the opportunity to see such large numbers of our breed and so ably rounded up by Jessica and her dog, Sky. A splendid lunch of meat and potato pie was served followed by tea and cakes with everyone wanting the recipe for the fantastic Bakewell tart, alas the Bakewell recipe is a family secret!
After lunch everyone was invited to have a go at judging with 3 pens of sheep to study everyone was soon very busy. Colin Rae acted as master judge on the day and the winners of the competition were Tom Blaimire (Junior) and Raymond Heigh (Adult) both received a bucket containing a lambing kit kindly donated by Henry Schein Animal Health veterinary wholesale company organised by Sam Rae.
The day was rounded off with Sunday lunch at the nearby Pendle Inn and the branch AGM where ideas were discussed for next year’s events.
Many thanks to all involved for a fantastic day - report submitted by Ailsa Dickinson