The British landscape is so vast and varied. From the highlands of Scotland, to the fairly flat fields of Lincolnshire. The mountains of Wales and hills of the Yorkshire Dales, to the lush, green fields further down the valley, where everything finds it a little easier to thrive – it’s those areas that are called the Lowlands.
The Lowland farms are situated in milder climates, like ours is. We don’t tend to get hit with the worst of the weather, although flooding can be a major problem in some places.
Everything finds it a little easier to survive than on the Upland farms. We can grow crops their land is too rocky, undulating and exposed for, and generally graze more animals per acre.
Many hill farms have some lowland fields to use when the higher quality grass is needed or the animals need to be closer to the farmyard, like during tupping or lambing. And some send their sheep to a farm closer to sea level for the winter, to graze surplus grass and give the animals better nutrition without having to buy in feed, and save the lambing fields for spring.
The Upland farms can be as tough as they are beautiful. It takes more of a toll on the livestock to live on the hills and moorland, they have to be fighting fit to be able to travel the distances they do and eat enough of the rougher grazing to thrive.
When the breeding animals get to an age where they begin to struggle a bit on the harsher terrain, they’re sold to lowland farms where, on the easier ground with more plentiful food, they can have many more years left in them.
The Draft Ewes (ex-hill ewes) are very sought after because when put on lush, lowland grass, they can produce multiple lambs, and the hill ewes have exceptional mothering ability, having had to keep their lambs alive in the harshest of conditions, so they can rear them with minimal intervention… If you can keep them in, that is. After a lifetime of roaming the moors, fences are just obstacles to be scrambled through, for some!