Hill Sheep. Hill life.
Updated: Oct 26, 2020
This blog is an alternative to a traditional glossary, providing background to The Long Acre.
Hill sheep have to be hardy to survive. The Herdwick is a handsome and hardy breed of hill sheep, made even more popular by James Rebanks in English Pastoral. An Inheritance. Other breeds mentioned in The Long Acre are also featured below: Scottish Blackface (Scottie) and Swaledale.
The Mule is a popular first cross between hill breed and Blue-Faced Leicester. Mules aren't as hardy as the pure hill breeds but the ewes have multiple lambs and make fierce and devoted mothers.
Life as a hill farmer is closer to older, nomadic ways of life than you might imagine and this is a theme in the book.
Quotes from The Long Acre.
“What does being a gypsy even mean anymore?” she asked him.
“It’s another way of seeing things isn’t it? Like a sheep on the other side of the fence”.
“Only got one boot”. “Well come in your bare feet then”. Running through the wet grass in bare feet. “Where shall we put this big feeder log?” Licking his finger to test the wind direction. “This side, so the flames blow into it”. “Good lad. Go on then”. He placed the log carefully on the fire and they squatted together, just watching the flames lick around the wood.