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On the Croft - Spring/Summer 2022

Welcome to the reality of our summer! As the rest of the U.K. seems to be basking in glorious sunshine and temperatures higher than 10 degrees, we have had week upon week of rain, fog and the odd gale. Whilst this has been great for the wild flowers blooming everywhere, the downside has been that I have been unable to make a start on shearing my sheep - normally, by this time of year, I'd have most - if not all - of them clipped but as soon as we get a half-day of sunshine and their fleeces start drying out, the wet fog then descends again and we're back to square one.

July is always a busy month as we have the first of the hill caas (where we round up and shear the hill sheep) and then its baling all the silage fields around the isle. I usually try to have all. my sheep sheared by the time we start baling as it's such an intensive job for several weeks but, this year, I'll be trying to clip my 80+ sheep on top of all that.

Although this was supposed to be a 'year off' from lambing, thanks to the escape attempts of a couple of rams we ended up with a lambing season after all. Thankfully not too many though! Luckily all lambs and ewes were healthy and are growing well.

The bad weather has put paid to me tackling lots of outdoor jobs that need doing but I did manage to get the fencing put up for a new silage park - hopefully this will give me a few dozen extra bales for the winter and mean I have to buy and ship in fewer bales from Shetland.

Well that's about all I have to update you on for now. In wider island news, work has finally begun on the building of the new Fair Isle Bird Observatory, with contractors currently working on the foundations, and I believe they are hoping it will be open in time to start taking guests from Spring 2023 - let's hope so!

Keep Safe,

Rachel xx

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