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Lockdown locks off for West Ilsley ewes

Sheep shearing at Rowles Farm

SINCE 1969, the Carlisle family have been running Rowles Farm in West Ilsley.

During lockdown they have been working to keep their family safe by restricting the use of shared tractors and machinery.

Five family members work on the farm, alongside Colin Hayes who has been working there since he was 16 years old - he is now 65.

This time of year is always a busy time, with lambs being born and sheep to be shorn ready for the summer.

Not only are they busy with the ewes, they also cultivate fields of winter wheat, winter barley, winter oilseed rape, spring barley and Italian ryegrass, which they supply to their neighbour Mick Channon Racing.

The mixed arable and livestock farm has 650 ewe lambs, mostly North Country Mules, which were being shorn today, Monday April 20, with a further 700 ewes to follow.

Tom Carlisle said: “We bring in shearing contractors to help with the shearing of the ewes - with 650 ewes to shear it’s a long day. The wool is then sent off to the British Wool Board, to be used for carpets."

The Carlisle family has also had success at the Royal Berkshire Show, winning Best Farmed Farms, as well as winning many sheep prizes.

Follow them on Instagram @rowles_farm

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