We visited Boghead Farm near the village of Lumsden in Aberdeenshire for an open day which would feature their sheep at lambing time.
The Jacksons have around 150 Vendeen ewes in their flock - a breed I wasn't familiar with and which was only introduced to the UK from France in 1981. A stocky breed with thick fleece,Vendeen sheep are bred for lean meat and seem to do very well here in the north east of Scotland.
If you want to get children interested in farming and animal husbandry....this is how you do it! Young visitors got to hold a lamb, to bottle feed some of them and to potentially watch the birth of new lambs.
The ewes were remarkably tolerant of the audience of curious humans and didn't seem in the least put out by all the attention they were receiving.
The lambs had a long day, for some it was just time to have a little nap......
We also chatted with some of the helpers for the day from the North East Agricultural Society about farming in general, and admired the herd of pure bred Aberdeen Angus cattle which the Jacksons also have. Originating from the nearby village of Alford, the "black beauties" can be found all over the world, and particularly in South America.
We enjoyed a really interesting visit to Boghead, our thanks to Thomas and Fiona Jackson for holding this open day. Opening a farm to the public can never be a simple process - there's lots to consider. Given the tragedy that befell the Jacksons in October 2018 when one of their cattle tested positive for a "spontaneous" case of BSE their decision to open up the farm is both courageous and a statement of hope for the future. Fiona spoke movingly of the trauma of the whole situation and it was really good to see the farming community of North East Scotland supporting them on this open day.