Working from Juniper Hall and a 90 acre working farm in Carshalton, Surrey along the top of the North Downs ridge, this course will be run by the farm manager and will deal with all aspects of keeping sheep and cattle, touching on keeping other animals as well. It is aimed for beginners and those who would like guidance or an idea of where to begin; what is involved in keeping a small flock or herd of livestock. Practical sessions will include carrying out sheep health checks, various methods of rounding animals up into pens, dealing with common ailments and livestock fencing. Classroom based theory will be informal with flexibility to discuss participant’s own interests and questions. It will focus on the shepherd’s yearly calendar, lambing methods and equipment, selection of animal breeds or species and some of the basic legal requirements for keeping livestock, including both animal welfare and record keeping.
Tutor: Sean GruffertySean Grufferty is a passionate and experienced stockman of ten years, with a particular interest in sheep grazing and the associated management of rare chalk grassland habitat. He has been the Grazing Officer for the Downlands Partnership since 2014 where he now manages their flock of over 200 sheep (including 50 breeding ewes), 11 cattle and 10 goats with the help of his assistant. They have a voluntary stock checker team of over 100 volunteers made up of local people who check on the welfare of their livestock daily across the 23 sites they manage.
Start and finish times
Residential guests are welcome to arrive, register and settle into rooms any time between 15.30 and 17.30 on Friday. Non-residents should aim to be here by 17.30. Afternoon tea will be served at 16.00. A short welcome talk will take place at 18.30. You will then be shown into dinner at 18.45. The course will begin with a classroom session after dinner and finish with afternoon tea at approximately 16.00 on Sunday.
Before You Attend
What to bring
Please bring the following with you if you can:
- Small rucksack or bag and a lunchbox
- Waterproofs (just in case!) - these can be borrowed from the Centre
- Stout shoes or boots (wellies can be borrowed from the Centre)
- Water bottle and/or thermos flask
- Casual clothing