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Sheep farmer honoured for the eighth time
3:45pm Wednesday 24th October 2012 in Farming
YEARS good breeding and management paid off for sheep farmer Stuart Wood who has won one of the top awards in the country for the eighth time.
Mr Wood, of Wethercote Farm, Bilsdale, near Osmotherley, was given the Moorland Association Rose Bowl Trophy for the best pen of ewes hefted to the North York Moors. Mr Wood is a tenant farmer with Mexborough Estates and has 1,000 Swaledale ewes on Bilsdale West Moor, which he took over from his father ten years ago.
Hefted ewes are certain breeds of sheep which attach themselves to particular areas of land.
Mr Wood said: “We are delighted to have won this trophy again. We liaise closely with the moorland gamekeepers to ensure that, between us, we manage the habitat so that the red grouse and the sheep get the best out of it.
“In addition, we protect the sheep from ticks and diseases through dipping and vaccination which has a knock-on benefit to susceptible moorland birds such as curlew and grouse that thrive in this managed landscape.
It is crucial to get the very best out of every sheep focusing on quality not quantity to ensure a viable business to pass on to our children.”
George Winn-Darley, Moorland Association committee member for the North York Moors said: “The Moorland Association Rose Bowl Trophy is awarded to encourage continued good grazing practice. Mr Wood’s husbandry is an excellent example of how consistently managing sheep numbers, grazing patterns and health aspects can produce quality ewes, whilst helping to protect precious heather moorland.”