Pedigree sheep bounce back

Leigh Wilson, whose sheep were attacked by dogs earlier in the year, hosted the Jacob Sheep Society Northern Region Open Day. Pictures by Jacob Sheep Society UK.
Leigh Wilson, whose sheep were attacked by dogs earlier in the year, hosted the Jacob Sheep Society Northern Region Open Day. Pictures by Jacob Sheep Society UK.
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A north Northumberland woman whose flock of pure-breed sheep was attacked by dogs earlier this year has hosted a successful open day.

And the other members of the Jacob Sheep Society who attended the event, on Sunday, September 8, were ‘shocked’ at how well her surviving sheep had fared.

One of Leigh Wilson's sheep that was attacked.

One of Leigh Wilson's sheep that was attacked.

In February this year, the Gazette reported how Leigh Wilson had issued a heartfelt warning to dog owners after her flock of pedigree sheep was terrorised.

She had arrived at her smallholding in Newham, south of Belford, to find three sheep dead and another 16 injured after being attacked by three rottweilers.

Among the flock were pregnant ewes.

One tup and two ewes were killed and a further six sheep had to be put down following the incident.

Her flock of 40 Jacob and Black Welsh Mountain sheep are kept for showing and the Seahouses resident has won prizes in the past.

“People need to be aware that there are pregnant ewes around at this time of year and they can be really affected by stress as well,” she said at the time.

“Sheep are a scared species anyway. They always think they are going to be attacked and it doesn’t help when they actually are.”

Following the incident, 12 sheep in total died, but amazingly all of the pregnant ewes which survived managed to lamb successfully.

“The first lamb arrived at the beginning of March,” said Leigh. “I was pleased because the ones that did survive did really well.”

Leigh is a member of the Jacob Sheep Society and, well before the attack, she had volunteered to host the Northern Region Open Day, which usually takes place in May so that the new-born lambs are on display.

However, following the incident, she decided to postpone it until September to allow her sheep to recover and for their wool to grow back.

And at the rearranged event, Leigh showed the guests the article from the Gazette, which featured a photo of one of the injured sheep.

“They were absolutely shocked at what my sheep had gone through and how well they had recovered,” she said.

“Even the one pictured in the paper went on to have two cracking lambs.”

Leigh has some lambs to sell at Carlisle in the coming weeks and has also bought another tup.

“It’s nice to have something to sell because I wasn’t expecting to have any,” she added.

Some of her sheep will also be shown at Alwinton Border Shepherds’ Show on Saturday, October 12.