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Davie Baxter is a link with a lost world: he's one of the last shepherds working the hills of England. But after 40 years, he'll soon retire and a lifetime on the land will be over. Shepherds are virtually a thing of the past. Once, the UK's farmers employed thousands, but a slump in sheep farming has cut a swathe through their ranks and many of the traditional arts are disappearing. Most flocks nowadays are herded by farmers on quad bikes. The Last Shepherds follows Davie through the cycle of hill farming - lambing in spring, haymaking, showing sheep in the summer, then autumn lamb sales and winter feeding. What's particularly special about him is his close relationship with the dogs he works with, and alongside the seasonal narrative, the book offers a fascinating account of Davie breaking in the last collie of his working life - turning a cute puppy into an intelligent sheepdog finely tuned to his master's commands. Davie is humorous, forthright and sharp. He doesn't suffer fools gladly. He's a great character and one of the last of his kind. This engrossing book is an extraordinary record of a way of life that's almost gone forever.

The last shepherds - Charles Bowden

9780233001074
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Title
The last shepherds - a vanishing way of life on Britain's traditional hill farms
Author
Charles Bowden
format
Hardback
Publisher
Granada
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20040915

Davie Baxter is a link with a lost world: he's one of the last shepherds working the hills of England. But after 40 years, he'll soon retire and a lifetime on the land will be over. Shepherds are virtually a thing of the past. Once, the UK's farmers employed thousands, but a slump in sheep farming has cut a swathe through their ranks and many of the traditional arts are disappearing. Most flocks nowadays are herded by farmers on quad bikes. The Last Shepherds follows Davie through the cycle of hill farming - lambing in spring, haymaking, showing sheep in the summer, then autumn lamb sales and winter feeding. What's particularly special about him is his close relationship with the dogs he works with, and alongside the seasonal narrative, the book offers a fascinating account of Davie breaking in the last collie of his working life - turning a cute puppy into an intelligent sheepdog finely tuned to his master's commands. Davie is humorous, forthright and sharp. He doesn't suffer fools gladly. He's a great character and one of the last of his kind. This engrossing book is an extraordinary record of a way of life that's almost gone forever.

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Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Farm life - England - Northumberland.|Hill farming - England - Northumberland.|Sheep herding - England - Northumberland.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
255

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