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Gibshiel

Location:Gibshiel, Northumberland

Habitats:Moorland, Grassland

Livestock:Texel sheep, Llanwenog sheep, Hebridean Sheep, Golden Guernsey goats, Exmoor Ponies

In brief:100 acre hill farm in 10yr Countryside Stewardship scheme mainly grazing with sheep

Contact:Jane Wilson

Tel:

Email:jane.wilson@grazinganimalsproject.org.uk

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Jane Wilson (GAP Local Grazing Schemes Co-ordinator Northern England, Scotland, Northern Ireland) and her husband Roger run a 100 acre hill farm in Northumberland at Gibshiel.

They keep Hebridean, Texel and Llanwenog sheep, Golden Guernsey goats and one Exmoor pony! The farm is in its second 10 yr Countryside Stewardship scheme. This generally involves extensive sheep grazing with relatively low numbers of stock on both the in-bye fields and the open fell where heather regeneration and controlling molinia are the major issues affecting the grazing.

The farm was also involved with the Drovers Project (run by Northumberland National Park) where small numbers of cattle were loaned to the farm for summer grazing. The cattle grazing helped to reduce the dominance of molinia and to open new areas of the fell to grazing with sheep. The Drovers Project ended in 2005 and the molinia now dominates the sward in several places in the absence of cattle grazing.  The drovers Project also set up exclosure plots to monitor the effects of the cattle grazing.

The farm also has an area of raised bog and the edges of this are grazed by the sheep.  Jane also used to provide sheep to Lindisfarne NNR for grazing on the island although the sheep grazing on Lindisfarne has now been replaced with a cattle grazing regime.