Flock of sheep arrives at new home on Tye

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A community flock has returned to Telscombe Tye after a successful pilot scheme ran last year.

Residents who visit the beauty spot should look out for shearling black faced Suffolk sheep and Herdwicks.

Telscombe community flock'Cllr, Andy Smith, Tim Armour (farmer) and Nancy Astley (town clerk)

Telscombe community flock'Cllr, Andy Smith, Tim Armour (farmer) and Nancy Astley (town clerk)

The sheep will help to keep the gorse down and maintain the Tye’s special grassland character.

Town councillor Andy Smith said: “It’s been a lovely way to get the community involved in the Tye. People seemed to like it.”

The sheep will also produce lambs which will be sold to turn a profit.

In total there are 106 sheep and a ram with the last batch of sheep arriving at their new home this week.

They will be brought together for events such as a scanning, where the sheep are scanned for babies and residents are invited along to learn about the flock.

The council first introduced the scheme last year where they bought sheep which would only carry lambs one more time.

This was so they could try the scheme out.

While only 80 per cent of the sheep had lambs, they had between one and three lambs.

The council still managed to turn a small profit and earn more money than it would have done in the bank with interest.

The ewes it has bought this time around should be able to have lambs for the next five years and it is expecting to turn a much bigger profit.

Herdwick sheep are the native breed of the central and western Lake District and live on the highest of England’s mountains. They are extremely hardy.

The Suffolk sheep was first recorded in 1797 and evolved from the mating of Norfolk Horn ewes with Southdown rams in the Bury St Edmunds area.

‘Tye’ means enclosure or common pasture.

It is managed using traditional farming methods to ensure wildflowers, insects and ground nesting birds can flourish.

The Tye also has a dew pond which was originally dug out for livestock to drink from where no natural ponds or streams occur.

Dew ponds are lined with a layer of clay which stops the water seeping into the ground.

Underneath this was a layer of soot to deter earthworms from burrowing into the pond.

A video of the new flock is at www.sussexexpress.co.uk