Sunday, 9 March 2014

Local lambs and calves at Oakley Grange, Hathern!

Proud mum!

I read somewhere recently, that Calke Abbey was no longer rearing sheep in quite such large quantities and so they wouldn’t have the big marquee of lambs that they normally have during the early spring. So, I went in search of sheep elsewhere, and I was lucky enough to happen upon a ewe who had given birth to triplets, not three hours earlier!

Going a little way out of Loughborough, I regularly drive to the village of Hathern to take my son to play in the Hathern Senior Band, and I have had occasion to hunt around the cemetery looking for some specific graves, but I had not as yet found anywhere to have a cup of coffee and a cake, until someone mentioned a great place to me, and now was the time to check it out.

Driving up the Shepshed Road I found a sign to Oakley Grange OrganicFarm on the right, and swiftly pulled onto the narrow winding track. Narrow and winding it might have been, but there was a really good view to my left, over the village and across to the power station. I drove carefully along the little road, and imagine my delight when I encountered a beautifully restored barn with window to roof windows and a lovely little patio area in front. And sheep!!! In the fields, lots of sheep!

Coffee and cake!

I went into the barn for a little light refreshment: There was so much to choose from, including savouries, sandwiches, main meals, any manner of hot drink, soft drink, beer and wine. Oh, and cake! I plumped for a cafetiere of coffee, with soya milk, and a piece of coffee and walnut cake – an enormous piece of cake it was too! All this was nicely served, with a sugar basin of sugar cubes!

While parking my car, I’d noticed there was a large barn next to the café barn from where I could head various animal noises, so replete from my refreshments, I walked towards the barn for a bit of a nose around!

Inside was a real treat – lots of little calves, some of them as young as a day, and three little lambs who’d been born only three hours earlier! Glad that I’d brought my camera (but frustrated because the batteries were low so many of my close-up shots didn’t work!) I began to take a few pictures.

Inquisitive calf

Tired calf

Hungry calves

The big brown bull

As I was doing this, the farmer came along and we started chatting about the cows, and the calves. I was really thrilled to learn that the little tan coloured calves with the white stripe down their backs were Longhorns!

The big brown animal was actually a bull, although when he was lying in certain positions he looked a bit like a brown bear! Many of the cows were pregnant, and the farmer was saying they’d had about 10 calves born over the last 10 days.

It's cold out here - let’s cuddle up!

By far and away the most exciting thing was the ewe with her three little lambs. I think it’s quite early for lambs to be born and so she and her new family had been brought into the barn to keep them a little cosier.

So, coffee, cake, cows and sheep, as well as plenty of fresh produce, bread, groceries and gifts, this turned out to be a perfect afternoon. I also spotted an interesting little book of walks around the village of Hathern, but had to resist buying it as I spotted it being bought by my companion - probably for a forthcoming birthday!! 

Mother and baby
My aim of promoting Loughborough as a place to visit means that I often blog about current events, but I’m hoping to get back to some historical stuff soon! Thanks for stopping by.

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