Moving a flerd long distance
Hosted by the Hillcrest Farm Project and 3LM.
Moving livestock across large transects of land can be challenging, but is often a reality faced by farmers who have parcels of land that are spread out. Don’t let obstacles stop you from doing holistic planned grazing. There is always a solution.
In this session, Bracken Morris shared his experience of moving a flerd (a flock of sheep combined with a herd of cattle) at Hillcrest Farm in North Yorkshire through two dales, including a wood, to return to the start of the grazing pattern.
Bracken talked about the simple solution he devised which only requires two people and one good dog. He uses his intuitive knowing about livestock behaviour to guide him in devising a solution that has worked well and stood the test of time.
He always asks the question, ‘What would nature do?’ and thinks through the move from the animal’s point of view.
There was plenty of time to ask questions about livestock handling, livestock behaviour and low stress animal husbandry.
The session will address:
• Farm and food system resilience in times of crisis and climate change
• Sustainable transition to regenerative farming
• Farmers’ health and well-being
• Diversity and inclusivity in northern farming and food production
• Innovative or ancestral agricultural and pastoral practices
• Soil health and regeneration
• Nature friendly farming
We hope to give attendees the confidence to give it a go, with a few pointers to get them thinking, so they can come up with their own ways of moving animals that suits their situation.
Bracken Morris’ interest in, growing knowledge and understanding of animal behaviour began as a very young child. He learnt much from his father who bred horses and, aged 7, started successfully breeding linnets. He is a first generation farmer who bought his first cow at 18 and now has dogs, sheep and goats. He has been fortunate to have met and spent time with people who have many years of experience with animals and have been willing to share with him their knowledge. Bracken is a big advocate of being among the animals, observing and building a relationship with them. His greatest guide is nature.
Sheila Cooke is the lead Director for 3LM, which acts as the Savory Institute hub for the UK and Ireland. As a Savory Institute Field Professional, she educates and advises farmers and business leaders in Holistic Management; a framework which informs high-quality decision-making, by providing people with the insights and management tools needed to work with a full awareness of nature. She holds an MBA in international business, and a BA in sociology/anthropology, and worked in international business for twenty years, including 5 years as a general manager in Japan. This was followed by a career as a facilitator and educator which led her to become a customer of 5 Deep Limited in 2011. She is a qualified trainer for the Institute of Cultural Affairs in Chicago, and developed and facilitated courses at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN) in Rome. Sheila is really inspired by 3LM’s network of producers, brands and retailers, professionals, and consumers who seek, through constant innovation, to change the paradigm of farming from extractive to regenerative.
You can read a blog post about the session outcomes here.