South Country Cheviots at
The farm business comprises Glendinning, Glenshanna and Megdale Farms in Westerkirk,
and Sundhope near Hawick
Gathering the top end
Hardy hill breeds of sheep
Top End ewes gathered with their lambs
An extensive grazing system
Gathering the Podovic
All ewes lamb outside
A traditional extensive grazing system.
Most of the land is rough high hill pasture with very little improved ground, an environment which is best suited to hardy hefted native breeds of sheep stocked at around one ewe to 2 acres. The farms carry around 1700 South Country Cheviot ewes and 850 Scottish Blackface ewes in a traditional extensive grazing system. Visitors to the farms will often see the shepherds and their working dogs gathering large droves of sheep in from the hills.
Over the past 3 years South Country Cheviots have replaced most of the Blackface ewes on Megdale. This has been achieved by buying draft ewes at 6 years old from Crossdykes and retaining the best ewe lambs from these ewes for the hill.
The farms produce around 7 tons of wool every year
Shearing the tups
Fleeces are rolled and packed and delivered into the Wool Board
South Country Cheviot Rams
Ewes are lambed from the beginning of April
Blackface ewe bonding with her newborn lamb
Around 7 tons of
wool every year
Cheviot rams are purchased at Lockerbie in October, with the most influential rams sourced from Castle Crawford, Becks, Crossdykes and Upper Hindhope. Blackface rams are purchased at Lanark, with rams from Dyke and Whelphill leaving the best progeny.
The rams run with the ewes from early November. All ewes are pregnancy scanned in February with the ewes from the top end of the farm scanning at around 100 - 110% whereas further down the hill at Megdale ewes scan at around 135%.
Ewes are brought down into the enclosures from the beginning of April where they lamb. Single lambs return to the hill with their mothers while the ewes with twin lambs remain in the enclosures until after the ewes are sheared in July. Rams are sheared in May followed by the ewe hoggs in June and the ewes in July. The business produces around 7 tons of wool every year.
Prize winning pen of lambs
Top blackface wedder lambs
Cheviot rams coloured for sale
Prize-winning pen of cheviot store lambs
A regular aged hefted hill flock
Lambs are weaned from the middle of September and sold as store lambs through Longtown Auction Mart, achieving among the highest prices every week. Many regular buyers return year after year to purchase Glendinning Cheviot wedders and Sundhope Blackface wedders for finishing over the winter months. Cheviot shearling rams are also available to purchase in October.
At the end of September the 5 year old ewes are sold as draft ewes at Longtown Auction Mart, with buyers coming from as far afield as Wales, Devon, Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire. These ewes go on to breed for another 2 or 3 years in a less challenging environment, often crossed with a more commercial ram. The best ewe lambs from each heft are then retained to replace the draft ewes. These lambs become part of the breeding flock ensuring that the correct stocking density is maintained on the hill.
In rural Dumfries & Galloway, Glendinning Farm Self Catering Cottages provide an ideal setting for a relaxing and carefree holiday. Away from the stresses of busy lives, most guests appreciate that there is no internet and no mobile phone signal. Landline phones are provided in the cottages for the use of guests.