I love the Herdwicks; such a gentle animal but very tough (like the Fell shepherds actually).

Mitchells Auctioneers have invited me to the autumn sale of Herdwick Tups at Cockermouth on Saturday. This is a special event in the Cumbrian Fell farm calendar and I felt very privileged to be asked along. I am taking my camera so I may have some reasonable shots to send out. As you know they killed around 40% of our Herdwicks so it will be great to be amongst this finest of fell sheep; and shepherds! I love the Herdwicks; such a gentle animal but very tough (like the Fell shepherds actually).

I remember vividly listening to radio Cumbria one evening during the early days of FMD. The show was called Nightline and was an opportunity for folk to call in and talk about FMD etc. This particular night a lady farmer wife rang in. She was in tears and almost screaming out. They had just killed all her and her husband's Herdwicks in the Duddon Valley. She was heavily distressed and spoke about the blood flowing down the fell side after the kill. The bodies just dumped on the wet ground all over the fell side. She was very concerned that her husband, an elderly man may never recover.

That was FMD 2001 in Cumbria, Mary! I swear I will make them pay!

I hear the Knowstone folk may be taking MAFF to Court. I am going down in Mid October and will try to find out what is going on. Sorry to sound so angry at times Mary, but I am.

You and Sammy take care.