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TITLE
Shepherd at Upper Strathconon (2 of 2)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_DONALDMACLEOD_02
PLACENAME
Strathconon
DISTRICT
Muir of Ord
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Contin
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Donald MacLeod
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1912
KEYWORDS
shepherds
audio

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Until the mid-18th century sheep were kept in the Highlands only for domestic purposes. However, by the 1760s, the hardy black-faced breed - which could winter outside - were being introduced to the Highlands, replacing the black cattle on the pastures. They dominated the regional economy until the later 19th century.

In this audio extract, Bill Sinclair talks to Donald MacLeod, a shepherd of black-faced sheep, in Upper Strathconon, Ross-shire.

Interviewer: Well, we're here looking out over the fields, and the strath here, and the mountains all around, but the snow looks pretty deep. How deep do you think it is where we're here?

Oh it's eighteen inches to two feet here, cause it drifts off the hills and it lies in the hollows here when you're feeding the sheep and there's nothing for them to eat apart from what you give them.

Interviewer: Now you don't sound as if you come from Strathconon; you sound to me like you some from a little bit further aways.

Well, I came from Raasay. I left Raasay away back in 1951 and I went to Skye and Lord MacDonald's estates there. And then I moved to Fort William, when I got married there, and then I was way down in Rannoch for a few years - Rannoch Moor.

Interviewer: How do you compare this with Rannoch Moor in the winter time?

Ach well, it's more bleak down in Rannoch than here, like, and oh it can be pretty hard here too in the winter time. The likes of, the likes of today, there's nothing for the beasts to eat apart from what you gave them.

Interviewer: How often do you have to feed them, Donald?

Oh, it's a daily, a daily routine here. Yes. Feed the lot further west in the morning and then we come down here at night.

Interviewer: Yes. Now, the lambing takes place when?

The Black-Faces - they lamb about the twentieth of April. But the cross-yowes, we've got cross-yowes lambing; they'll be a fortnight earlier. That's the Suffolk, like. We keep the cross-yowes and then we put the Suffolk tups wi them an they'll be lambing earlier

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Shepherd at Upper Strathconon (2 of 2)

ROSS: Contin

1980s; 1990s

shepherds; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Until the mid-18th century sheep were kept in the Highlands only for domestic purposes. However, by the 1760s, the hardy black-faced breed - which could winter outside - were being introduced to the Highlands, replacing the black cattle on the pastures. They dominated the regional economy until the later 19th century. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract, Bill Sinclair talks to Donald MacLeod, a shepherd of black-faced sheep, in Upper Strathconon, Ross-shire. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Well, we're here looking out over the fields, and the strath here, and the mountains all around, but the snow looks pretty deep. How deep do you think it is where we're here?<br /> <br /> Oh it's eighteen inches to two feet here, cause it drifts off the hills and it lies in the hollows here when you're feeding the sheep and there's nothing for them to eat apart from what you give them.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Now you don't sound as if you come from Strathconon; you sound to me like you some from a little bit further aways.<br /> <br /> Well, I came from Raasay. I left Raasay away back in 1951 and I went to Skye and Lord MacDonald's estates there. And then I moved to Fort William, when I got married there, and then I was way down in Rannoch for a few years - Rannoch Moor. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: How do you compare this with Rannoch Moor in the winter time?<br /> <br /> Ach well, it's more bleak down in Rannoch than here, like, and oh it can be pretty hard here too in the winter time. The likes of, the likes of today, there's nothing for the beasts to eat apart from what you gave them. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: How often do you have to feed them, Donald?<br /> <br /> Oh, it's a daily, a daily routine here. Yes. Feed the lot further west in the morning and then we come down here at night.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes. Now, the lambing takes place when?<br /> <br /> The Black-Faces - they lamb about the twentieth of April. But the cross-yowes, we've got cross-yowes lambing; they'll be a fortnight earlier. That's the Suffolk, like. We keep the cross-yowes and then we put the Suffolk tups wi them an they'll be lambing earlier