The Shepherd


Ernest Ayre has grazing land on the edge of Richmond overlooking the Swale valley.
His family had farmed in the area for generations. Ernest and his parents ran a traditional dairy farm. However, as milk prices decreased it became increasingly difficult to keep going, his mother died suddenly and Ernest and his father moved into a bungalow in the town, selling the farmhouse yet retaining the land. Ernest then lost his father and no longer had the will to carry on farming, and it was no longer economically viable anyway. He rented out the land.

In 2002 I came along with four lambs, begging to rent some land. Ernest became devoted to them, the first of our flock and passionate about the Wenlseydale breed. He embraced the ideas of Izzy Lane and soon became a vegetarian! Five hundred sheep later, Ernest looks after and devotes all his time to their care.

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