Octavia our British Lop gilt is now officially a sow as she has had her first litter. Nine were born on Saturday afternoon, outside in the drizzle. She has a lovely farrowing arc full of fresh straw but could not be persuaded to birth in it and she spent all of Friday and Saturday morning collecting bracken and moving the straw to make a big circular nest out in the field. All nine were born within about an hour, each one being moved inside the arc to keep warm. It took another hour or so for her to deliver both afterbirths and another couple of hours before she would move into the arc with the piglets. She unfortunately rolled on one on the first night, a common occurrence in the first few days as the piglets aren't so fast to get out of harms way. We have 8 left, 3 girls and 5 boys. We'll have to tattoo and register them in the next few weeks and get out local Lop expert Carole Barr to have a look at them. There may be some in the litter which are good examples of the breed (relating to ear shape, length, number of teats etc) worth registering which we can sell on for breeding. The rest will be growers for meat. We will probably keep a couple as growers as the meat will be a good supply for Lawson Park and the Honesty Shop in the village. If anyone wants to buy a rare breed British Lop, or some of our pork, please contact us!
Three full-time residential Land and Garden Internships are now available for 4-6 weeks each, to run between May and the end of September. We are looking for proactive people who are engaged in horticultural study or that of a closely-related subject (e.g forestry) and/or have a keen practicing interest in gardening and land management. Previous experience of practical horticulture is essential.
The produce from Lawson Park Farm farm provides for those working and living at Lawson Park and for food-related projects we run locally, nationally and internationally. The farmhouse is surrounded by woodland and circa 15 acres of land (largely managed organically) that contains ornamental gardens, a new orchard, extensive kitchen gardens, a polytunnel and wildflower meadow. We also keep chickens, ducks and pigs. The gardens open to the public annually under the National Garden Scheme and to visiting specialist groups to whom guided tours are offered. Under the leadership of resident warden - artist Karen Guthrie - the land has been developed over the last decade with an emphasis on productivity, sustainability and manageability, marrying contemporary elements with traditional materials and features.
Duties will include general garden and land maintenance, establishment of new cultivated areas, propagation, harvesting, arboriculture and animal care. Although the practical work is often routine, you will have the chance to develop and further your personal interests as well as having the opportunity to participate in diverse Grizedale Arts projects. You will be paid £100 per week and we provide full board in the Lawson Park farmhouse.