The new series of BBC programme Lambing Live aired for the first time last night, hosted by Kate Humble and Adam Henson from a farm in the Scottish borders near Penicuik run by the Hamish and Susie Dyke and their family.
The Dykes have been farming in the shadow of the Pentland Hills since the 1950s. Hamish is the third generation to farm South Slipperfield. He farms in partnership with his father John.
Originally from Stirling, Susie also comes from a farming family. She started her career as a veterinary nurse.
Since becoming a mum, she has worked part-time in a variety of local jobs but is now working full-time on the farm.
Children Rosie, nine, and seven-year-old Murdo also help out on the farm and both have lambed themselves.
Hamish’s father John is a highly-respected member of the farming community and a former chairman of the prestigious Highland Show.
He takes responsibility for breeding the farm’s Blue-aced Leicester sheep and the cattle.
He is married to Kate and they share a passion for breeding and showing pedigree Highland ponies which they sell in the UK and Germany.
Kate Humble was apprenticed to the Dykes in a previous Lambing Live series. Since delivering her first lamb on the first series in 2010, she discovered that sheep farming is more than just a business – it’s a way of life, and one that she is now embarking on herself.
While her shepherding skills are improving, since filming started in September, Kate has been discovering that the hardy Scottish sheep have minds of their own.
Alongside the day-to-day action on the farm, Lambing Live delved deeper into the secret life of sheep.
Countryfile’s Adam Henson travelled the UK to explore British sheep farming in all its many and varied forms.
From the science of growing grass to the cutting edge of breeding technology, Lambing Live tells the story of sheep farming past and present.