Landward episode 5 2023

Landward episode 5 2023

Landward episode 5 2023: With spring in the air, Dougie visits Aikengall Farm near Dunbar during their busiest time of the year. He lends a hand with the new arrivals as calving and lambing get fully under way. Arlene is also in East Lothian, climbing Traprain Law and meeting the Exmoor ponies that graze the hillside to keep the vegetation at bay.




As the refreshing scent of spring fills the air, Dougie embarks on an exciting journey to Aikengall Farm near Dunbar during the most bustling season of the year. With the farm teeming with new life, he eagerly lends a helping hand as calving and lambing reach their peak. Meanwhile, Arlene finds herself exploring the enchanting East Lothian, climbing the magnificent Traprain Law and encountering the graceful Exmoor ponies that dutifully graze the hillside to maintain the perfect balance of vegetation.

Venturing out to meet some of Scotland’s most passionate and inspiring next-generation farmers, Cammy travels to Fife, where he meets a visionary new-entrant farmer. This ambitious individual demonstrates that raising rare breed sheep can indeed be a commercially viable venture, paving the way for a more diverse and sustainable farming industry.

As the rejuvenating energy of spring breathes new life into Scotland’s farms, we revisit the dedicated work of two rural veterinarians, witnessing firsthand their vital contributions to the well-being of the region’s flourishing agricultural landscape. To top it all off, Shahbaz returns to share his personal selection of the most captivating springtime-themed photographs submitted by our loyal viewers, celebrating the vibrant colors, textures, and emotions that define this remarkable season.


Landward episode 5 2023


The Magic of Spring: Calving and Lambing in Scotland’s Enchanting Countryside

In the breathtaking Scottish countryside, springtime signals the arrival of calving and lambing season – an integral aspect of the country’s rich agricultural heritage. As farmers eagerly anticipate new life, the landscapes transform into a heartwarming display of nature’s wonders. In this article, we delve into the significance of calving and lambing in Scotland, explore the challenges faced by farmers, and offer insights into experiencing this captivating aspect of Scottish culture firsthand.

Embracing the Circle of Life: Calving and Lambing in Scotland

Calving and lambing play a vital role in maintaining the health and productivity of Scotland’s livestock industry. The country’s lush landscapes and abundant natural resources are home to iconic breeds such as Highland cattle and Scottish Blackface sheep. The arrival of calves and lambs in spring ensures the preservation of these breeds and the continued success of the industry.

Farmers dedicate themselves to providing their newborns with clean, dry bedding, ample food and water, and a warm, safe environment. Through close monitoring for illness or injury, farmers ensure the wellbeing of these animals, which in turn contributes to the Scottish agricultural industry by supplying milk, meat, and wool.

Trials and Triumphs: Challenges Faced by Scottish Farmers

Despite the excitement and anticipation surrounding calving and lambing season, farmers also grapple with various challenges:

  1. Weather: Cold weather can complicate the birthing process and increase the risk of hypothermia for newborns.
  2. Disease: Calves and lambs are vulnerable to numerous diseases, which can be fatal if not promptly treated.
  3. Injuries: Birth-related injuries may require medical attention.
  4. Predators: Farmers must protect their animals from predators such as foxes, wolves, and bears.

Navigating these challenges, farmers find great reward in witnessing the first steps of newborn calves and lambs, taking pride in raising healthy and productive animals.

Experiencing the Wonder: Tips for Witnessing Calving and Lambing in Scotland

For locals and travelers alike, experiencing calving and lambing season firsthand is a unique, unforgettable opportunity. To make the most of your visit, consider these tips:

  1. Timing: Calving and lambing typically occur between late February and early May. Plan your visit accordingly.
  2. Location: Research farms and rural areas throughout Scotland where you can witness calving and lambing, and select one that aligns with your interests.
  3. Respect: Be mindful of the farmers’ livelihood and treat both the animals and their caretakers with respect.
  4. Attire: Prepare for unpredictable weather and wet, muddy conditions with waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear.
  5. Capture the moment: Bring a camera to immortalize your experience and share it with friends and family.

The enchanting Scottish countryside offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience the magic of new life during calving and lambing season. By understanding the importance of these events and the challenges faced by farmers, we gain a newfound appreciation for the dedication and hard work that goes into caring for these animals. For those fortunate enough to witness these wonders firsthand, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that fosters a deep connection with nature and the agricultural heritage of Scotland.

Ascending Traprain Law: A Scenic Adventure with Exmoor Ponies in Scotland’s Natural Wonderland


Scotland’s natural beauty is epitomized by its captivating landscapes, including the majestic Traprain Law. This volcanic outcrop in East Lothian offers stunning vistas and a unique opportunity to encounter the enchanting Exmoor ponies that roam its slopes. This article delves into the exhilarating experience of climbing Traprain Law, exploring its history and geology, and sharing valuable tips to make the most of your adventure with the Exmoor ponies.

Unearthing the Past: Traprain Law’s Rich History and Geology

Rising 221 meters above sea level, Traprain Law has a storied history that dates back to prehistoric times. Archaeological evidence suggests it was once a thriving Iron Age hillfort and later a center for the Votadini tribe. It is also said to be the legendary site where King Loth, a mythical figure in Arthurian legend, held his court. The hill’s geology is equally captivating, characterized by its dramatic volcanic formation, which boasts panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and coastlines.

Embarking on the Ascent: Preparing for Your Traprain Law Adventure

Before setting off on your trek, consider the following tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  1. Check the Weather: As with any outdoor activity, it’s crucial to monitor the weather forecast before embarking on your climb. Traprain Law can be slippery in wet conditions, so plan your hike for a clear day.
  2. Dress Appropriately: Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear with good traction to navigate the rugged terrain.
  3. Pack the Essentials: Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and a fully charged mobile phone for emergencies.
  4. Know the Route: Familiarize yourself with the various trails that lead to the summit, as some are more challenging than others. The most popular route is the moderate ascent from Traprain Law’s eastern side, which takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

Encounters with the Exmoor Ponies: Traprain Law’s Four-Legged Inhabitants

One of the highlights of climbing Traprain Law is the chance to observe the Exmoor ponies that roam its slopes. These hardy, versatile creatures were introduced to the area as part of a conservation grazing project, which helps maintain the hill’s diverse flora and fauna. The ponies are well-adapted to the rugged terrain and have become an integral part of the landscape. As you make your ascent, remember to:

  1. Keep a Safe Distance: While the Exmoor ponies may appear friendly, they are still wild animals. Maintain a respectful distance to ensure their safety and yours.
  2. Avoid Feeding: Feeding the ponies can disrupt their natural grazing habits and harm their health. Enjoy observing them in their natural habitat without interfering.
  3. Capture the Moment: Don’t forget your camera to immortalize your encounter with these charming creatures.

Reaping the Rewards: Marveling at Traprain Law’s Breathtaking Views

Upon reaching the summit, you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring panoramas of East Lothian’s countryside, the Firth of Forth, and even the distant peaks of the Pentland Hills. Take a moment to appreciate the stunning beauty that surrounds you, and be sure to:

  1. Explore the Summit: Discover the remnants of the Iron Age hillfort, and imagine the lives of those who once called Traprain Law home.
  2. Savor the Views: Pause and take in the magnificent vistas, making note of the landmarks visible from the summit.
  3. Share Your Experience: Share your adventure with friends and family, inspiring them to embark on their own Traprain Law journey.

Climbing Traprain Law is an unforgettable experience that combines breathtaking views, rich history, and the enchanting presence of Exmoor ponies. By preparing for your ascent and following our tips, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your adventure in Scotland’s natural wonderland. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual nature enthusiast, ascending Traprain Law offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and mystery of this remarkable landscape.

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