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Summer/Autumn 2012

Our annual cleaning of the sheds was once again hampered by poor weather this year. It was 20th August before the contractors were able to get onto site to empty out the sheds. It took most of the day using a bob-cat, tractor and trailer to empty and remove a had to be unloaded by hand. The year’s worth of wood shavings, driver was particularly grumpy and was quite happy to stand and straw and dung. watch Emma do most of the work! There was also time to carry out some painting maintenance within the sheds that can not really be done when the sheep are in. Work on replacing the roof at one end of the shed also got underway. The As soon as the contractors had corrugated sheeting had started to left, it was ‘action stations’ to start rust and small quantities of rain the back-breaking job of ‘spring water were beginning to seep in. cleaning’. The weather was poor Over the next few days, 105 bales so there was no time to waste as we wanted to get the sheep back into the sheds as quickly as possible. That night the entire shed was thoroughly swept out ready for meticulous cleaning the following day. Early the next morning, constant pressure washing, of wood shavings were unpacked sweeping, shovelling away of and evenly spread out over the slurry and disinfecting went on shed floor. Seventy-five straw bales were then spaced out before until well after dark. The following day we took deliv- being carefully teased apart to ery of the first of two pallets of provide a comfortable and lump wood shavings that form the base free bed for the sheep. of the bedding within the shed. Continued on Page 7 Unfortunately the crane on the lorry had broken so all 72 bales Derek and Charlie part way through replacing the roof

Fleecehaven News

The bob-cat tips another load into the muck spreader

The first pallet of wood shavings arrive

The Big Late Summer ‘Spring Clean’

‘ P R O M O T I N G H U M A N B E H A V I O U R T O W A R D S A N I M A L S B Y P R O V I D I N G C A R E , P R O T E C T I O N , T R E A T M E N T A N D S E C U R I T Y ’

Volume 6 Issue 2

Inside this Issue: Newsbleat The Sheep Need You! Autumn Days 2012 Sad Goodbyes Fleeces, Calendars, Visitors & Spring Cleaning contd Story from the Heart Thank Ewes

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Leo and Henry helping out!

Bissy with Roger

Continuous rain over the latter part of the summer and throughout the autumn has resulted in the fields at Fleecehaven being extremely muddy as excess water struggles to drain away. In turn this has created endless problems with the sheep’s feet with a far higher number than normal experiencing strip and abscesses. With strip, the sensitive skin between the claws becomes damp and damaged and bacteria and microorganisms from the soil infect the broken skin; if left untreated it can quickly result in footrot, something that thankfully we have not had to contend with. Abscesses are characterised by swelling of the soft tissues immediately above the hoof, and are again caused by a bacterial infection, with foot irritation caused by the mud resulting in a higher incidence of the disease. Emma has worked tirelessly to treat both strip and abscesses with all but the most stubborn abscesses being successfully treated without veterinary intervention. However, Poppy, Gloria, Tigger, Bissy, Richard and Lucy did require visits from our vet but thankfully, all but Richard all are now fully recovered. Richard would appear to have a further problem with his foot which is likely to require on-going treatment.

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Paddington soon after he came home from his operation


Paddington has also continued to suffer with his foot over recent months, with an on-going problem with his toe. Regular trimming back, dressing and courses of antibiotics have failed to resolve the problem and, as a last resort, our vet suggested removing his toe. After careful consideration, we decided to proceed and on 20th August we took him to the veterinary hospital, where he stayed for five days. Although the procedure was successful, inevitably Paddington was quite poorly and was initially reluctant to eat. Our vet made regular visits to see him, redressing the foot frequently and keeping him topped up with antibiotics and pain relief. Slowly he began to recover and, after lots of coaxing with tempting foods, his appetite started to return and he was becoming increasingly confident to take weight on his foot. On the 22nd October our vet visited Paddington, stating that he was really pleased with the progress that he had made. He confirmed that the right decision had been made to remove the toe as he now looked so much happier than prior to the procedure. Paddington has now made a full recovery and can, once again, be found happily pottering around the yard. F L E E CE H A V E N N E W S

As we move into the winter we face the prospect of our costs rising yet further. Each day the sheep are munching their way through ten bales of hay; consuming 50kg of concentrated food; and requiring endless bales of straw to replenish their bedding. In addition to this there are, of course, the on-going costs of veterinary treatment, drenches, mineral licks, sawdust, emptying of our dung trailer and the all important biscuit, fruit and veg treats that the sheep so dearly love. We are extremely grateful to you all for the generous support that you give to Fleecehaven. If you feel you would like to assist us further, perhaps you could VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2

consider holding a fundraising event for Fleecehaven. Why not hold a Coffee Morning or afternoon Tea Party? How about having a table-top at a jumble sale, car-boot sale or fayre or running a cake stall? If you’re feeling more adventurous, you might want to consider a sponsored event such as a run, walk, waxing or silence. Further ideas can be found on our website. Other easy ways of supporting Fleecehaven, that will cost you nothing at all, include using Easyfundraising and Easysearch and remembering to recycle printer cartridges and mobile phones through Recycle4Charity. Alternatively why not consider making a one-off donation to Fleecehaven or setting up a small monthly donation, purchasing a Fleecehaven Calendar or a set of our ewenique Christmas Cards or adopting sheep as gifts for your friends and family? Whatever you are able to give or do, no matter how small, will really make a difference to the lives of the Fleecehaven sheep and assist us in continuing our worthwhile work. Emma delivers another bale of tasty hay to awaiting customers in the shed

Where Sheep Safely Graze

This year has been a difficult one for Fleecehaven as, like all charities, we have been hit by the recession. Nationally charitable donations have fallen by 20% as we all feel the pinch of the tough financial climate. This has certainly been the case at Fleecehaven as the number of adoptions that we have had (and the number of adoptions renewed) has fallen, which has clearly impacted upon our revenue. Coupled with this, costs at Fleecehaven have risen significantly throughout the year because of rapidly rising feed and bedding costs as a result of yet another wet summer and a poor world-wide grain harvest.

Another straw delivery is unloaded

The Sheep Need You!

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Autumn Days 2012 Phillip waiting patiently for treats in the garden

Willaby Oak proudly keeping watch over his ‘girls’

Blackie making the most of the last Autumn grass

Sandy safely snuggled up in the newly cleaned sheds

Stevie tucking into some tasty hay

Sammy bleating a cheerful ‘Hello’

Peggy posing briefly for the camera

Percy grazing in the Autumn sunshine

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Mitzy being as inquisitive as usual

Kylie admiring the beautiful blue sky

Rebel taking it easy in the Autumn sunshine

Leo chilling in the garden whilst hoping for a biscuit

Bassett chewing the cud

Molly keeping a close eye on her friends to make sure that they don’t wander too far away

Tigger taking the weight off his feet whilst enjoying the view from the top fields

Our dear Shaun soaking up the sun


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Sad Goodbyes The Autumn months at Fleecehaven have sadly seen us say goodbye to four of our very dear friends, all of whom have greatly touched our hearts and will certainly never be forgotten. With an increasing number of the Fleecehaven flock reaching ages well beyond those normally expected for sheep, it is inevitable that such sadness will occur more frequently. It is certainly one of the down sides of the work that we do, but we take comfort from the fact that every sheep we lose has, since being with us, enjoyed a life well lived and been loved, which is more than can be said for the vast majority of sheep. Our dear Annie passed away peacefully in her sleep at the end of the summer. She was such a sweet girl and had coped remarkaAnnie, Aged 17 bly well with the passing of her twin sister, Alice, in July 2011. We had resuced them both as tiny lambs and, like Alice, she is greatly missed by us all. In September one of our greatest characters, Victoria, suffered from another fit. She had been experiencing them periodically for nearly a year and had always bounced back. Sadly this time she did not recover. Victoria’s spirit was incredible and her passing will leave a great void at Fleecehaven. I don’t think that any of us will ever be able to look at a banana again (Victoria’s favourite treat) without fondly remembering this Page 6

very special lady. Quite remarkably, on the same day, Victoria’s daughter Mary also passed away. Victoria, Aged 19 She had been diagnosed with leukaemia earlier in the summer but had been responding well to treatment and we did not expect Mary Aged 11 to lose her quite so quickly. Since becoming poorly she had become exceptionally tame and, just like her Mum, had started making daily visits into the house. They are both greatly missed by us and Paddington, Victoria’s son and Mary’s twin brother. As Autumn drew to a close, after a short illness, we unexpectedly lost our dearest Woolly. He was a wonderful character who constantly made his presence felt in the hopes of receiving an extra treat. He would start bleating for his breakfast as soon as he saw a light on in the house and the yard now feels and sounds Woolly, Aged 19 very empty without him. F L E E CE H A V E N N E W S

Fleeced for our Fleeces At the beginning of October, we were finally able to take the last of our fleeces into the wool board. It would appear that the value of wool has once again plummeted as three large wool bags, containing approximately thirty fleeces generated a cheque from the wool board for the miserly sum of just £10.50! It always seems so sad to see the by-

product of necessary shearing being viewed as virtually worthless. We have been considering getting some of the Fleecehaven fleeces mechanically spun and selling wool that could be considered vegan friendly. If this is something that you would be interested in purchasing please let us know; if the demand is there we will endeavour to give it a go.

Fleecehaven Calendars and Christmas Cards Following the success of our previous calendars, we've put together another one for 2013. The calendar features many of your favourite sheep . We have also put together a pack of four Fleecehaven Christmas Cards featuring Murphy; Rebel; Roo, Larry and Peggy; William; and Twinkle. The calendar (£10) and card packs (£2.40) are available to buy on-line. Postage and packing charges apply. Please visit our website for further details.

Fleecehaven Visitors During the latter part of the summer and during the Autumn it has been lovely to see some of our Fleecehaven supporters. Mike and friends visited early in August and were followed shortly by Daniel and Yolande. Roger visited Bissy and Minty

and helped out while he was here. Adopters of Fleecehaven sheep are always welcome to visit. This enables them to meet their sheep face-to-face and to see first hand the work that we do and, if so inclined, to give a helping hand.

The Big Late Summer ‘Spring Clean’ Continued


Florence snuggled down for the night

Blackie and friends back in the shed

On the 25th August, after six days of ‘all systems go’, we were finally ready to let the sheep back into their nice clean quarters. At first they were a little reluctant to make their way back in, but it wasn’t long before they’d all ‘come home’ and nestled themselves into the straw ready for a cosy night’s sleep. Page 7

A Buddist ‘Story from the Heart’

‘Promoting humane behaviour towards animals by providing care, protection, treatment and security’ Fleecehaven Howley Park East Buckland North Devon EX32 0TD 01598 760454 Registered Charity No 1111004

As a man walked along a beach at sunset, he saw a boy in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the boy kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As the man got closer, he noticed that the boy was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. The man was puzzled. He approached the boy and asked what he was doing. "I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and they’ve all been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea they'll die from lack of oxygen." "I see," the man replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of them, there are simply too many. And don't you realise this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?" The boy smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea replied, "Made a difference to that one!" Fleecehaven might not be able to save every sheep in the world and what we do really is just a ‘drop in the ocean’ but at least we are able to make a difference to just a few and spread a little humanity within the world.

Thank Ewes Fleecehaven would like to say a HUGE thank you to Ange from Gemini Print who has very kindly agreed to print, free of charge, the next four editions of the Fleecehaven Newsletter. We are extremely grateful to Gemini Print for their wonderful generosity and, should you require any printing to be carried out, would urge you to contact Gemini Print who, I am sure, will offer you a competitive quotation. Further details can be found on their website at

We’d also like to say another BIG thank you to Debbs Elliman who has once again supplied Fleecehaven with some quite exquisite handmade cards, jewellery and trinkets to sell at fayres in order to raise funds for Fleecehaven. Debbs’ continued support is really very much appreciated by us all. Page 8


Fleecehaven Newsletter Autumn 2012