• Nicola

The Midsummer Sampler: block 4

Last time we took our leave of Orchard Cottage to travel along the country lanes to meet our hard-working friend, the Shepherd.

the Shepherd's Hut block

The humble Shepherd's Hut is recorded for the first time in the 16th Century, but may date back even further. These wheeled shelters were simply fitted out with a wooden cage for poorly lambs, a bunk over the top for the shepherd and a fold-out table where meals could be eaten. A tiny stove in one corner kept everyone warm - including the shepherd's dog - and a stable door allowed the shepherd to watch over his flock whilst sheltering from the wind.

The shepherd took his flock from field to field, where they polished off a forage crop and fertilised the ground prior to its ploughing. The introduction of artificial fertilisers a century ago - a byproduct of First Wo