Jonathan: Just back from the croft and our own ‘lambwatch’. Actually that’s a bit too passive: unlike the TV version which seems always to be in warm cosy straw-upholstered barns, ours involves trudging acrossing boggy and rocky ground looking out for sheep standing oddly still and apparently with more than four legs: generally that’s how you first spot a recently born lamb, hiding behind its mum. No 00008 was first past the post, Good Friday, with a good strong ewe lamb; her sister 00006 followed on Saturday with twin boys; and since then four others have given birth to single ewe lambs. Yesterday morning I found one recently born lamb – still covered in birth fluids and bleating away, but no mum nearby. But – there she was – with after-birth still trailing behind her – amongst the other ewes tucking into a tasty tussock of grass. I caught her and rubbed here muzzle in the wet lamb’s fleece: according to all the books I’d read she was supposed to start licking and caring for her wee mite; but she would have none of it: as soon as I loosed my grip she was off. Catching her again and giving her a good look over, the reason was apparent: no milk. She was abandoning her lamb because she had nothing to feed it with. There are of course various long-established shepherding techniques for dealing with this situation, but they all involve various bits of equipment, buildings and experience, none of which I have. And time and circumstances were against me to: the only choice open to me was to take the lamb home for hand-rearing, as for a an orphaned lamb. Fortunately I am prepared for bottle-feeding. First to clean up the wee baby and dry it off, and then to get some colostrum down its gullet. Colostrum is the highly concentrated milk a ewe gives its lambs within the first 24hrs or so of life, but which I have to get from vacuum-sealed packets, at £10 for the full 24-hr dose. That was yesterday. Today we’re on to ordinary ewe-milk substitute. U9 (as I’m calling her – Tilly thinks the thing is a little black K9, but I keep telling her no, she’s a U) has been outside today, in the back garden, but she’s got a nice straw-lined box in the woodshed for when she’s sleepy.