Findon Sheep Fair

Posted: September 9, 2012 in country, sussex, downs, Leisure, Uncategorized
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A view of the sheep fair at Findon in Sussex as it used to be.

It is that time of year again when the annual fair comes round. I have not been for some years, the last time I went there were only 6 sheep. A far cry from the thousands of previous years.

This year things had improved, we were stuck in traffic for about an hour in a queue to get in to the fair.

Once we got in I initially thought it was going to be another of ye olde country fayre type events. A funfair and variety of stalls selling ‘antique’ country items and other good stuff. The first sheep we saw were in a van used for demonstrating shearing and to tell the history of sheep on the Downs.

However, there was a bio control gate, passing beyond there were pens, no longer hazel or chestnut hurdles, but metal hurdles containing …. Sheep. Several tens of sheep. Different species, different uses, being judged and sold, it was almost as it had once been.


I know there will be some with issues relating to sheep being kept in pens but this is the country raw in tooth and claw. The downs would be a much poorer place without the sheep who have effectively created this landscape.

Of course it was not all sheep.


I think I am getting the hang of this iPad slowly, couldn’t work out how to add pictures originally, sorry rough seas!!!!

  1. Do we get any context? I’m useless at commenting on photos without words to tell me what they are about – and DON’T say it’s a sheep fair.

  2. Struggling with the App, and juggling prisoners with blogs!, done now though 😉

  3. Vicky says:

    It looks like it was a lovely day with the weather.
    I can’t believe the amount of sheep in the old photo, there are literally thousands.
    I sympathise with the iPad use. I tried a blog from mine once, it took me over two hours to do something that I’d have done on the Mac in thirty minutes. I really must try harder (ha! that sounds like my school report ;-))

    • My report used to say tries hard fails miserably, before anyone was worried about hurting pupils feelings!
      In the good old days there would be literally thousands of sheep and tens of shepherds, big sheep area like Yorkshire and Wales, just less rugged.
      Really frustrated with the iPad, can’t post online and the app is awkward. I will have to persevere though.

  4. Harumph. If you think you are going to get a pass for posting posts about selling animals for money (wool/slaughter), you are wrong. You can have one for the iPad.

    The pic is nice, but still, not happy about animal fairs. Would the downs landscape really be poorer? Or just the people who trade in animals? Seriously.

    Give Pickle the iPod and sneak back your proper Hal. I have an iPhone, and a laptop and an iPad seems like a cross between the two that I don’t need.

    I have a Pickle post coming up soon, especially for you 🙂 (and no it’s not chutney or Indian food).

  5. should have been a comma after laptop to signify I only have two expensive Hals here in Gib.

    • I new I would stimulate a comment. Depends on your view re the downs, without the livestock to graze they would, eventually, return to woodland. Not necessarily a bad thing but there would be no views. I can’t help myself either, I grew up around big flocks, I am used to seeing the white fluffy cloud like creatures dotting the closs cropped turf, the Downs would not be the same and the vista poorer for their absence.
      I also think if you are attracting visitors to a sheep fair, there should be some sheep!

      NB sheep in Sussex is pronounced ship!

      • Back to woodland, Britain is denuded and needs it. You sound like V lacking sky – but at the expense of the lamb slaughter industry?

        There are no sheep here in Gib. I can live with that.

        Had a boss once who had grown up on a dairy farm and couldn’t handle the switch from five protein (meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese) that was advocated a zillion years ago.

        ‘Fruit’ he said. ‘Full of water.’ Well true, but not necessarily bad. I probably don’t need to add he was overweight.

  6. Of course, I don’t have an iPhone, I’m not that rich! I will just keep on with the iPad for now. Maybe give up my phone altogether then I won’t have to talk to people who have nothing to say to me, I can just spend my time with my blogging chums.

    • I love my Halphone. I use it to check the weather and time when I am in Spain, and the odd email. Oh I take vids that are too short as well.

      • I love trees too, I also agree about the food but there is the soul that needs to be nourished too, and I love sheep, but not on a plate.
        Your former boss saying that fruit is full of water, how does he think they make the meat look so plump and juicy?

        We probably need wool though, I don’t want to wear petro chemical clothing, cultivation of cotton is destructive of the environment and I’m not sure there is enough nettle of hemp. I certainly would not advocate killing the baby Lammys! I also think we need horses and oxen for the day oil runs out but that is another story.

      • My google phone is dying anyway they are evil too. The photos were taken withit, so convenient to have gps, camera, video, email and web browser in ones pocket, shame it can take voice calls too!

  7. I think he just took the less milk, more fruit, mantra personally.

    Or maybe he thought cattle should eat sheep brains…..?

    People in the farming industry have a very idiosyncratic view. Unlike me.

    I did chuck all my silk in the end, bit difficult as I had some class shirts. Made easier when they started getting a bit holey and faded.

    I’ve still got some wool jumpers and a couple of coats and jackets.

    Luckily I don’t need that much wool here so haven’t bought new in years.

    (organic?) Cotton v petrochemical? All difficult. Less difficult if we weren’t so greedy.

    Petrochemical cothing – destructive

    Animal rearing – destructive

    Petrochemical clothing – doesn’t involve killing animals and supporting the slaugher industry by buying by-products, runs the simplistic roughseas logic.

    I guess there will be no polyurethan components on your bike then and it runs on chip fat oil?

    I addressed some of the issues about individual compromises here:

    If nothing else you may enjoy an exchange between me and a young American (shades of David Bowie) where the roughseas whipped up a little bit – but not very much 😉 she was lucky.

    The trick with ‘phones is, not to give out the number except to your partner. Hardly rocket science my dear.

    • Chicken feed from pigs?

      I agree with the difficulties you highlight. With current water shortages the world over, and likely to get worse, cotton seems to be a poor choice, maybe industrial planting of nettles?

      The petro chemical world is wrong on so many levels yet it is impossible to live without. I have to use my 230cc bike (very small) because the shifts I work mean public transport is not workable.

      I beg to differ about the pc industry not killing animals, pollution, land degradation and reduction of habitat contribute to massive slaughter of flora and fauns, not to mention the destruction of habitat by test drilling only. Then there is shale oil extraction! I will cede that there is less direct, ie less honest, killing of animals. We all make choices. I do wear cotton shirts at work, there being no viable alternative, but they are all second hand charity shop shirts, as are my suits. I cannot bring myself to wear second hand shoes at this time although that may well change.

      My moot was also second hand, contains all the bad stuff but consumes very little, no more than £15 worth of petrol for a 6 shift cycle. If the train were viable I would use that and my cycle but it isn’t so until the infrastructure is improved … (BTW £40 for petrol in the car I used to use).

      I shall check out the linky thing, looking forward to that appetite duly whetted.

      Noted about the phone but it is reliant on partner not giving the number to anyone else, mother, brother, mother in law etc etc etc :p

      • OK, PC industry does ruin the environment, but my point was that the animal slaughtering industry also does that. Choices choices huh?

        Phones? My partner has been asked for my number more than once and said point blank – NO. It’s not difficult.

      • Not sure the slaughtering industry is too bad on the environment, the rearing and feeding of livestock can be though, or am i being pedantic?

        I also do feel the world would be poorer without domestic as well as wild animals and if you have domestic animals they need to be useful, maybe it’s time for households to keep house pigs or cows to help with the waste food, they wouldn’t get fat in my house, or yours I suspect! I accept that I am just being sentimental, but that’s me all over.

        Phones, I know I know, I don’t understand how my work number (given to no-one) gets text messages about my non existent injury at work!!

      • Yes, I think you are being totally pedantic! Accurate but pedantic. If slaughtering wasn’t the final intention they wouldn’t need to be raised and fed in the first place would they?

        How is my dog useful? he didn’t even bark when someone snuck in the front of the land rover and stole our money ID passports etc. But he makes sure we get a few walks a day (less as he gets older), and we enjoy his company. So therefore he could be classed as ‘useful’.

        Our chickens do get all my edible waste food, eg melon seeds, non-organic peelings (defeats the object in a way there I guess), some of the spinach from the garden, the cockerel is a bit like geese/swans and always makes a noise when anyone approaches the finca, and Jimena lays eggs from time to time. But ‘usefulness’ implies exploitation which is not sound vegan philosophy. Anyway, over and above all that, we have them because we have animal rights on our finca and don’t want to lose them by not having animals.

        A pig and a few goats would be nice, but we wouldn’t be eating them, and we don’t have ground, which I think they should have. Spanish love to keep animals locked/penned (!) in and I don’t.

        ‘Phones, need to be used correctly. They need to be switched off, and occasionally a number is given out for a one-off reason. Otherwise we all have two 🙂 or three including the landline.

  8. Slaughtering is not necessarily the only reason for rearing animals. Geese make excellent guards as well as providing eggs and quills / feathers.

    A house cow will provide milk for the house although goats are smaller and help with composting green waste, the right breed will also provide wool.

    Your dog is useful. Permaculture is not all about physical use mental / emotional well being is just as important. I am sure that Pippa dog gives you plenty of pleasure, companionship and the odd walk! Of course a younger dog can be trained to guard / herd or catch rats.

    Useful need not connote exploitation. The planet is full of useful / symbiotic relationships. Bees exploit the flowers pollen, bears exploit the honey produced by the bees. Beetles and other bugs exploit the dung from the bears, is this bad exploitation? Useful to me means helping nature by providing input to produce output that can be utilised without leaving an excess.

    Chickens are brilliant just like dogs.

    I have now arrived at a point where I don’t feel I need a phone anymore, so that kind of solves that problem, although the man from 3 couldn’t believe that I didn’t need a mobile.

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