The rolling hills of the Borders will be the idyllic setting for Scotland’s biennial national sheep event, NSA Scotsheep 2016, next Wednesday (June 1).
The venue is the historic farm of Blyth Bank, near West Linton, birthplace in 2003 of Dolly The Sheep, the world’s first cloned sheep and home of the first Texel sheep imported into the UK in 1970 by Dr John King of the Animal Breeding Research Organisation.
Today the 1300 acre farm is part of the extensive farming operation of the Campbell family’s Glenrath Farms Ltd, the UK’s largest egg producer, and home to a flock of 2000 Scotch Mule ewes, 500 replacement Scotch Mule hoggs and 700 Blackface ewes, as well as 200 Limousin cross suckler cows, a 10-cow pedigree Charolais herd, a 40-ewe pedigree Texel flock and 320,000 free-range hens.
NSA Scotsheep, open from 9am to 5pm, is organised by the Scottish Region of the National Sheep Association, with Royal Bank of Scotland confirmed as main sponsor, provides a real showcase for the Scottish sheep industry and is set to attract thousands of sheep farmers and industry professionals from throughout Scotland, Ireland and the north of England.
The official opening ceremony will be performed at 10am by Ross McEwan, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland.
Leading industry figures have been invited to participate in three seminars which will cover the vitally important topics of health status of the national sheep flock, new opportunities and finance in sheep farming and profitable sheep production.
The farm tour by tractor and trailer is always a big attraction at NSA Scotsheep and this year will be no exception. Other attractions include stockjudging, sheep dog trial, farmers market, craft fair and practical demonstrations.