owners Louise and Andrew Burr thought you might like to hear from me
so they let me e-mail you a quick note to let you know I am no longer
My name in Neil and I was born in Campton on the 1st December
I now know my Mum, she's the big black Dexter (if there is such a
and she's called Diamond (that's why I am called Neil !)
I now have a new Aunty in Campton, she's a Red Dexter called Shelia,
she also lives in my field.
The sheep in the picture are due to lamb in March, this will me give
lots of new friends and the village some new sounds!
I am a bit of a strange fellow as I think I am better at herding the
backed people than my owners collie Brock, (he is in training at
and I like in there and help him), he says I get in the way, that's why
have moved them up to the new field on the corner next to Kiln Farm!!
I will keep in contact with you if like and keep "ewe" informed of the
and the possibilities of a new brother or sister for me
Neil Diamond the Campton Calf
Well what a spring we've had! We were finally let out when spring
came at the end of March, I didn't think we would ever see the grass
again, there is only some much hay and carrots a bull calf can eat!
Our lambing started with a flurry in both speed and snow, we had 29
lambs from 12 ewes (seven sets of triplets, three sets of twins and two
singles) must be something in the Campton water!
They are now all growing well and fast with the lush grass that
eventually came along with the late spring.
This year the sheep had the pleasure of the Campton school reception
year to visit; they behaved wonderfully and are a credit to their
school. They decided to name a lamb Ron- we had to name his brother
"later" so when they are together.
The Dexter cows have been busy as well, calving started in early May in
Top field (next to Priory Road); the neighbours along Priory Road had
quite a few practical midwife lessons from Louise and Andrew. Bo the
cow started first in the middle of a heavy rainstorm and produced a
long legged boy called Tie!
Then mum had a new brother for me, his name is Geezer as mum is
Diamond, then we had another bull calf from Clover, he was named
"Liquorice" by the year fours of Campton School.
Sheila the red cow managed the most spectacular birth, she thought it
would be great fun to give birth in the middle of the last hail storm
of Spring and just as Louise and Andrew sat down for dinner with
friends for the first time this year- the dinner was ruined but the day
was memorable with a James Herriot impersonation from Andrew Shelia
finally produced a lovely heifer calf named Kylie! (I think Andrew
lives in hope!), they can often be seen looking over the gate on the
We also had some Collie pups arrive in January - he's a sly one that
Brock, more youngsters to care for but I'm glad to say they all found
good homes to work for.
This year there appears to be more rabbits than grass; they are
everywhere, good hunting for the buzzard in the early mornings,
although they are doing considerable damage to the grass and hedges the
youngsters are very cute!
The lambs are due to finish early August and then the cycle starts
again for both the sheep, cows and farmer.
I am also growing like a good 'un and will be signing my column over to
Kylie in the Autumn for all the details and news in this corner of
All the best
Neil the Campton calf
Sorry its been a while in writing, the has been an awful lot happening
in my corner of Campton!!
The woolly creatures (I think they are sheep but the do look like scary
when I pinch their food!) disappeared in early march and came back with
woolly creatures, there was loads of them.
They are now all skipping around and a great laugh to chase!!.
is a pet lamb called Colin, he is very friendly and likes to follow
around so he causes great fun when the sheep come in for the toe nail
The strangest thing happened the other day! I was gently grazing in my
when 30 children from Campton School came to visit us, Andrew and
took a lesson for and hour and showed the children food chains, the
and me and then introduced Colin to them, cant see what a cute little
lamb has got that I haven't!.
They loved him and the children and teachers were very well behaved.
and Andrew said it was a pleasure to have them come over. Even Brock
collie was well behaved and showed off to the children by jumping the
I could do that but don't want too!!!
There is some new baby Dexter's coming in early June to the corner! One
called Clover three and she has a calf called shamrock (four leafed
and then there is Beau and her calf, so I will have loads of fun
them I'm sure. Louise is going to ask the school to name the
I will let you know his name when I know!
Well must be moooving on know, loads of grass to nibble and there are
strange black rabbits living in the corner of my corner buts that's
Neil the Campton calf
hiding in the grass with my aunts
Its time to bring all the news from my corner of Campton!
Well, the new calves and mums arrived in June, what a laugh that was!
We all eventually moved up to the top field to get to know each other,
have not had so much fun since the sheep got out down in Manor field! I
it would be a great idea to charge head long up and down the field with
new calves in tow followed by some rather distraught cows, we made so
NOISE. Brock the collie said it was a new version of the "Campton Races"
The new bull calf was eventually named Clint by Jess and megs (my
daughters) (It should have been the school but Andrew forgot to ask
and by the time he remembered the school had broken up for
He's called Clint after Clint Eastwood character The High Plains
(he didn't have a name either)
You may have noticed that the lambs were weaned in mid July, they
shut up yet and its now Mid August!!, they are growing reasonably well
the British summer we have had, it seems we have gone from drought to
in the space of a few days, the grass doesn't know whether to grow or
We are now all down on the Water Meadow (walk No 2 from the Campton and
web site ( http://www.camptonandchicksands.org.uk/walks2.htm )
You can come a have a chat but please leave your dogs at home as we are
a little nervous of them.
We do have new chap with us for the summer, he is a Dexter bull called
he is an 18 month old prize bull ( he got a smashing rosette at the
of England show) who's come to keep my mum Diamond and aunties company.
and Andrew are preparing for the new arrivals due in May next year.
He is there until the middle of September so do look out for him. I was
bit naughty the other day though, I decided it would be a great wheeze
go and walk through the electric fence, then the hedge and trot
down Campton Road, I did get a bit spooked and thankfully two nice men
me back in the field along with Karen from Kiln Farm, so many thanks to
shan't be doing that again-too many smelly metal things whizzing around!
I must sign off now, it looks like rain again and I need to lie down to
prove the old wife's tale is true!
I will e-mail you all again after the harvest and when the lambs have
Neil the Campton calf
Sorry its been such a long while since my last note, but things have
been rather busy!
You may have noticed that we are not in any of the fields at the
moment, we are now snug and warm in a big barn
hay, deep warm straw and a particularly nice salt lick- Cow heaven!, I
say let the snow and rain do it's worst...... Louise and Andrew would
rather not have the snow!
Well the lambs have all been sold and some of the local people of
Campton seem to have enjoyed them as well! (New orders for next years
crop taken now)
The ewes have been sent off to the "boyfriends" for a few weeks and are
due back at the end of January to Top Field on Priory Road, they have
all been ultrasonically scanned to see if they have twins or not
(another modern addition to the farmers skills). Some of them appear to
have triplets so that should be fun in the cold month of March when
I was moved with my aunts and mates from the Water Meadow in late
Autumn after eating all of the luscious traditional meadow grass, I
must say we did a particularly fine job on it and I am pleased to
report I did not go into the trailer without a fight - managed to clear
a four foot high hurdle with no faults....hmmmmm... wonder if there is
an opening in the British Equestrian team for the London Olympics?
Whilst I was down in the Water Meadow we regularly spotted the Campton
Black Squirrel along with Buzzards, Herons and a Red Kite! (not the
type with a string attached) there was some spectacular mists, Campton
is indeed a gem of a village to live in.
We had the school over again for a
Geography lesson, some how the Cow pats and a free rein seemed better
than listening to Andrew talk about the difference between Agriculture
in Bedfordshire and the Peak District. Sir Stanley Odell also joined in
describing the old methods of farming in comparison to today's methods.
(Bet they didn't ultra sound sheep!). That daft collie Brock showed off
again by jumping the gates (not quite as good as me) and playing that
little known Campton sport of Brussel Sprout bobbing in the water
trough, if you want to know more ask any of the children in year four
of Campton Lower school, but be prepared for an odd story!
Some local news. A lovely new hedge and trees have been
planted along the far end of Top Field including an Evergreen Oak in
Memory of Audrey Odell. It's growing well and will be another asset to
Campton whilst providing shelter for us in a few years.
Some rather more exciting news is my mum and aunts are due to calve at
the end of May, so I will have some more friends to play with (although
mum says I have to be careful as I am a bit clumsy!), looks like Louise
and Andrew won't be sleeping this spring!
Well, I must sign off now as a new bale of hay is being dropped in and
I am feeling a wee bit peckish! I will report in the spring on the
lambing and impending arrivals from mum.
If you are interested in the Dexter Breed a good place to visit is
www.dextercattle.co.uk, great for details and information on Britain's
smallest breed of cattle.
Neil the Campton Calf
by courtesy Andy & Louise Burr