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Hi - I live in an area with free roaming sheep.  To the front of my cottage I have a low stone wall with a fence just behind the top.  I'd like to plant something between the two , but so far I've been planting a salad bar for sheep.  Anyone had similar problems, or any ideas on what I can plant (they even eat the dog rose that's been in place forever)?..........


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,549
    If it's sunny and well drained you could try lavender.  I read somewhere that they don't like it.  If it's a shady spot try ferns on the grounds that sheep on the hills don't eat bracken and so may leave ferns alone. 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,398
    Do you mean your property is surrounded by Common land where sheep farmers have grazing rights ?
    If so, I guess it would be better not to plant between the wall and fence as it is just encouraging the sheep - as you have discovered.
    If it is a case of sheep escaping from the surrounding fields. the farmer/owner needs to be made aware of the problem they are causing. You don't specify whether or not the ground between the wall and fence is your property and it could therefore be a bit difficult if the animals aren't actually coming onto your ground.
  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 2,552
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,286
    Gorse, foxglove and common rush :) That's about all that survives for long in our sheep fields. Most of them don't eat nettles either, though sometimes one gets a taste for them. Same with ground elder, whjch is a pity as they could actually be useful! 
    If one manages to get into the garden, it will make a beeline for my Hemerocallis. Liatris go down well too. Sheep intelligence is often under estimated and they can be very determined when it comes to getting their own way!
  • NorthernJoeNorthernJoe Posts: 660
    Having wild camped on an island of flat in the middle of an expanded footpath in the lakes I've had the rather interesting experience of observing the twice daily commuting of sheep. Whilst you might expect them to be let out to spread out and roam free it's common for them to wait until walkers have gone then stream in from their daytime feeding spots to the nearest human footpath where they often form little groups to walk down the path to overnight together in a lower part of the valley? Then really early in the morning they reverse the night's commute. Now I've never heard anyone mention such behaviour but I guess most people prefer to wild camp away from footpaths. I however that night was just dossing somewhere I could get to quickly in the evening and back down to the car to be somewhere really early in the morning. A cheap place to kip! So I saw that behaviour from the middle of the path.

    The reason I mentioned that is because I do not think sheep are as stupid as most people think. They have evolved into what they are now which is a kind of peak of their evolution so far. They are looked after and they interact with each other and their humans. I once read about research into behaviour that determined sheep have a memory for faces (both of sheep and humans) that lasts about 6 years. That's not what a stupid animal could achieve.

    I do not know what sheep don't like but my gran had a similar problem with deer. Only you can't really fence them out so easily. She learnt by experience. She'd buy a new plant, if it got eaten she didn't get any more. If it didnt get eaten she'd get more of it. By the end she had a garden of flowers and only a few still got eaten.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,286
    Many of ours know their names and some  individuals will come when called, while others just acknowledge with a look. When I say hello to George and wave, he waves his right leg back :)
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,759
    They don't seem to be particularly fussy in my experience. I'm not planting anything in our front garden until the complete revamp project takes place. This will involve barriers to the sheep dining at this particular restaurant. Denying entry is the only real guarantee that they won't eat anything.

    Here are 3 Shauns having a go at some roses a couple of days ago.

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,841
    Many of ours know their names and some  individuals will come when called, while others just acknowledge with a look. When I say hello to George and wave, he waves his right leg back :)
    I swear I was out walking the dog along the farm road near here and a sheep looked up at me and said "Bear" to which I replied "No he's a dog" and another sheep looked up and said "Where?"

    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • NorthernJoeNorthernJoe Posts: 660
    You need more sleep or a little less illegal pharma!

    Seriously though,  the sheep b around the lane to wasdale head pub have sheep v that scream at night like someone was being attacked.  Seriously,  any shlock horror needs canned screams they should record those sheep. Real scream Queens the lot of them. 

    Made for a scary solo walk between the high,  dry stone walls back to the nt  campsite down the road. 
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