Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers



Filming For The DVD


The filming for the dvd took place today. The weather was not too kind but we managed the outside shots in the afternoon. Everyone who took part enjoyed it and I am not going to give any more details, wait to see the dvd.

The Road Traffic Accident Sheep


It was about six o'clock and on my way to The Digglers when just across from the gate, I spotted a lamb lying in the road. It tried to get up but fell over. It was obvious that it had been involved in a road traffic accident. I picked it up and took it to the penthouse. It was bleeding from the nose and it's right front leg was handing down. It was a male lamb. I made him comfortable and phoned the vet who came straight away. The vet said it's leg was broken and he strapped it up. We would have to see if he recovered from the head injury. He was not too happy about the broken leg and thought there could be nerve damage and it was a question of wait and see. I decided to call the lamb Clyde (mark 2)! However, my sense of humour has got the better of me and at the moment he is Tripod!!!!!

Tripod has settled in with George who is very protective. I'm sure he thinks he is his great granddad!!! Tripod has been weaned and also castrated and as he will be a Diggler, I am hoping he does not get into mischief like the first Clyde! So at the moment it is wait and see but I will keep you informed.

The Birthday To Remember


What a birthday! On my birthday, the sheep shearer cometh. That in itself is an experience and a half and requires considerable organising. Fortunately I did have Norma and Sylvia as volunteers as everyone else was at work or at school. Simon the shearer was expected to arrive at 5pm so it was a 2 o'clock start for me in getting the mogs safely in from the garden. What a surprise I had when on arrival I found my friend John armed with a saw, axe and shears. At first I thought he was hoping to attack me sheep and de-fleece them and I had visions of the speck savers ad on the telly. However, it was the trees he was attacking and making a good job of the pruning. The cats came in quite happily from the garden perhaps it was raining had something to do with it! Norma arrived and we emptied the stables successfully ready for the sheep to walk in?!!!!! No not my crew! John came up with an excellent suggestion, depart to the nearest pub for a swift drink which took half and hour at the aptly named pub The Hanging Gate after which we picked up some corn from the corn merchant. On arriving back, it was sheep getting in time. I placed lots of piles of food in the stable for them to walk in but it didn't work quite like that. Three followed me in quite happily and started to munch. Three stayed in the yard and I quickly went to close the field gate but there is quite a gap underneath and they showed me how good the limbo was and disappeared in the field. George was quite happily in his pent house. Simon brought a dog to get the rest in from the field but not so simple for my crew. They chased the dog! One of the little darlings Flory-Bunda raced down the field and sat down and refused to get up! Eventually, the poor dog got the crew into the yard but then was told to take them back down the field to encourage Flory-Bunda to get up. At last to everyone's great relief they were all safely in the stable. I got the injections ready and stabbed myself with the needle hence there will be no sheep scab on me for the next year! Two hours later the crew were done. The little lamb had to be sheared as it's mum had sheep scab and ticks would be in it's fleece.

Simon then informed us that he was moving to Northumberland next year and would not be available. I hope his move had nothing to do with my crew. He is departing for Australia and the great sheep farms. I hope he has better luck. I think Shaun the sheep would have been very proud of the antics of my crew and thank goodness birthdays only come once a year!

Bonnie's Passing


I found Bonnie dead this morning. She was the one who I thought was in lamb. It must have been a huge growth. Rossendale will pick her up today. Two sheep in one week, (first being Dolly-Bloomberry). I have now lost three out of the four pent house winter crew. There is only George left. I'm down to 8 sheeps.

Woodland Trust


Subject to confirmation, Pete Leeson from the Woodland Trust (www.woodlandtrust.org.uk) has agreed to supply all trees and shrubs required to establish Thorns Beck Wood. He has also agreed the Trust would also supply 75 metres of guard. Pete said we should get confirmation within five weeks. The shrubs and trees would be delivered in November so volunteers are being asked to sharpen their spades as the Trust does not provide the labour for the planting. This is an excellent offer and we would like to thank the Trust in anticipation. See letters for more information.

Fencing Problems


Dave has been removing some old fencing from the bottom of the field and leaving it in a pile at the top of the field near to the road. When he had finished we intended to hire a skip. However, unfortunately, Dave has been unable to work for the past two weeks and the other day to my horror poor Flory-Bunda got herself entangled. The wire has now been removed and no damage thank goodness has been sustained. Richard is due to begin the new fencing within the next couple of week so will remove all the wire from the field. Until then what remains has been made safe.

Once the wire had been removed from Flory-Bunda, Cardigan rejoined the rest of the flock. At first they had forgotten that she was one of them and started to chase her. Herbie-Vorus was the main antagonist. After a few minutes they settled down and concentrated on the spring grass. I was pleased to see that she coped well in the field and I can not envisage any problems except wondering how she will cope in the snow next winter but if that proves to be a problem she will have to winter in with George and Dolly-Bloomberry.

Meeting Date


This is the day of our first meeting to discuss the constitution, vote the officers of the charity and initiate The Digglers Charity Trust. The dream has at last become into fruition and I know with the people who will be elected to be trustees, The Digglers will be in safe hands.

The Digglers' Mothers Day Gift


What a surprise when arriving home from Diggle, I found a lovely bunch of flowers and a card had been left on my front door step. On opening the card it was written 'Happy mother's day from the Digglers and from the crew at Rose House. Thank you for looking after us'. What a lovely thought which reduced me to tears. There was no name on the card so I am still wondering which of me mogs or indeed one of my sheep took up a collection and departed to the local supermarket. Whatever, they all got an extra hug the following day!!! I shall treasure that card.

The Harsh Winter


This winter has been extremely hard. The bad weather started two weeks before Christmas and lasted well into January. For five weeks the poor sheep did not see any green in the field. On a few ocassions the snow closed the road and I was unable to get up, but Sylvia the site manager who lives across the road was able to look after them. It was also hard making sure there was enough food for both the sheep and the cats and on one ocassion I had to enlist the services of Richard, the agricultural contractor, to go to the corn merchant on his tractor to collect twenty bales of haylage and fifteen sacks of corn as I was unable to get through.

On one visit to feed the animals, a blizzard suddenly started and it took me four hours to travel the ten miles home. I was at this stage beginning to become worried about the weather and wondered if next year my rescued animals would include polar bears!!!

During the bad weather, I had my penthouse crew! These were four sheep who could not manage in the field, George who is blind, Gertie who unfortunately did not survive the winter, Dolly who is arthritic and Bonnie (2) who had got out of the field so I kept her in. They enjoyed their inside enclosure with access to the yard. The field sheep also enjoyed their inside area and at times I was the only one outside!!!!

The cats also didn't want to stir outside and most spent the time in front of the fire.

Although, the winter was a bad one, when I first had my horses in the eighties the winters were pretty harsh so it was something I was used to and it brought back lots of memories of trudging up in blizzards! However, I am a bit old in the tooth now and I hope it is not the pattern of winters to come!

Horrendous Time


The past couple of months have been a horrendous time for me and the Digglers! I have moved into the house that was left to me by Pam. It is a large Victorian property built in 1866 in Denton. I have had quite a substantial amount of work done but kept it as Victorian as possible. This has meant that my own property was placed on the market and consequently the cat dwellers had to be moved along with the rabbit Lewis I feel like Morse in the morning shouting out his name he has now become a Dentonian! At my previous house I also had three cats plus two cats that adopted me! What was I to do? Popsy (2) who initially was a Diggler is now living with me because she lost an eye and Christy Tips because she developed skin cancer and cannot go out in the sun. Mavis a later acquisition from the vet had a trial up at Diggle and could not settle so she was brought home. A decision had to be made. Popsy, Christy Tips would become Dentonians and the others would be Digglers. The two adoptees called Bobby Socks and Moriarty, how would they settle being 'country boys'?

The day arrived for the big move. Popsy thought the new house was wonderful. It was much larger and the back garden has a mesh roof which means she can go outside in safety even though the property is on a main road. Now, for the crew to go to Diggle. Mavis true to form would not settle so she ended up coming home with me with Christy Tips. Bobby Socks and Moriarty, up they went. Moriarty settled in beautifully but Bobby Socks was quite distressed when I kept them in for a week before letting them loose in the garden. Off Bobby Socks went. He found a way out of the garden and started to roam the nearby barns, however pleased to say he does come back every day.

Lewis also loves his new abode. He has his own pent house, however due to the roof he can be out all the time and he loves the cat flap and virtually lives in the kitchen.

It is wonderful that I have some volunteers and they have their own page on the website.

The weather, well, it has been unreal. A struggle getting food for both sheep and cats. On many occasions I have not been able to get through and Sylvia who lives in a cottage opposite has had the job of feeding. It has been quite scary driving in some of the conditions and reminds me of winters past. I have asked a local farmer Richard, he mows the field annually and does all the fencing to collect the haylage and food from the local corn merchant in his tractor.

Unfortunately, I lost Gertie. She was well in her teens and she was one of the pent house crew. The vet diagnosed arthritis and we gave her injections. At first she responded but then they began to have little effect. I placed in the stables and gave her liquid, but her time had come. The vet came to do the deed and Rossendate Pet Crem came to collect her and her ashes will be scattered in the memory garden. Gertie left a lovely legacy. She was the sheep that had the September lamb that I called Flory-Bunda. I only hope that the weather improves as I feel dreadfully sorry for the moor land sheep. I can envisage them moving from the moors and coming into the valleys where there is more shelter. I shall take some photographs of the snowy conditions and put them on the website.

Unable To See But Found Her Way To Me


Got phone call from the receptionist at the local vet. On 26/9/09 a cat was brought into the surgery. It had been found sat crying in the middle of the road. On examination the cat was found to be blind. It seemed impossible that the cat could be homed if blind and the 'big sleep' was due the next day. No, no, no, unthinkable. Round I went at the crack of dawn to stop the terrible deed. Shades of Schindler's List? She had had a blood test to determine as to whether she had FIV or leukaemia They proved negative so home she came with me. I have christened her Augustine (Teenie for short). It didn't take her long to settle in. She quickly found the food bowl and the warm radiator where she slept for most of the day. Lewis my rabbit is used to cats and didn't pose a problem and Popsy (2) my one-eyed cat appeared very sympathetic. A member of the local RSPCA came to take a photo of Teenie which will be placed on their lost and found website. Can you guess what will happen to her if no-one comes forward?

Bella Donna's Forgiving Nature


Oh, dear! Woe is me! I arrived bright and early the other morning. When walking down the yard to inspect the sheep, I heard a plaintiff cry from a cat. As I listened to ascertain the direction of the cry, I realised it was one of my cats! In fact it was Bella Donna. Imagine my horror to find her in the garden. She views me as her own personal chair lift and expects me to carry her in every night. How could I possibly forget our Donnis, but I did! Rushing over to the gate to rescue her from her plight, she gave one almighty shriek of delight and rushed into my arms. Nuzzling me and giving one of her loudest purrs, I placed her on her favourite window sill. Opening a tin of tuna, she tucked in. I was forgiven. No thought of malice. Her affection for me had not diminished. Later reflecting on Bella's experience, I pondered how the human species would have reacted to that very situation. Yes, your answer is the same as mine. Perhaps we can be taught a thing or two.