Although it is more usual to name sheep alphabetically (i.e. the first year, your lambs are ‘A’ (Albert, Agnes etc and the next ‘B’) we decided that instead we would work through the letters of the name of the field where our flock live: Battle Meadow.

Our flock began with three older ewes and three ewe lambs. Although they had their official RBST-registered names (as they are pedigree sheep), we gave them our own unofficial names: Beattie, Belle and Bessie – all named after elderly ladies we had known. The three younger ones were Agnes, Alice (also elderly ladies) and Amelie – simply because we liked the name.

All the sheep that we breed and register with the RBST have the prefix Battle Meadow before their individual name, e.g. Battle Meadow Tobermory.

Amelie and Tomsk in April 2014

The next year Beattie produced a ram lamb – so he had to be a T. We scratched our heads for a bit, deciding against Trevor and Tony, until our elder son’s girlfriend said: ‘What about a Womble – Tobermory…?’

Next year there were six lambs – three girls and three boys. More Ts needed and we ended up with: Topsy, Thora (after Mrs Hird), Theo, Tomsk (another Womble), Titus and Tess, the littlest lamb that year, who is now a very feisty lady with rather elegant horns.

Titus had the added cachet of being our own little James Bond. We realised in allotting numbers to the lambs that year that one of them was going to be …007 – and Titus with his rather handsome face and strong build was the obvious choice. He’s now moved on to a new home and we hope he’s living up to this image with the ewes that he’s now with…

2015 was L: hence Leo, Ludo, Louis and Lily. In 2016 – E – we had one ram lamb, Elvis (suggested by an old friend), and two ewe lambs: Emma (after a young neighbour) and then ... as she was born a couple of days after the Queen's 90th birthday, Elizabeth.

In 2017 the letter was M, and we had two ram lambs – Max and Morris – and four ewe lambs – May, Meg, Margaux and Minnie. 

2018 saw us on E again: 'Well for rams, you'll have to have Eric and Ernie' said a friend. So when the first lamb, a ram, was born we promptly named him Eric. The Boreray breed often produces more rams than ewes, so we awaited the next ram through a string of girls... twins Ella and Esme, Etta, Edith... and finally realising that we were running out of pregnant ewes, we named the last (ewe) lamb Ernestine. So we achieved our Eric and 'little Ern' in the end.

In 2019 we were on A again, so racing around the field are: Amy, Albert, Archie, Allan, Audrey, Adrian and Annie.

The four Ls