Next Episode of This Farming Life is
A series following the struggles and triumphs of six very different farming families in some of Scotland's most beautiful and remote landscapes.
It's autumn, the time of year to prepare for the mating season. Sea shepherd Sandy gathers in wild sheep from a remote Scottish island by boat.
In the west of Scotland in Argyll, husband and wife George and Sybil gather in their sheep from over six square miles of rugged mountainside.
Sandy and his fellow crofters gather in their sheep from the moor and club together to dip them in insecticide before mating time.
It's early winter and, although the weather is getting colder and darker, it's a time of year that brings new life on the farms.
As Christmas finally arrives, there are celebrations and a sad discovery in Martin's cattle shed.
John Scott and Martin Irvine head to the Stirling bull sales, each hoping to sell four of their best bulls.
Lambing season is just a month away. Martin tends to their 500 pregnant ewes and gets the lambing sheds ready with dad Stevie.
Spring arrives for the farmers. In the north, John is expecting more than 6,000 new lambs, so hires in extra staff.
Bobby's father's 90th birthday is looming and thoughts turn to who will run the farm when it's time to hand it on to the next generation.
In Argyll, Sybil prepares for George's 50th birthday. Bobby and Anne hold an open day to educate the public about farming.
Summer arrives at last. In the east of Scotland, Martin prepares two young bulls for the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh.
In central Scotland, Bobby and Anne must gather their pregnant ewes from the hills ready for lambing. Bobby's father's 90th birthday is looming and thoughts turn to who will run the farm when it is time to hand it on to the next generation. In East of Inverness, Mel and Martin move into a caravan in the lambing shed to deal with the imminent arrival of hundreds of lambs. On the Isle of Lewis, Sandy makes tweed curtains for their holiday let and Ali cooks Easter buns.
In Argyll, Sybil prepares for George's 50th birthday and the arrival of her sister and niece from England. Sybil and George are also looking after a desperately ill cow. Julia K had a traumatic caesarean and is too weak to stand up on her own, so they decide to lift her to her feet twice a day using a sling and a forklift truck to help build her muscles up. East of Inverness, persistent rain means Martin's cattle and young calves are yet to be turned out of their winter sheds into the fields. Sybil's sister and niece arrive and there's tension over the question of who will take on the family farm in the future. In central Scotland near Loch Lomond, Bobby and Anne hold an open day to educate the public about farming. North of Aberdeen, John has to urgently call the vet when one of his heifers gets into difficulty calving. The vet decides on a caesarean but it's a major operation and there's no guarantee she, or her huge calf, will survive.
In the east of Scotland, Martin prepares two young bulls for the biggest event of the farming calendar, the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh. First they need their nose rings, an accessory no bull can do without. Martin and Mel's wedding is also looming. Martin goes for his final kilt fitting and Mel meets her dad to discuss their plans. Ahead of the wedding they are 'blackened' by family and friends with feathers, flour and treacle in an old Scottish ritual. Back from their honeymoon, Martin and Mel must shear half their flock of sheep with a team of helpers. Then all the farmers travel to the Royal Highland Show, where Bobby enters a bake off, Sandy and Ali try to sell their mutton, John puts all his faith into his prize bull and Martin gets a surprise result when he enters a young novice bull into the competitions.
This final episode features all the farmers from across the year reflecting on what each season means to them. In autumn the programme revisits sea shepherding with Sandy on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. In the west in Argyll, Sybil and George gather in their sheep from over six square miles of mountainside. As winter descends over Scotland, the farmers reflect on this time of year. It's bitterly cold but this is also a time of new life for the farmers. It's a huge relief when spring arrives. Martin collects semen from his prize bull, and Sandy and Ali welcome two new calves to their croft. As summer arrives, the farmers can finally put their cattle out to the fields. Martin's have been indoors for eight months. Further west, Sybil and George welcome home their cattle from their winter sheds on another farm.
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