Lookerers - volunteer livestock checkers

Maria Caulfield with sheep

Sheep and ponies graze a number of important conservation and ancient chalk downland areas in the city. We have volunteers, known as lookerers, that help keep an eye on our livestock.

Most of our downland sites are on the edge of the city so we need to make more regular checks. If the grazier had to make all of these checks it would take up a large amount of time and make grazing many small sites impractical.

Lookerers need to be able to

  • attend a lookering course so that you know what to do
  • check the livestock and make a report
  • spare one hour a week while the livestock are on site
  • get around on quite steep uneven slopes, as that is where the livestock graze
  • have a mobile phone so that you can receive any updates on the livestock, text in your report and contact us in case of emergency

Training for volunteer lookerers

We provide volunteers with a free, one day training course held at Stanmer Park. The course covers both theory and practical training.

Theory

  • conservation grazing - why we graze
  • the grazing year - what happens when
  • common livestock ailments - what might happen
  • livestock and the law

Practical

  • how to handle a sheep (useful but not essential to be a lookerer)
  • installing and maintaining electric livestock netting, part of the daily check is to make sure fencing is secure

Once lookerers are trained they will be asked when they are available for when the livestock are on site. They are then allocated times on a rota when they will be responsible for checking the site. Each check should take no more than an hour and does not have to be at an exact time, usually morning or afternoon is specified.

Applying to be a volunteer lookerer

If you are interested in becoming a lookerer please fill in the lookerer application form

Find out about livestock grazing in Brighton & Hove.