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Lookerers - volunteer shepherds
Most of our downland sites are on the edge of the city so we need to make more regular checks on our sheep, if the shepherd had to make all of these checks it would take up a large amount of time and make grazing many small sites impractical.
We have volunteers, known as lookerers, that help keep an eye on our sheep.
Lookerers need to be able to
- attend a lookering course so that you know what to do.
- check the sheep, making a report or ensuring another lookerer has.
- spare around one hour a week while the sheep are on site.
- get around on quite steep uneven slopes, as that is where the sheep graze.
- be available in the winter months - we normally graze our sites in the winter so that the sheep do not eat the flowers!
- have a mobile phone so that you can receive any updates on the sheep, phone in your report and contact us in case of emergency.
We provide volunteers with a free training one day training course held at Stanmer Park. The course covers both theory and practical training.Theory
conservation grazing - why we graze
the shepherd's year - what happens when
common sheep ailments - what might happen
sheep and the law
how to handle a sheep (useful but not essential to be a lookerer)
installing and maintaining electric sheep 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 sheep are on site. They are then allocated times on a rota when they will be responsible for checking the sheep. 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 Lookerer
If you are interested in becoming a lookerer please fill in the lookerer application form. Please note we won't necessarily allocate places on a first come first served basis if the course and/or site is oversubscribed. We will use the information on the application form to help us decide.