Scottish history and sheep

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by ajaxlucy, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This isn't really a homesteading question, just sheep curiosity, but I thought someone here might know. I had dinner with an English couple a little while ago and the subject of Scottish history came up, specifically "the clearances". I'd never heard of this, but history was just about my worst subject at school. One of them said, "it was because of the sheep." And the other said "Yes, North Country Cheviots." Anyone know what they were talking about?
     
  2. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Highland Clearances were when thousands of people were evicted from their homes to make room for large scale sheep farming. The Cheviot sheep were introduced almost 30 years after the clearances began (1762) but the clearances continued until the 1850's and the Cheviots produced more wool in harsher climates, pushing the clearances further north and encouraging more landowners to clear their lands for sheep. At first the clearances were at the hands of Clan cheiftons, but increasingly the farms were owned by lowlanders as absentee landlords. In the beginning the evictions were forced by raising rents, but they became increasingly violent with people being burned out of their homes. It was a major factor in the scots immigration to America.
     

  3. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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  4. Celtic_Knot

    Celtic_Knot Celtic Heritage Farms

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    Even before that sheep were used to stamp out Druid forest land, which was considered sacred. There would be large deforestation and then sheep would be run on it to keep it from becoming forest again. This happened everywhere in the now modern UK, and Ireland, not just in Scottland.
     
  5. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    sheep grazing is also the reason that what you see of scottland, irland, and english country side is the lush level green carpet, they selectivly graze the grass to a leval and as long as its not over grazed it stays there, weeds and such are fairly Non existant, some few wild flowers escape the sheeps notice i am guessing due to flavor? well anyway the whole habbitat is due to the sheeps grazing as to what survives and what gets eaten
     
  6. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Wow, interesting!