Lockdown lamb videos from Go Rural were a hit, now is your time to visit for real… – The Scottish Sun
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WHEN Jasmine Jackson started streaming live videos of lambing at the family farm during lockdown last year, she had no idea of the positive impact it was having – or that she would welcome hundreds of visitors to her home off the back of it.
She was one of 30 farmers in the Go Rural network who streamed live tours from their farms during lockdown, bringing the Scottish countryside into homes across the world and providing some much-needed light relief.
The videos proved so popular that Jasmine and her husband, Fenwick, 45, opened Jacksons at Jedburgh to visitors last August – and are looking forward to sharing life at Kersheugh Farm, in the Scottish Borders, with even more families this summer.
They’re one of a growing number of farms offering fantastic experiences to visitors, from traditional activities like fruit picking to unforgettable getaways in unique accommodation, like converted shepherds’ huts and artisanal foodie experiences that allow you to follow the best of Scottish produce from field to fork.
The 435-acre holding is home to around 1,000 sheep, 500 cattle, including
Aberdeen Angus and six Highland cows, a Tamworth pig called Abi and her
five piglets, as well as ducks, chickens and five dogs.
Jasmine, 30, says: “In the middle of lockdown I started doing live videos, taking people round our lambing fields, videoing on my phone, showing them newborn calves.
“I didn’t realise it then but we were giving them an hour of outdoor space when they were shut inside, their kids were interested because of the baby animals, and it ended up being a respite at a really stressful time.
HERE are five more of Scotland’s best farm experiences for families:
Enjoy a relaxed walk around the farm, meeting the cattle and sheep along the way. Say hello to special friends including donkeys, a miniature Shetland pony, chicks, rabbits, ducks and hens and alpacas. Take a look at the tractors and hear the story of real life on a working island farm.
2. Kitchen Coos & Ewes, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway
Farm tours and experiences where visitors get up close to sheep and Scotland’s iconic Highland cows – from the comfort of a purpose-built trailer. Hear how the animals benefit their natural environment, from the farmers who rear them. Enjoy traditional farmhouse baking before you go.
3. Newton Farm Holiday & Tours, Forfar, Angus
Award-winning farm tours suitable for all ages, and especially popular with children. Meet sheep, Highland cows, pigs, goats and runner ducks – or take the alpacas (named after Disney characters) for a walk. Self-catering and bed and breakfast accommodation available; picnics welcomed.
4. Down on the Farm, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire
Offers brilliant farm experiences and trailer tours for groups and individuals, through the fields to the sea cliffs. Learn about the breeds of cattle, what they eat and how they are reared. Look out for dolphins and seabirds at the seashore – then head back for hot drinks and farmhouse baking.
5. Byres Farm, Fochabers, Morayshire
Meet the beef cattle, sheep, ponies and hens on this family farm, which also grows malting barley for the Speyside Whisky industry. Check out the tractors, join a Fun Farm session for under-5s, or visit the Story Barn.
“People come to the farm now and almost feel they know me – some have
even burst into tears because they are so overwhelmed to be here.”
The Jackson family have been stewards of Kersheugh Farm for 50 years –
Fenwick was born and raised there and Jasmine arrived three years ago.
Between them they have six children – Cory, 14, Daisy, 11,
Fenwick, nine, Grace, six, Hamish, four, and baby Farley, four months – so
they certainly know how to keep kids happy.
Their farm, five minutes from the historic town of Jedburgh, is a totally
outdoor attraction, which means that families can enjoy fresh air and complete freedom.
On arrival, each one receives a bag of animal nuts to feed the farm
animals, and from April to mid-June they can bottle-feed lambs too.
Hop aboard a trailer for a Highland Coo safari and walkie-talkie tour of the farm – a great way to get up close to the cattle and learn more about how they are reared.
Children love exploring the woodland area and building dens there, or playing in the sandpit and racing on the pedal tractors – while adults can relax with a coffee or ice cream from the small farm shop.
Animal welfare is a top priority for the Jacksons, who produce Scotch Lamb and Scotch Beef which is quality assured and sold under the iconic blue logos found in supermarkets and independent butchers.
This guarantees the animals have been born, reared and processed
only on Scottish farms that meet the highest welfare standards.
WHAT better way to round off a fun-filled day on the farm than with delicious Scotch Beef burgers the whole family can make and enjoy together?
The recipe below takes just 15 minutes to prepare, and 15 to cook.
To make these Scotch Beef, lentil and beetroot burgers for four, you will need:
400g Scotch Beef PGI mince
1 onion, finely diced
1 can of cooked green lentils, drained
2 raw or pickled beetroot, grated
1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
1 egg, beaten
200g baby spinach leaves
4 brioche buns
100g pickled gherkins, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
Pinch of salt and pepper
MIX the grated beetroot, onion, beef mince, tomato paste and lentils in a bowl, season and mix well. Add the beaten egg and mix again. Divide into four even sized balls then shape into patties.
To cook on the BBQ, brush each burger lightly with rapeseed oil and lay onto the preheated grill.
Don’t be tempted to move them for three to four minutes, as the burgers will stick and tear if you do. Instead, nudge them
with the tongs gently and if they move they are ready to turn.
Flip over and cook for a further three to four minutes.
Serve in brioche buns with tomato, red onion, gherkins and baby spinach.
When you see the Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork logos in your local supermarket or butcher you can buy with confidence, knowing the meat is sourced from local Scottish quality-assured farms that adopt best practice when it comes to animal welfare and production methods, while also supporting local farmers.
Jasmine explains: “It’s really important to us that our animals have happy,
stress-free lives. The lambs and calves are born outside and reared as
close to nature as possible.
“Our fields are mostly boundaried by hedgerows and woodland, so you’ll
see wildlife like deer, hares, buzzards, swallows in the sheds and even a
kingfisher down by the river.
“It’s about the whole story – as farmers we don’t just rear animals, we also
protect the ecosystems on the farm, the environment – it all fits together.”
She adds: “Welcoming visitors to our farm is really important too. We know
how lucky we are to live here and we love sharing it with them.
“It’s great to see families relax, spend quality time together and experience something new – you can literally see the stress dropping off their shoulders and, when they leave, they look lighter and re-energised.”
If you are planning countryside visits this summer, VisitScotland’s tips on being a top tourist will help ensure your day runs smoothly.
Always plan ahead: check opening times, know where you can park – and have a plan B – and check for toilets and facilities before you go.
Book before you go: book your accommodation, attractions, tours and places to eat to avoid disappointment.
Leave only footsteps; take only memories: bin or take your litter home and leave the countryside as you find it.
And finally, look after your four-legged friend: keep dogs on a lead and away from livestock – and don’t forget to pick up after your pet. Remember #respectprotectenjoy
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