I went for an evening stroll today, on Malling Down Nature reserve Lewes. and to my horror I found that the sheep there, brought in to keep the undergrowth down, had been put onto the southern slope still with their thick woollen fleeces. This hillside is infested with low growth brambles and hawthorns and unless sheep have been recently sheered they get seriously entangled. I immediately found two in trouble and one of them was injured and very week. It had been there all day by the looks and from struggling, was cut on all four legs and it's neck by the thorns. The light was fading, my phone battery was very low and I had no gloves or a knife but I have done this many times so just got on with it and managed to release these two in the video. The problem is that within minutes they may well be back in the same predicament. If they had remain stuck then the foxes would have an easy meal in the night, especially if there was a frost! The damp fleece sticks frozen to the ground and the sheep cant even struggle to fend of predators. In the morning Crows, Ravens and Magpies simple sit on the sheep's head and peck it's eyes out. I've seen this many times in Scotland, Cumbria and on the Ashdown Forrest near Uckfield! Sadly on my way out of the reserve I spotted a dead sheep, one of yesterday's victims of a classic mistake. I have passed on the info to relevant parties but I will go there again at first light to see if any of the poor things need help again. ( ...this time with a knife and leather gloves, my fingers are shredded!
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