Trips and outings Veterinary medicine

Stranded sheep in the Blue Lagoon

The Sunday between Christmas and the New Year I spent hiking around Pembrokeshire and this time I went for walk no. 12 (Around Ynys Barry) taken from the book mentioned in some of my previous posts There is a local attraction called the Blue Lagoon that is just a few minutes away from the Aber Eiddy (also known as Abereiddy) car park where the walk originates from. The lagoon is actually an old man-made slate mining pit. The wall between the pit and the sea was later blasted to open it up making an artificial bay for ships to find shelter in high tides in case of rough seas.

A bit of trivia:  The Aber Eiddy Blue Lagoon was also used as a filming location for the video for the techno anthem Silence by the Canadian group Delirium (Featuring Sarah McLachlan). By the way the video was also filmed at Newgale beach.

As I entered the lagoon I saw a sheep on the cliffs about halfway between the top of the cliffs and the lagoon floor. I though it was a ledge that the animal accessed to get to some grass and didn’t think much about it. A few days later I overheard a colleague at work saying how her dog got fixated on a sheep on the cliffs while walking and it transpired that she was walking the dog in the Blue Lagoon and that was quite probably the same sheep. I went to check as soon as possible half expecting the sheep to be gone or even worse, dead. To my surprise she was still there and I took these pictures:
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The requested URL /data/feed/api/user/martin.mcdowell/album/StrandedSheepInAberEiddy?kind=photo was not found on this server. That’s all we know.

The problem is the rocks are vertical and very slippery below. Above, from the top of the cliff, there is a very steep slope. I managed to report about the stranded sheep to the RSPCA and they confirmed they have already received reports about this incident and that there is also a farmer that is checking it daily. This all happened yesterday, Saturday January 3rd. Today I went and checked it again and it is still there, alive. This makes it at least 9 days since it has been stuck on that ledge.

Does anyone else know anything more about it? The RSPCA call centre mentioned that a rescue is considered but also mentioned health and safety which fills me with a bit of a worry. I don’t want to start an upset but I don’t want to see an animal suffer further and am quite willing to go and get the sheep myself. I have tried out rock climbing a couple of times and this should be an easy climb/descent with the proper equipment. The only problem would be restraining the sheep and convincing her that I its supposed to be rescued and should not feel threatened.

I have also tried contacting the local newspaper to get them involved. So far no reply. I would appreciate any suggestions or help. Will post any updates as they arise.

Update Monday, 4th January 2010 at 13.15

Checked on her again yesterday at about 2pm. Was still looking relatively OK. Just spoke to the RSPCA inspector. A rescue is planned this week. The farmer who is checking up on her is the owner so if all goes well she should be back with her hers by the end of the week unless she has any medical condition that needs to be treated first. Apparently sheep often get stranded in those parts and a lot of times will get themselves out of trouble.

Update Tuesday, 5th January 2010 at 19.20

Sheep still OK, were a couple of people from the RSPCA that were trying to get some food down to her. The problem today were very strong winds and icy snow. The snow was only up on the junction with the Abereiddy road which is where I had to leave my car. When I arrived I though the snow would be on the beach as well – there is a rather steep road just above Aber Eiddy. The B4330 was quite slippery on the way there as the snow was just starting at about 13.40. I left Aber Eiddy at about 14.40. This was a photo of the road:

The Abereiddy road after the snow on January 5th
The Abereiddy road after the snow on January 5th

I came home at about 18.40. That is 4 hours later!!! The trip should have taken me about 45 minutes!. This was the route I took and my average speed was 5 miles per hour. The problem wasn’t the very icy B4330 – that part took me about an hour to the Ford roundabout. It took the rest to get from the roundabout at Ford to Johnston. Nuts!!! That part had an average speed of  1.7 mph (3 hours for 5.3 miles).

I have received some news from a journalist from the above mentioned local newspaper. She received information that the rescue was planned for tomorrow but due to the adverse weather conditions I doubt this.

Update Thursday, 7th January 2010 at 19.30

Received a call from the Western Telegraph newsdesk this afternoon. The reporter had learnt that the sheep was successfully rescued yesterday, Wednesday, January 6. I was just trying to get some feed arranged for her for tomorrow but it now wont be necessary. Great!

Update Thursday, 8th January 2010 at 19.35

Talked to the RSPCA inspector today who told me the sheep was so cooperative that it didn’t need sedating and lifting it up was not such a problem. There were also another two sheep further along also on the cliffs but they could have possibly got themselves out of trouble but they helped them out non the less.

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Trips and outings

Great Treffgarne Mountain


This walk seemed the muddiest of them all, in fact I am wandering how exactly to wash my walking shoes and the washing machine is getting to be the favourite. This is the walk no. 32 and can easily be combined with no. 33 (Treffgarne Gorge) as they both start from the same point. That was actually my plan but my walking shoes got filled with lots of lovely mud hindering any furter hikes that day. OK, I admit, am being a bit of a wus, but I was lucky this happened towards the end of the walk.

The hike starts from the Nant-y-coy Mill and takes you on the right side of the valley north-westerly. The first part worth seeing is the valley in about mid-way into the hike – around the farm at North Hill. The path after that is a bit different from the one mentioned in the book as the Pembrokeshire County Council approved some modifications to the public path. These were made in September 2008. It now takes you round the farm to the left and then joins the original route at the top of the hill – the Great Treffgarne Mountain. That is the most spectacular part with great views in all directions. There are also these peculiar stones dotted on the top of the hill, each some way from another.

After that the path became very unpleasant as one farmer completely ignored the fact there is a path there. It was changed to a mud-bath instead of a field. At one moment, thinking I was stepping onto a reasonably solid mixture of mud and cow poo, I instead stepped into something much more liquid-like making my foot sink way beyond ankle deep. My left foot got completely soaked and my right one didn’t fare much better. Grrrrrrrr!!! I thought the farmers were supposed to be more considerate about the public paths – in fact it seemed that in that area the farmers trash the paths to discourage hikers from using them.

I was later told they have no such obligations and the paths are of secondary importance to their ownership of the land the path is on. I feel a bit nostalgic for the days in Yugoslavia (Slovenia) where a lot of land was nationalised for the common good.

Hmmm, gives me ideas 😉