Counting Sheep by Philip Walling, pub. 2015
A charming ovine amble into the history of the United Kingdom and lens through which to understand the changes in our landscape and farming methods since our ancient ancestors. Written from thorough research but also through a profound respect for the humble sheep and sheep farmer, and personal experience which makes for an affecting read and persuasive case for guarding the future of our woolly friends against the turbulent trends that threaten their place on our farms, commons and fells.
"Sheep have been our constant companions since the dawn of civilisation, partners in taming the wilderness, and are the most versatile of our domestic livestock. They have adapted themselves to every nuance of climate and terrain. Their grazing has enriched our soil and made the beauty of our fields and farms. There is hardly a sheep-keeping country in the world who flocks have not benefited from an intermingling of genes from British sheep. Sheep are in our national blood, they are part of the life of the land that still pulses beneath the surface of modern Britain. They are our pastoral heritage and our future. Let us celebrate them."