Having been inspired by Rosamund Young’s latest book The Wisdom of Sheep, Julie Baber shares with us the magic of Kite’s Nest Farm, where “the kitchen is warm, the tea copious, the milk creamy”. Tucked into a valley on the scarp slope of the Cotswolds, and with nature in abundance, it’s no wonder the farm draws you in.
From my sleeping bag on the floor of the flat at Kite’s Nest, I can see straight up into a sky full of stars that seem to go on forever. A shaft of light from a bright moon cuts across the Velux window. From unseen trees an owl calls. The urge to go out into the soft dark of the early morning is strong, but I daren’t move for fear of waking others still asleep around me.
We blew in yesterday on the edge of Storm Ciaran, three women and a baby, to join those already preparing the memorial gathering for Richard Young, much loved and admired
Richard had lived here for over 40 years and had combined hands-on farming with tireless research and campaigning on such things as animal welfare, antibiotic misuse and soil health. That the suddenness of his passing avoided his having to leave the farm seems appropriate if untimely (and isn’t death always untimely for those that still have so much to do?)
Difficulty in leaving Kite’s Nest was a subject that came up often in tributes and conversations during the gathering. The farm draws you in, so that even when you do leave, (and like some mythical otherworld, that is often much later than anticipated), you can’t quite shake it off.
In her new book, The Wisdom of Sheep, Richard’s sister, Rosamund, describes their arrival. “We fell in love with the farm as soon as we saw it, tucked into a valley on the scarp slope of the Cotswolds, with the land rising from about three hundred feet above sea level to about nine hundred feet at the highest point.”