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Meet the BBC Cambridgeshire ewe
Chris Osborne
BBC Cambridgeshire

Tiny Farmer farm in Snailwell, home of Ewe 562
Grant Hawthorne and his family set up the Tiny Farmer business

I arrive at the Tiny Farmer farm, in Snailwell, at 9am on a bleak December morning.

I'm greeted by a flock of Black Welsh Mountain sheep and Grant Hawtorne, who runs the farm.

The sheep are hungry and inquisitive, so we get down to feeding them.

The most confident of the bunch is from the younger flock, as shown by her yellow tag. It turns out this is the ewe we have adopted for a year. She's simply known as Sheep 562.

BBC Cambridgeshire is going to help rear a ewe for 12 months in order to find out a little bit more about what it's like on a farm.

We will be there for all of Sheep 562's big moments in life: scanning to check her unborn lamb, worming (yuk), lambing and caring for the lamb.

Sheep with no name

With the help of accountant-turned-farmer Grant Hawthorne, who is letting members of the public adopt a sheep as well, we'll learn as much as we can about caring for ewes in a responsible manner.

We also want your help naming our ewe, as Sheep 562 doesn't really roll off the tongue. Send us your suggestions - we'll put a few of them up on the website - and we'll come to a decision in the new year.

Send your suggestions to us at cambridgeshire@bbc.co.uk

You can also follow the ewe's progress on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

"She's definitely one of the more confident ones," said Grant. "She always comes up and wants her head patted.

"I guess she is one of the ring leaders of the young ones. She decides what's happening next."

On my first trip to the farm I decided to help out with the basics and filled the sheep's trough with food, but I'm hoping to gather a sack of sheep knowledge over the next 12 months.

"We decided to use the adopt a sheep programme so that people can understand a year in the life of a sheep," said Grant.

"There's quite a lot that goes on in their year and it just helps raise awareness of different issues."

Accountant by day

Ewe Tube
Follow Ewe 562

Punters who pay to adopt one of the sheep get to visit their ewe and receive updates on its progress, plus, when the 12 months are up, they get one of the sheep's lambs ready to put in the freezer and cook for a Sunday roast.

In 2008 Grant and his family set out to become self-sufficient. They decided they would give up their weekly trip to the supermarket in exchange for growing their own crops on an allotment and rearing their own chickens.

Determined to make sure they were eating meat from ethical sources the Hawthornes stumbled upon other like-minded people in the region and now they've created a network of meat suppliers who aim to produce quality food at prices which are fair to the consumer and the farmer.

On top of it all Grant still manages to find the time to do the old job.

He said: "I still do accountancy two days a week and then three days farming. So it's suit one day and farm overalls the next. It's a great balance."


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