Wedderlie Farm

Wedderlie Farm

Excerpt from the fifth volume of the Agricultural magazine of 1809 on the soil of Berwickshire:
The hills of Lauderdale and Lammermoor are usually dominated by the moors and where unimproved are partly covered by natural grass. Where a sufficient depth of soil and not too high in elevations, these maybe improved and are very much ameliorated pasture land, and extensive tracts of this land have so been improved, and continue to be improved.

Two centuries later at Wedderlie 50 acres of rough hill ground was transformed into a highly productive pasture for their beef and sheep enterprises.

The land had never been ploughed in living memory and was very acidic with a pH recorded below 5. Lime was applied in sufficient quantities over a three year period backed up with a frequent application of dung to build the field up nutritionally to be fit for reseeding. The land was found to be free draining with not a tile drain to be found. It was then sprayed with Round Up followed by topping to reduce the biomass of desiccated vegetation. Rotovated initially followed by a further rotovation and sowing.

In 2018 it received two applications of compound NPK and has had a mixed grazing throughout the season. It grazed 260 ewes and twins then Aberdeen Angus heifers during the summer months. 550 Cheviot cross ewes seen here are being flushed for a month before the tips appear on 25th November.

‘It’s already given a great return on the investment. You can only carry a ewe per hectare on the unimproved hill grass here, so the change in the yield and quality of the 50 acres is exceptional.’
John Tilson, Wedderlie, Westruther, The Borders

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