My home studio is located on my croft on the shores of Broad Bay in the Isle of Lewis. In addition to my work as a textile artist I am dedicated to keeping my family tradition of crofting alive. My Broad Bay Fold of pedigree Highland cattle are born and bred in their native homeland where they are supremely suited to the climate and terrain. I work with the Brue Fold who are located on the Atlantic coast of Lewis, and the progeny from both folds are highly prized and mainly exported for breeding throughout the UK and Europe.
My 24-acre croft is unusually large for Lewis and this is because it has little arable land and a great deal of what is considered marginal land. It encompasses a wide range of habitats including machair, species-rich grassland, coastal heath, wet heath and blanket bog. I also have the additional feature of a beautiful burn, Allt Ath Leoid, which runs through the garden and the southern end of the croft. I planted a variety of evergreen and deciduous trees by the burn almost thirty years ago and these are now mature and form a shelter area as well as supporting a wide variety of birdlife including a pair of resident Merlin.
Currently I have two breeding cows, Ishbel an Teallaich and Caraid an Teallaich, who are both in in-calf and due to give birth in April 2020. Our 2019 calves, Lily and Ciorstaidh (pronouned Kirsty), were both sired by Julius of Craigowmill, the Brue Highlanders stock bull. I also have a two year old heifer, Peigi an Teallaich, who is currently over at Brue Highlanders keeping company with one of their two year olds.
Native Highland cattle are the perfect eco-grazers and are ideally suited to the management and conservation of this type of ground. They benefit from the wide variety of grazing, and careful management ensures that the diverse range of flora and fauna are protected and allowed to flourish.