The Ladies of Low Arvie - Living the Farming Dream

How twenty-four cows became 'The Ladies of Low Arvie'.

In 2002 Richard and I bought a 120 acre wet and boggy farm called Low Arvie in SW Scotland. We arrived at the farm with no experience and no equipment. This is the story of the twenty months from the day we first saw the farm, how we dealt with the many challenges we faced, to the successful birth of our first batch of home bred calves.

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About Linda Watson

I had lived in the same small village in South Yorkshire for 54 years. I had a good career as a primary school teacher and enjoyed every minute until I got ill and had to retire. Then life became quite dull and uninteresting. Once I was better I was ready for a new challenge. However, I had no idea just how many challenges were coming my way!

In 2002, my partner, Richard, and I bought a small piece of Scotland called Low Arvie. It was nominally a farm. but in reality just a wet and boggy piece of marshland. Already in our 50s we set about creating our new life on this plot and now we have built a small but successful business and a satisfying life for ourselves.

How did we do it? By a lot of hard work and a lot of help from the community we moved amongst.

So just how did twenty-four Black Galloway cows become 'The Ladies of Low Arvie'?

How did we change the wet and boggy land into some kind of nourishing food for them?

How did we cope with second hand machinery that didn't work properly?

Why did we hire the only bull in Scotland that didn't know what to do when faced with our beautiful 'Ladies'?

How did I fulfil my promise to my 90 year old mother that I would always look after her?

You can read it all in my book 'The Ladies of Low Arvie' and see just how a dull and boring life can change.

Now there is a second helping to bring our story up to date. 'Life with the Ladies of Low Arvie' tells our story from 2004 to 2009.

Videos

The Ladies of Low Arvie
This is an eight minute video in which you can meet Linda, Richard and 'The Ladies', produced for the ITV television programme 'The Dales Diary' in 2007. The presenter is Luke Casey and he and the team spent a day at Low Arvie making the programme. We hope you enjoy it. If you do please share the link with others.

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