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Special Collections - Photographic Collections
1 Digital photograph
Fleeces, stored on Sybil's hillfarm, Dalmally, Argyll & Bute, August 2014 from the series "Drawn To The Land"
Sybil has been a farmer all her life, the family farm has been passed down to her through 170 years of family farming.
Hill farming is "in her blood" she feels that she couldn't have done anything else other than farm these hills. Sybil farms 2,880 hectares and runs 2,000 blackfaced ewes. She took over the farm at the age of 29 from her father and previously studied agriculture at Edinburgh University. She is chairman of the National Sheep Association Scottish region and an NFUS Less Favoured Area board member.
“This farm has been in my family for over 170 years. My great grandfather was born here and went to school in a building which is now a ruin on the top of the hill. My father would walk me about the farm on his shoulders. I love it. I’ve always loved it. The call of the curlew, seeing the swallows, watching the seasons. I’ve been lucky enough to live here all my life, it’s an exceptionally beautiful part of the world. But nothing ever stays the same. I don’t think my father would recognise this landscape now.”
"I wouldn't say it's a particularly inviting industry for women. I think it probably is harder for women to come in. But I wouldn't do anything else, at one point I did used to want to be a research scientist. With this though, you never stop learning, doing our kind of farming."
Photograph © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.
Format / media
© Sophie Gerrard, all rights reserved.
Image Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Library, ID 2017-2-8