Synopsis

Set in the North Pennines, Addicted to Sheep is an intimate portrait of a year in the life of tenant hill farmers Tom and Kay Hutchinson as they try to breed the perfect sheep.

Through the rain, shine, sleet and snow we see them toil away against the stunning landscapes of North East England and witness the hard work it takes just to survive. Their three children are growing up close to the land, attending a school entirely comprised of farmers’ children, thoroughly immersed in their remote rural world. While the odds often seem stacked against them, the film conveys the importance of a balanced family life and the good humour that binds this tight knit community together.

Beautifully observed, this heartwarming film provides an insight into the past, present and future of a way of life far removed from the high-tech hustle and bustle of modern life, allowing us all to experience life on a hill farm without having to get dirty!

A few words you will hear and you may not be familiar with! 

Yow or a ewe is a female sheep.

Tups is a British term for an uncastrated adult male sheep. Also called a ram.

Swaledale Sheep is a breed of domestic sheep named after the Yorkshire valley of Swaledale in England. They are found throughout the more mountainous areas of Great Britain, but particularly in the Yorkshire Dales, County Durham, and around the pennine fells of Cumbria.

Gnarly in the context of Addicted to Sheep means old, unpleasant, grumpy.

Put in the fat means to either sell them to feed on greener pastures before slaughter or directly send them for slaughter.

Sired means fathered

Staggers refers to a metabolic disorder associated with the absorption of magnesium in the blood.

She was geld means the yow is ‘not in lamb’ or has not held to the tup.

Gimmer hogg is a young female sheep over one year of age (from about 9 to 18 months of age.

Hogg is a lamb of either sex that been weaned (detached) from its mother but before it’s been clipped for the first time

To tup off means to put a female to a certain male tup or ram.

Shearling is a hog that has been clipped (or sheared) for the first time.

Two-shear is a sheep which has been clipped twice but is effectively 3 years old.

A Three or Four Crop yow is a yow that has given birth 3 times, or 4 times.

Gimmer Shearling is a female lamb that has been clipped once already.

Gimmer lamb is a female lamb.

Tup Lamb is a male lamb

Old tups is an old non castrated male sheep or old rams.

Hetty at school Christmas in Upper-Teesdale Christmas Baubles Preparing for Christmas Tom lifting gate Kay with Turkeys Jack in the shed A cow