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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous Book
I bought this as a handy reference in order to learn more about the sheep I encounter when walking in the Lake District and the Chilterns. It is indeed an excellent reference book, but is far more than that.
The author is immensely knowledgeable about his subject but wears his learning lightly and writes with self-deprecation and humour. He communicates simply and...
Published 5 months ago by David Gwilym Anthony

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2.0 out of 5 stars We found the text delightful and informative, well worth ...
We found the text delightful and informative, well worth it. However we must have had a rogue copy which made reading complicated. The pagination was out of kilter and there was at least one section missing completely.
Published 1 day ago by prophetofjoy


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous Book, 13 April 2014
By 
David Gwilym Anthony (stoke Poges, Bucks, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain (Hardcover)
I bought this as a handy reference in order to learn more about the sheep I encounter when walking in the Lake District and the Chilterns. It is indeed an excellent reference book, but is far more than that.
The author is immensely knowledgeable about his subject but wears his learning lightly and writes with self-deprecation and humour. He communicates simply and clearly and his prose is at times lyrical, at times elegiac, as when he confronts the dreadful slaughter during the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 and its lasting impact on our farming.
He places sheep farming in its historical context and covers the sweep of history, from ancient times to the present. He makes the point, and I find it convincing, that many things in the countryside which we assume are gone are still there: they have simply become invisible to us because we have forgotten how to look for them.
There's a section on each of the main breeds of sheep, putting them in both their regional and historic context, along with a delightful and informative chapter on sheepdogs and a closing chapter looking towards the future.
This is a beautifully written book by a writer with great empathy for his subject, and I recommend it highly.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Counting Sheep, 4 April 2014
This review is from: Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain (Hardcover)
Armed with a clear love of the countryside and a definite fondness for the peculiar, Philip Walling has trekked across Britain in an attempt to better understand the provenance and importance of many of the native breeds of sheep that thrive here. Counting Sheep is his account of the history and current state of sheep farming in this country and of the lives of those who make their living from the countryside. It is an interesting book that illuminates an important area of British life and Britishness that is often overlooked in the modern world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Counting Sheep, 29 April 2014
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I have kept sheep for many years and have one remaining 'lady' with me now from the maximum of sixty at my prime. She is now 19 years and very special as you can imagine. I do miss the whole shepherding scene and so when this title jumped out at me, I was hooked. An excellent book, one I would have loved, when actually in the midst of all the activity. I am going to buy the book as it is one I want to actually handle.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Read, 21 April 2014
This review is from: Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain (Hardcover)
I bought this for a sheep farming friend. He has yet to receive it...... I'm really enjoying the book. I'm not usually a reader of factual books, nor was I aware of having an interest in sheep but this is easy to read, interesting and full of ovine ephemera which will come in very handy should I be invited to a sheep farmers' convention. Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative holiday reading, 13 July 2014
This review is from: Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain (Hardcover)
Having stumbled across this title looking for something for holiday reading I downloaded a sample and then immediately the book which I found absolutely gripping - I don't keep sheep or have any connection with farming !
It is not necessary to have any previous knowledge or interest in the subject but it will leave you fascinated. Just as fiction can be an escape - Counting Sheep was a true escape and was a great holiday read which I am certain to re-read. I would recommend it to everyone who has never given sheep much of a thought; you will be glad you did. The images at the end of the book are a delight as is the authors style - precise but almost conversational.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A flavour of the countryside, 8 May 2014
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This review is from: Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain (Hardcover)
Essential reading for all DEFRA officials, this book combines the authors love of the countryside with a factual and readab le account of the development of the sheep rearing industry. A great deal of common sense is to be found here, coupled with more than a pinch of criticism of the governmental misdirection of the Foot and Mouth Crisis.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ... very detailed book on the different breeds but so disappointed that there is very little mention of the Soay ..., 27 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain (Hardcover)
A very detailed book on the different breeds but so disappointed that there is very little mention of the Soay breed which are considered to be the link between the wild and domesticated breed. They need a chapter on their own. They are not long tailed sheep either which the book suggests and ids really the only reference to them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Counting Sheep: a celebration of the pastoral heritage of Britain, 11 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain (Hardcover)
An absolute gem,will keep you immersed from the first page.A country lovers ideal summers reading, Recommended, especially to anyone who finds Lambs and Sheep adorable!.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A charming celebration of Britain's pastoral heritage., 10 Jun 2014
This review is from: Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain (Hardcover)
This country's fortunes were once founded on sheep, and they are still part of the fabric of the countryside.

"Sheep are in our national blood," writes sheep farmer turned barrister Philip Walling. "They are part of the life of the land that still pulses beneath the surface of modern Britain."

He profiles the native breeds of sheep and learns about their past, talks to the shepherds and farmers, and confronts the modern realities of sheep farming.

A charming celebration of Britain's pastoral heritage.
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4.0 out of 5 stars sheep and more sheep., 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain (Hardcover)
I found this to be a very interesting read but only wish I could retain in my head the nuances of the cross breeding of the various breeds of sheep. I loved the chapter on Herdwicks, for which the author obviously has a soft spot. They are also my favourites. If you wish to know more about those woolly jumpers on legs that inhabit our fields, this is the book for you.
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Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain
Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain by Philip Walling (Hardcover - 3 April 2014)
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