Woolkeepers® Meet The Farmer: Introducing Doddie & Kathy
Sustainability and the wellbeing of both people and the planet is at the heart of our approach here at Hypnos. By becoming part of The Woolkeepers® initiative we are able to offer comfort with integrity, via a transparent and ethical supply chain.
In the latest of our ‘Meet the Farmers’ series, Doddie and Kathy Weir, talk about how they manage their livestock farm on the Scottish Borders and what it means to know where their wool is going - into Hypnos mattresses.
Despite being a former professional rugby player for Newcastle Falcons, Scotland and the British and Irish Lions, Doddie knows a thing or two about farming, having lived on a farm all of his life and studied farming at Edinburgh.
Their 300-acre farm is about 950ft above sea level and is home to a small flock of 130 ewes, a mixture of Greyface, Cheviots and Suffolk Blue Leicester cross. The cattle and the sheep graze together in the fields, which works well, as the cattle like the long grass but the sheep prefer the short grass!
Although a passionate farmer, being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2016, meant Doddie had to enlist the support of Kathy and their three boys to keep everything running as smoothly as possible, as he explains:
“I do keep an eye on the farm, watching the lambs grow. I can get out on my electric buggy to explore, and I am able to use the farm machinery to cut the long grass which the sheep prefer to eat. Kathy and our three boys help out a lot. Kathy works even harder, looking after me and the house as well.”
Love for the land
Farming may be hard work, but for Doddie, there’s nothing like it:
“Managing the sheep can be difficult, particularly during lambing season when it’s always all hands on deck! However, when lambing has finished, and you see the young lambs running in the fields, the flowers starting to bloom and the trees getting greener, it’s just wonderful.”
Every day’s a school day
Despite living on a farm all his life, Doodie is passionate about learning new things, especially when it comes to the traceability of supply chains, and encourages others to do the same:
“Every day is a learning day; we should all learn. I am not embarrassed to learn something new at 51. Working with The Woolkeepers® has really made me aware of where my wool goes and what it’s ultimately used for. Wool is a commodity from the farm that is readily available, it should be used a lot more than it is as it’s very versatile.”
For Hypnos, being part of the The Woolkeepers® initiative means we can be confident we use the highest quality wool from well-run farms where the animals have been well cared for. Placing emphasis on traceability and paying farmers on time at a fair price for their wool, is vital in creating that trust and reassurance amongst both farmers,but also the people who wake up on a Hypnos mattress every day.
Hypnos and The Woolkeepers® work with Red Tractor assured farms to ensure farming standards of care in animal welfare, land management and much more. For more information about The Woolkeepers® visit Woolkeepers.co.uk.