The Shepherdess

The Shepherdess

Bere Mill Farm is nestled in the patchwork of Hampshire’s landscape near Whitchurch. The 250 acres of farmland are home to over 150 ewes which have already produced 70 lambs this year. It is here that Dinah Nabarro can be found, content amongst her flock.

Lambing brings with it a daily routine which begins with a 6am check of the fields. Any ewes with lambs that are found are brought into the sheds where they are kept for a few days before being returned to the fields. After the morning checks it’s the school run. Then back on the farm for other duties including checking on the herd of Belted Galloway cattle. The school run again, teatime, homework, bedtime and then back out to the sheds for the evening checks.

“The lambing shed late at night is one of my favourite places to be. It is so warm, cosy and calm. It is a wonderfully peaceful place and such a fantastic maternity ward. I feel privileged to experience it,” says Dinah.

Go back four years and you would have found Dinah in a very different place. Despite dreaming of becoming a farmer when growing up in London, she dismissed the idea as unrealistic and instead found herself on a path towards a career in social work.

“I found social work really interesting, I am fascinated by people.” Dinah explains. “But when we relocated to Hampshire and the opportunity to make my childhood farming dream a reality I couldn’t resist.”

For a while it was a balance between the old and new as Dinah continued with four days in the office and just one day a week hands on at the farm. But three years ago, Dinah swopped one caring role for another as she took charge of Bere Mill Farm full time.

Dinah would be the first to admit it’s been a steep learning curve. “I am lucky to have worked closely with some brilliant farmers and shepherds. At the beginning during lambing, I was anxious but now I understand I just need to be patient and relax into the process and take time to work with the ewe. Lambing is now undoubtedly my favourite time of year on the farm.”

It seems that Dinah may be nurturing another passion for farming in the house as her seven year old daughter is up before 6am every morning to join her on the farm. “During lambing my daughter puts on her school uniform and then her overalls and she’s out checking the ewes and lambs. She loves being involved and she’s really good at it,” says Dinah with a smile.

For someone so new to farming, it is surprisingly hard to imagine Dinah in any other surroundings. A far cry from the city girl of old, Dinah is surely proof that we should never give up on those childhood dreams.

Bere Mill Farm has an onsite butchery selling beef, lamb, hogget and venison. Open Saturdays 9am-5pm. Find out more.

Enter to win a Bere Mill Meat Box

To celebrate National Butchers' Week, Bere Mill is giving away three meat boxes each with a value of up to £60.

Enter here

order your lamb in time for easter

Bere Mill Farm is now taking orders for legs and shoulders of lamb as well as half and whole lambs. Order now and collect from Saturday 17th March.


Leg £11 a kilo
Shoulder £8.90 a kilo
A half a lamb is approx £75-90 depending on weight
A whole lamb is approx £150-190 depending on weight

Find out more and order here.