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The shepherd Berit Kiilerich

The shepherd Berit Kiilerich

The article about BeritKiilerichwas written by a member of the Lystbæk Association, Lau Giversen, on 22 February 2005.

 

On the west Jutland moors, five kilometres fromUlfborgtowards Torsted, you can find Lystbækgaardon the edge of Kronheden. The farm is owned by Denmark’s only female trained shepherd, BeritKiilerich, who has converted Lystbækgaard to a visitor’s centrefocusing on wool, sheep and traditional crafts.

 

Berit trained in England as a professional shepherd and was previously employed as a shepherd by the national forest district UlfborgStatsskovdistrikt, where sheep were used instead of machines to tend the large moor areas.

 

The sheep keep unwanted tree and bush growth at bay, especially with regard to plants such as quivering aspen, willow, birch, and sweet gale, band self-sown trees such as pine, broom and rowan. During the winter, the sheep eat mainly heather.

 

At UlfborgStatsskovdistrikt,BeritKiilerichwas responsible for the forest district’s sheep and all the related tasks: feeding, shearing, lambing, hoof examination, grazing, moving the sheep, fence maintenance, winter feed planning, provision of water and minerals, sorting of lambs, breeding, selection and registration, shepherd dogs, dog and sheep shows for the public and visitors. She sometimes also carried out loose grazing, i.e. accompanied the flock over the moors and meadows, while the sheep were kept under control by one to two dogs,and kept in a secure sheepfold during the night.

After taking care of this extensive job for 15 years, she was made redundant due to budget cuts. Fired!

 

All the accumulated experience and the results of the breeding efforts risked being lost.But never give up!

 

With her experience from England, Scotland, and New Zealand –and most recently from the West Jutland moors – the decision to buy Lystbækgaardand convert it to a visitor’s centre was soon taken.

 

Today, the goal that was set – to create a centre for localhistory about the area and the farm, to maintain old sheep farmingtraditions, where traditional wool techniques are kept alive with wool and craft exhibitions and information about wool, carting, combing, spinning, and weaving – has been achieved long ago.

 

Today,Berit can look back on years with hectic hustle and bustle. On hundreds of shepherd dog shows. On hundreds of workshops and thousands of visitors. And despite a lack of municipal and regional support and despite hurricane damage with roofs that were blown off, Berit continues to work at Lystbækgaard with new initiatives and an extensive programme of shows, courses and workshops.

Shepherd and nature loverBeritKiilerichwas on the television programme FamilieKanalen inAugust 2013. It was a relaxed and interesting interview.

See the conversation with Berit here.

The sequence lasts 13:38 minutes.

 

You can view another sequence with BeritKiilerich here. Sheep herding in Denmark

It is from April 2013, and is in Danish with English subtitles.

The sequence is 6:42 minutes long.

Berit Kiilerich is also featured in TV MidtVest's broadcasts about Naturalists.

The broadcast was sent both on March 9, 2011 and June 29, 2013.

Time: 28:44

Åbningstid / Opening hours:

Gårdbutik / Farmshop & Lystbæk Café:

Torsdage / thursdays PM kl. 13.00 - 17.00

samt efter aftale / and by appointment.

Tlf: (+45)21232984

(+45)97491385 (aften / evening)

Address:

Berit Kiilerich

Lystbækgaard

Lystbækvej 1, Torsted

6990 Ulfborg

Ringkøbing Skjern Kommune

Denmark

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Lystbækforeningen / Lystbæk Association:

Formand / Chairman Torben Thorup Thomsen

Vedr. arrangementer, tilmelding samt medlemsskab af Lystbækforeningen / Relating to events, registration and membership of the Lystbæk Association:

Tlf.: (+45)61282136 & (+45)21232984