Have you ever wondered how the flocks of sheep on the fells are separated from one another by the farmers without using walls and fences? A HEFTED flock is one that stays in the same place. The HEFTED sheep simply don’t wander far from where they were born, it is as if they belong to that piece of land.
As a great example of oral history, this wonderful short film explores hefting in relation to the sheep and then the farmers themselves.
I love the idea that the sheep do not need traditional boundaries. Listen out in particular for the old lady who locates her personal sense of belonging to the surrounding geology.
It is still a puzzle to me why I seem to have shifted my ‘primary heft’ from Sunderland (where I was born) to Whitby, where my heart does indeed arise on the approach road down from Pickering and the North Yorks National Park.
HEFTED was commissioned by Eden Arts as a companion piece to their FLOCK project.