Review from The Heads and Tales June Book Club

Walk Soft in the Fold by David B Nixon, published in 1977, gathers together the author’s experiences of shepherding in places as diverse as the Chiltern Hills, Galloway and the Cotswolds. In pre/post war days and immediately prior to farm mechanisation he describes in minute and, at times, graphic detail how, moving from Sheffield at the age of 15, he learnt to love sheep, shepherding and the traditional skills and labour intensive methods involved in caring for a flock. Written in very short chapters each covering a specific topic or event he captures his growing awareness of all things wild and natural and his developing respect for the people who taught him to understand what he saw around him.  David B Nixon, in his own word towards the end of the book, ‘..my sheep ….would have two feet instead of four and regrettably my dogs would be uselss in gathering them up together’ transferred flock husbandry from ovine to human, and became a Methodist minister.

Katherine Dalton

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