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How ecology on the farm can lead to agri-tourism: lamb to loom passion project ready for visitors to turn farm produce into art

Sophie Nicol is opening up her Wicklow rare-breed sheep and pony farm for agri-tourism, promoting regenerative techniques and offering array of crafting workshops and farm education classes

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Combining ecology, farming and agri-tourism: Sophie Nicol with some of her Zwartbles sheep at Windrush Farm near Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow. Photos: Frank McGrath

Combining ecology, farming and agri-tourism: Sophie Nicol with some of her Zwartbles sheep at Windrush Farm near Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow. Photos: Frank McGrath

Sophie with one of her Connemara ponies

Sophie with one of her Connemara ponies

'Zwartbles are a hardy, low-maintenance breed and are ideal for our land and climate'

'Zwartbles are a hardy, low-maintenance breed and are ideal for our land and climate'

Sophie showcasing some of her crafts

Sophie showcasing some of her crafts

Rushes from the wetlands

Rushes from the wetlands

Rushes from the wetlands are used for crafting

Rushes from the wetlands are used for crafting

Sophie's Zwartbles on the hillside

Sophie's Zwartbles on the hillside

Sophie's son Luke (2) with his grandmother Lucy and some of her charcoal artwork

Sophie's son Luke (2) with his grandmother Lucy and some of her charcoal artwork

Sophie with her Connemara ponies

Sophie with her Connemara ponies

Sophie enthuses about the Zwartbles' temperament

Sophie enthuses about the Zwartbles' temperament

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Combining ecology, farming and agri-tourism: Sophie Nicol with some of her Zwartbles sheep at Windrush Farm near Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow. Photos: Frank McGrath

Sophie Nicol has found a way to combine her passion for ecology with her love of farming, and make a living at it.

The environmental scientist has transformed a derelict holding near Newtownmountkennedy in Co Wicklow into a luscious and diverse farm where she breeds rare-breed sheep and Connemara ponies.


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