Fanks will be crowded with expectant crofters across Lewis and Harris this week, as a busy week ahead of scanning ewes starts the spring cycle of lambing.

Contractor Simon Bedwell has arrived from Garve with a mobile scanning unit, which can be used to scan ewes using the same ultrasound technology as is used for human pre-natal scans.

Working his way through the flock, he then tells crofters whether each ewe is empty, or carrying single, twin or triplet lambs. They can then be marked accordingly with paint marks on the fleece so that their owners know what feed to provide for each sheep.

Participating crofters are members of the Lewis and Harris Sheep Producers Association, who have organised the service.

LHSPA said the first day of scanning went well and made good time, and they asked all crofters to be sure they are ready well ahead of time for their booked slot.

Simon and the Lewis and Harris Sheep Producers Association back-up team started work in Point and Sandwick yesterday (Monday February 11th) and are today in Ness. On Wednesday he’ll work his way round the Westside and visit fanks in Lochs on Thursday, before completing his week’s work in Harris on Friday.

He’ll be leaving the island on Monday next week, allowing extra time in case the work overruns.