SHEEP, cake, crafts and the lopping off of limbs tree limbs all formed part of and event that has become a firm favourite - the annual country Skills Day at Arlington Court just outside Barnstaple. Demonstrations of traditional and current skills such

SHEEP, cake, crafts and the lopping off of limbs - tree limbs - all formed part of and event that has become a firm favourite - the annual country Skills Day at Arlington Court just outside Barnstaple.Demonstrations of traditional and current skills such as shepherding, sheep shearing and weaving wool gave visitors an entertaining insight into aspects of rural life.The "limb lopping" was carried out on ailing or dangerous trees at the National Trust property by South Molton tree surgeons Woodentops Tree Care, showing how they made safe and preserved their towering charges.A bustling craft and food tent featured a wide range of local produce, arts and crafts to browse and buy.The estate's unruly herd of Jacob sheep managed to steal the show again, first as part of a shepherding display by well-known North Devon shepherd David Kennard and his dogs Mist, Jake and Fern.Tony Rea from the Big Sheep then divested them of their overcoats with an entertaining display of shearing, Australian style.Finally, the ladies of the North Devon Spinners showed how to card, spin and weave the freshly shorn fleeces.A competition to find the most scrumptious chocolate, prepared to a Victorian recipe, was won by Margaret Smith of the Arlington Women's Institute.