Sheep

Each breed is suited to different regions and types of production – this is called stratification. Particular breeds occupy specific environments to which they have become adapted; the hills, uplands or lowlands.

Commercial

These sheep are from our main flock of 450 ewes which are Lleyn (pronounced ‘thlin’) and Romneys. We have these female breeds as they have very good maternal traits; they are easy lambing, milky and are protective mothers.

220 of the best ewes are bred with the Romney and Lleyn rams. The female offspring from these ewes are retained in our flock to become the next generation. The combined characteristics of their parents will make the lambs ideal to sell to other farmers to become their breeding ewes. The remaining 230 ewes are bred with either a Southdown, Suffolk or Texel ram, to produce lambs which are muscular and faster-growing, ideal for the table.

facebook_1591197404226_6673965637335992575
edited cotswold-1

Cotswold

Brought to Britain by the Romans, these sheep once roamed the Cotswold Hills in their thousands and were known as the ‘Cotswold Lion’. The hills take their name from the sheep. These were the “wolds” or bare hills, of the sheep “cots” or sheep enclosures. During the middle ages their wool was sold to produce great wealth, enabling the local merchants to build beautiful manor houses and churches.

The Cotswold has a well-developed forelock (the fringe of wool above their eyes) traditionally left on the sheep after shearing, so anyone purchasing the sheep would know the quality of their fleece.

RBST Watchlist StatusAt Risk (900 to 1500)

Hebridean

Legend says that Hebridean sheep were brought to this country by the Viking invaders. Previously known as the St. Kilda, the Hebridean was derived from a primitive type that used to roam much of Scotland and the islands. Having disappeared from the Hebridean islands, they survived on St. Kilda until 1930.

There are multi-horned breeds (or the archaeological evidence for them) in many of the places the Vikings settled, including the Isle of Man, Shetland, Iceland, North West Africa and the Canary Islands.

Sheep show boys_Thor the Hebridean2
Lamb sq-2

Kerry Hill

This breed was developed in the Welsh border counties, around the small village of Kerry, Powys. The earliest record of a distinctive breed carried by these hills dates back to 1809. They are strikingly attractive sheep with a white fleece. The face and legs are also white with black ears, nose, eye patches, knees and feet.

Their hardiness means good health, longevity and resistance to disease; qualities that the breed have always been renowned for.

North Ronaldsay

This breed of sheep are descended from the Scottish crofters sheep. They were isolated on the most northerly Orkney island of North Ronaldsay for several hundred years. They lived outside the sea wall and adapted to a diet of the seaweed ‘kelp’.

In 1973 the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) purchased the island of Linga Holm which has big ‘kelp’ beds. They moved 150 sheep there as an insurance against any disease outbreaks or accidents, which could have destroyed the North Ronaldsay flock. 100 sheep were also brought South to found several mainland flocks and greatly enhance our own group, established in 1971.

RBST Watchlist StatusEndangered (300 to 500)

Ronaldsay

Sheep

Each breed is suited to different regions and types of production – this is called stratification. Particular breeds occupy specific environments to which they have become adapted; the hills, uplands or lowlands.

Commercial

These sheep are from our main flock of 450 ewes which are Lleyn (pronounced ‘thlin’) and Romneys. We have these female breeds as they have very good maternal traits; they are easy lambing, milky and are protective mothers.

220 of the best ewes are bred with the Romney and Lleyn rams. The female offspring from these ewes are retained in our flock to become the next generation. The combined characteristics of their parents will make the lambs ideal to sell to other farmers to become their breeding ewes. The remaining 230 ewes are bred with either a Southdown, Suffolk or Texel ram, to produce lambs which are muscular and faster-growing, ideal for the table.

facebook_1591197404226_6673965637335992575

Cotswold

Brought to Britain by the Romans, these sheep once roamed the Cotswold Hills in their thousands and were known as the ‘Cotswold Lion’. The hills take their name from the sheep. These were the “wolds” or bare hills, of the sheep “cots” or sheep enclosures. During the middle ages their wool was sold to produce great wealth, enabling the local merchants to build beautiful manor houses and churches.

The Cotswold has a well-developed forelock (the fringe of wool above their eyes) traditionally left on the sheep after shearing, so anyone purchasing the sheep would know the quality of their fleece.

RBST Watchlist StatusAt Risk (900 to 1500)

edited cotswold-1

Hebridean

Legend says that Hebridean sheep were brought to this country by the Viking invaders. Previously known as the St. Kilda, the Hebridean was derived from a primitive type that used to roam much of Scotland and the islands. Having disappeared from the Hebridean islands, they survived on St. Kilda until 1930.

There are multi-horned breeds (or the archaeological evidence for them) in many of the places the Vikings settled, including the Isle of Man, Shetland, Iceland, North West Africa and the Canary Islands.

Sheep show boys_Thor the Hebridean2

Kerry Hill

This breed was developed in the Welsh border counties, around the small village of Kerry, Powys. The earliest record of a distinctive breed carried by these hills dates back to 1809. They are strikingly attractive sheep with a white fleece. The face and legs are also white with black ears, nose, eye patches, knees and feet.

Their hardiness means good health, longevity and resistance to disease; qualities that the breed have always been renowned for.

Lamb sq-2

North Ronaldsay

This breed of sheep are descended from the Scottish crofters sheep. They were isolated on the most northerly Orkney island of North Ronaldsay for several hundred years. They lived outside the sea wall and adapted to a diet of the seaweed ‘kelp’.

In 1973 the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) purchased the island of Linga Holm which has big ‘kelp’ beds. They moved 150 sheep there as an insurance against any disease outbreaks or accidents, which could have destroyed the North Ronaldsay flock. 100 sheep were also brought South to found several mainland flocks and greatly enhance our own group, established in 1971.

RBST Watchlist StatusEndangered (300 to 500)

Ronaldsay