Both rams and ewes are naturally polled. Herdwick rams are sometimes used with other hill breeds to improve hardiness, while Herdwick ewes are drafted down the hill to more productive pasture after three or four years, where they become much more prolific, with improved milk yield, and are then frequently crossed with a terminal sire or continental ram to successfully produce a well-framed butchers’ lamb. See more ideas about Sheep, Breeds, Lamb. The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001 led to the destruction of many flocks, and to fears for the survival both of the breed and of the typical Lakeland sheep farming industry. £7.50. This is a hardy native breed and so the softness of this one is unique. When they are born, Herdwick lambs are all black, even though their skin underneath is all white (in contrast to Jacob sheep, for example, whose skin is white under their white fleece, and black under their black fleece). Lake District farmers in particular receive subsidies for operating in a designated Less Favoured Area from the England Rural Development Programme. Still far fewer in number than most commercial breeds, Herdwicks survive largely due to farming subsidies. Herdwick Sheep Wooden Coaster Sets. From a Herdwick Sheep. Uses Herdwick sheep are the native breed of the central and western Lake District and have lived on the highest of England’s mountains for generations. The name “Herdwick” is derived from the Old Norse herdvyck, meaning sheep pasture. for females and 5 lb. See more ideas about Sheep, Sheep and lamb, Goats. A rich and intensely heathered grey forms the base, and we slected a rich navy and deep red for Windermere's two dyed shades. Ewes weight in from 77 to 99 pds and rams weight in 143 to 165 pds. The slowly maturing breed is one of the most hardy of all the British hill sheep breeds, withstanding the cold and relentless rain of the Lake District at heights upwards of 3,000 feet (about 1,000 metres). Herdwick sheep lambing time. Thick bristle type fibres will often protrude from garments made from the wool, forming a protective layer in blizzards - most likely the same qualities that protect the sheep in similar conditions. Rams are horned and ewes polled. The Sheep Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee. 500-999 Sheep More Than 999 Sheep in which 95% Of Breed are found. Normally, ewes teach this behaviour to their lambs, but with no more ewes left acquainted with a particular heaf the behaviour had to be taught all over again to new ewes, inevitably involving much rounding up of flocks that had strayed over the often inaccessible fells. Between 1930 and 1938 she won a number of prizes for Herdwick ewes at shows across Cumbria. They were not easily replaceable because long-standing herds are hefted so the introduction of new stock to the fells would have required extensive fencing. Website:, Breed Description compiled with help from The National Sheep Association. Beatrix was the first woman to be elected president-designate of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association, which continues to flourish. Further reading: Lambing Time. [1], National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, "Butchers urged to sell meat from rare British sheep", "Blair puts off use of vaccination in second U-turn", "Protected status for Lakeland Herdwick sheep", "Thermafleece: Sheep's Wool Home Insulation", The Herdwick Sheep Breeders' Association website,, British products with protected designation of origin, Articles with dead external links from April 2012, Articles with dead external links from September 2010, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 June 2020, at 12:40. This fleece is from a Herdwick sheep that entered the food chain. Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association [8] Upon her death in 1943, she bequeathed fifteen farms - a total of approximately 4,000 acres (16 km²) to the National Trust and, as per her instruction, all continue to graze Herdwick flocks. The main use of the wool has been carpets and tweeds but more recently it has been used in more innovative ways such as in felting, loft insulation and compost! This is thanks to the Herdwick's hardy demeanor, living on steep windswept hillsides, gaining weight slowly on naturally foraged food. HARDINESS & ADAPTABILITY. Topographically, grazing by sheep continues to keep the hillsides of fells largely treeless, and the ubiquitous dry stone walls of the valleys were built to protect grazing land and to confine livestock. Ninety-five percent of all 50,000 or so Herdwicks live within 14 miles of Coniston, Cumbria,[10] and this makes them particularly vulnerable to outbreaks of disease.