The main bulk of our land is used as grazing for our sheep. We tend to tup a number ewes each year to ensure that we have enough young stock coming back into breeding flock to allow us to replace ewes as they age. We don’t run an intensive system and tend to be too soft on our sheep, giving ewes a ‘year off’ if they don’t take one year.
Our main breed is the Bowmont. This breed was developed in Scotland by crossing Merino and Shetland sheep. The result is an animal with the fine fleece of a Merino but with a hardiness closer to that of a Shetland. There are not many Bowmonts around and we are lucky enough to have ewes from the original Scottish bloodlines. All of the Bowmont born on our holding are also known as Cornish Merino.
The second breed we keep is the Blue-faced Leicester. The BFL has one of the finest fleeces of all UK sheep breeds which makes the fibre very popular with knitters, crocheters and crafters. They are also used in crossing to make the Mule which is a fast-growing, hardy meat sheep. We have two Blue-faces named Fruit and Nut.
The rest of our flock consists of Ryeland sheep. We started with this breed in 2010 and all of our stock was registered under the name Drake with the Ryeland Flock Book Society. This breed is perfect for a smallholder as they are smaller than commercial breeds and are a good dual purpose sheep. We moved from the Ryeland to Bowmonts as we decided to pursue our fleece flock.