The Sheepdrove Flock

Sheepdrove's flock is comprised of Shetland and Shetland cross ewes. We lamb in early April and our lambs are a mixture of Lleyn,Texel and Shetland.

We selected Shetlands because of their keen mothering nature, very fine quality wool, and their ability to survive even the harshest conditions. Our founding flock was from the Shetland Isles, but all our subsequent ewes are now homebred.

Because Shetlands are very small, we cross them with the larger Llyen, and then cross again with Llyen or Texel to produce a larger lamb. The lambs inherit all the hardy traits from their mothers, but are the right size to allow us to provide a supply of finished lambs 52 weeks of the year.

We keep a pedigree flock of Shetlands for the hogget (year old lamb) and mutton market, and they are also exceptionally good at conservation grazing as they are light on their feet and very agile- great for hard to reach chalk banks.

Clean Grazing Systems

We don't routinely treat our sheep with any wormers, we use a clean grazing system, leaving each paddock empty for six weeks post grazing and graze sheep alongside cattle which prevents any parasites building up in the pasture. We analyse faecal samples with our on-site laboratory, and can treat individual problems if they arise.

Our Sheepdrove Shepherd

Our stockmen look after over 1000 ewes with over 1700 lambs at foot. Like all farmers, we constantly monitor the health of our flock.

To prevent fly-strike in summer we 'crutch' the ewes and lambs; which means shearing the fleece off the bottoms and tails of the sheep to remove dirty and wet wool, a favoured breeding ground for flies to lay their eggs which turn into maggots.

This basic preventative measure, coupled with plenty of observation and minimal intervention, means the sheep thrive in a stress-free environment with the very best animal welfare standards.

Our Herdwick Flock

Native to the Lake District, Herdwick sheep are widely considered to be the most hardy of all Britain's hill sheep. We have a small flock of 80 purebred Herdwicks.

Herdwick lambs are born black. Their faces quickly start turning grey and the fleece changes to a dark brown. After their first shearing at a year old, their fleece lightens further to grey.

A Herdwick's grey fleece is not easily dyed, and is coarse, and so is best suited as carpet wool. The wool is also an excellent natural insulator; it is possible to buy sheets of fireproofed wool to fit as loft insulation. Wool is still used in aircraft as insulation as it is naturally flame retardant. 

Herdwicks mature slowly, producing superb lamb, hogget (1yr old) and mutton.