As the weather is getting warmer, it is time to shear our sheep! This is a very busy time for us, with lots of sheep to shear…

Why shear sheep?

It is very important that the wool is taken off the sheep for several reasons. Firstly, for the simple reason that the sheep can overheat in the summer months, so it is important that we remove this woolly jumper so they can stay cool in the sunshine. Secondly, over the winter months, their wool can get dirty so it is the perfect breeding ground for flies, who can lay their eggs in the wool behind the sheep’s tails, which can lead to potentially fatal consequences as a result of conditions such as fly strike. Thirdly, the wool can get quite heavy, especially when dirty and hot, so can reduce the mobility of the sheep if not sheared in late Spring.

All of our shearers are experts in their field and have often done over 10 seasons of shearing, gathering extensive experience in New Zealand, before heading to the UK to shear our sheep. They pay huge attention to detail and we are very lucky to have them to help us!

2 shearers at work

The fleeces weigh around 3kg each, and the price of wool can vary from around 50p-£1 per kg, so it is very cheap.

Benefits of British Wool

We try to promote the benefits of British Wool: it is a 100% sustainable product, as it grows back every year and it is biodegradable as it is a natural product, hence better in clothing than plastic-based alternatives, such as polyester. It might be worth thinking about investing in more expensive, but longer lasting and more environmentally friendly woollen clothing! Wool is also used in a lot of modern insulation for housing, because if it can keep the sheep warm, it can certainly help keep us warm! Other uses include carpeting, upholstery, use as an odour absorber, and use in sound absorbance, sometimes in speakers. Who knew sheep products could be so versatile!

Lanolin is a natural oil produced by sheep, which resides in wool – so if you have been to our Lambing Open Days and have had a feel of our wool, it has a greasy texture – this is the lanolin! This is extracted from the wool when it is washed and processed, and is used in a lot of cosmetics and moisturisers.

So a whole day sorting sheep can leave you with very soft hands…no need for moisturiser!