Herdwick Sheep

The Herdwick is thought to have originated from Scandinavia and can be found high on our stunning mountain terrain here on the farm.

Herdwick Sheep

The Herdwick is thought to have originated from Scandinavia and can be found on mountain terrain. The word “Herdwyck”, meaning sheep pasture, is recorded in documents going back to the 12th century. Herdwick sheep are the most hardy of all Britain’s breeds of hill sheep, grazing the central and western dales of the Lake District.

They have grey faces, with arched nose and white ears. Their legs are covered in short bristly hair. Lambs are born with almost black wool which turns lighter as they grow older. The ram has creamy white horns.

Herdwick wool is course and attractive speciality fabrics are made from it, using undyed wool from sheep of different ages. The wool is also used for carpet making and has been developed more recently for knitwear.

Herdwick lambs are born in April/May and the first of the season lamb is ready in October. This is the natural season for hill/mountain lamb.

The word “Herdwyck”, meaning sheep pasture, is recorded in documents going back to the 12th century. Herdwick sheep are the most hardy of all Britain’s breeds of hill sheep, grazing the central and western dales of the Lake District with fells running to over three thousand feet.
The lambs graze with their mothers on the “heaf” belonging to that farm instilling a life long knowledge of where on the fell they should be grazing. This is crucial as the central Lake District fells are inaccessible and a sheep which strays from Borrowdale to Wasdale will involve a 100 mile round trip by road for the farmer to collect it.


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