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Tonnes of Fleece

Hi Wild Woolers

As we said in the last post we were recently offered a flock's worth of fleeces that would otherwise be going to waste. Well we couldn't say no to that!

So off we went at 6.30 on a foggy Tuesday morning to drive across the UK and stuff our hire car with fleeces. All we knew was there were two tonne bags full for us to collect!

Thankfully we only got lost once and arrived in Formby on the west coast ready to pick up fleece and say hello to the sheep. The sheep at Formby are Hebridean and have a very important job. The sheep work in conservation, they are run on the dune heath and play a key role in maintaining the habitat, without the sheep here the area would revert to woodland and a vital ecosystem would be lost. The dune heath at Formby is 8 hectares and makes up 9% of the UK total!

Hebridean sheep are a tough breed and are happy feeding on poorer land which makes them ideal for the scrub control in conservation areas. They are quite small sheep and can sometimes have 2 pairs of horns! Their fleece is usually black and dark brown but goes grey with age and the tips are often a lighter brown since they get bleached by the sun. The fleeces are actually double coated, they have a short fluffy lower layer to keep them warm and a very long hair like coat on top which keeps them dry.

After we met the sheep we loaded up all the fleeces as well as some extra rare breed fleeces that were thrown in too we headed back across to home on the East coast. We'll be starting to prepare these fleeces soon so we'll be back with updates in a few days, if you want to be updated about our goings on please join our mailing list for automatic updates.

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