Our Wensleydale Flock
We breed a flock of Wensleydales. The Rare Breed Survival Trust considers the breed to be at risk. We are delighted that these beautiful big sheep are thriving in our small-holding situated in the very dale that gives them their name. The first recorded Wensleydales were all bred from a single Dishley Leicester tup named Bluecap in the small hamlet of East Appleton only four miles away from where we all live today.
Their distinctive long ringlets and top knots (which act like fringes or dreadlocks) make their fleece very desirable as it is full of lustre and shine. The fleece is often used in its ringlet form or spun and either used in its natural chocolate and cream tones or dyed using vibrant colours which are complemented by its high sheen. Amongst our flock, we have prize-winners from local agricultural shows including the Great Yorkshire Show.
Interestingly, Wensleydale sheep’s milk was originally used in the now-famous Wensleydale cheese! We have both white Wensleydales and the even rarer coloured Black Wensleydales in our flock. The Black Wensleydales have their own register with the Wensleydale Sheep Society. The colour of the fleece can vary from blacks, through chocolates and browns into silvery grey colours. The tips of their fleece gets bleached by the sun, producing beige, ginger, grey and sometimes cream tips. Our lambs are born in early April.
We are members of the Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders Association and their website contains a lot of interesting information about this amazing breed.