We keep the 3 traditional breeds of longwool sheep native to Devon; The Greyface Dartmoor, The Whiteface Dartmoor and the Devon and Cornwall Longwool. As far as we are aware we are the only shepherds in the country to farm all 3 of the these rare breed sheep commercially. Our flocks are slower growing than todays modern commercial sheep flocks, this means they graze the ancient Dartmoor pastures for far longer than most sheep, which therefore means we produce superb tasting, succulent lamb, with a real depth of flavour.
Native to the wild and rugged Dartmoor landscape our native sheep have a beautifully shaggy fleece which means the sheepskins they produce are like no others in the world. Furthermore as these breeds have been living on and around Dartmoor for centuries they have adapted to endure the harsh, untamed landscape and weather conditions of the local area which results in our sheepskins being hardwearing and extremely durable.
The Whiteface Dartmoor
The Whiteface Dartmoor is Dartmoor's most ancient breed of sheep that has been part of the Dartmoor Landscape for generations. The Whiteface Dartmoor's meat is commonly known locally as angel meat due to its superb flavour, an attribute passed on to the closely related Greyface Dartmoor. Despite appearing far more slight than its Greyface and Devon and Cornwall Longwool counterparts the Whiteface Dartmoor is a rugged animal built to survive the highest parts of Dartmoor and all the elements that the area can throw at it. The Whiteface Dartmoor's fleece boasts a thick lustre and a far tighter curl than most breeds as a result of needing to repel the driving rain of the high moor. Sadly now a rare breed the Whiteface Dartmoor is seen less and less on the open moor. Our Whiteface Dartmoor's live on the highest parts of the farm living off the steep slopes of the Dartmoor hills and Teign Valley.
The Greyface Dartmoor
The Greyface Dartmoor also known as 'The Improved Dartmoor' originally took the best attributes of the Whiteface Dartmoor and enhanced them through cross breeding with local longwools. The breed was first recognised in 1907 through the founding of the Dartmoor Sheep Breeders association. In their hay day at the height of the woollen industry Greyface Dartmoors dominated the valleys and peripheries of Dartmoor. It was famously said that a farmer could pay his rent each year through selling the wool from a small flock. However, today sadly the Greyface is a rare breed and we are now one of the largest flocks in Devon. Our Greyfaces produce beautifully shaggy sheepskins with a more open curl as they are built to withstand the cold Dartmoor weather. The Greyfaces were our first ever flock, we love their adorable teddy bear features and sociable nature.
The Devon and Cornwall Longwool
The Devon and Cornwall Longwool sheep have been in existence for over 100 years, however up until 1977 there were two different types - the large south Devon strain and the smaller North Devon and Cornish strain. Since 1977 the two strains have become much the same and we run both strains as one flock and use South Devon based rams wherever possible. The Devon and Cornwall Longwool is a docile breed that produces large lambs that finish far quicker than the Greyface and Whiteface Dartmoors. The breed has a superb long and heavy fleece that produces our most sumptuous sheepskins. This breed is the rarest of the breeds we keep with under 1,000 registered breeding ewes remaining in the UK, however we love these remarkable sheep and are on a mission to change this!