Meet the Sheep
Sheep farming is what shapes and creates the Lake District landscape. The land was originally covered in forests, which were cleared for the steel industry and farming. Grazing hefted sheep on the fells creates the close-cropped landscape we are now familiar with. Some are grazed on common land, and others are contained within the dry stonewall boundaries that have become part of the terrain.
The Chimney Sheep™ is made from 100% Herdwick wool.
Herdwicks are hardy sheep, staying out on the fells throughout the winter. Accordingly, they have thick coarse fleece that was traditionally prized in the carpet industry. Beatrix Potter, who was chair of the Herdwick society, championed these sheep. The fleeces come in an attractive range of colours, from slate grey to brown to snowy white. They are cheeky sheep and many are not shy to approach tourists for sandwiches. Among farmers they are renowned escape artists and can easily jump over walls if they are so inclined.
Did you know...
There is a traditional way of counting sheep that the old shepherds still refer to in the valleys. It originates from an old Celtic language, and goes as far as 20. We still have that numeric system as part of our heritage, when we refer to a score / three score etc. Up to 5 is: yan, tyan, tethera, methera, pimp.
Have you ever noticed a flock of sheep with coloured bottoms in the autumn? The rams have their chest daubed in paint, so when they've serviced a ewe, the farmer knows she's been, erm, done.
Hefted sheep are matriarchal groups of sheep that know their home terrain and farm. They roam all over the common grazing land but return to their own territory. If a farm is sold, it is sold with the common grazing rights and the hefted flock. The hefted flocks are established over many generations and can be traced back to Nordic times.