Our flock

Part of the Carrcross flock grazing Freshfield Dune Heath before our move to Shropshire

Our flock began when we went ‘just to look’ at a small flock of Hebridean sheep in 1984. Despite being an impulse purchase we have never regretted our decision to acquire these attractive, hardy and characterful sheep and our flock has grown from the original three ewes and a ram to peak at well over 100 sheep, although it is now down to around 50.

Many of our Hebrideans formerly grazed local wildlife sites as part of the habitat management. Hebridean sheep readily browse on woody shrubs as well as grazing grass, so they are useful in controlling scrub on open habitats such as grasslands, heathlands and sand dunes. Some sites are grazed in winter, some in summer, so that the sheep can be moved from one site to another as the seasons change.

A pair of Carrcross shearling rams.

We normally sell sheep for breeding either as shearlings (12-24 months old) or as lambs. We have sold older sheep that have spent several years on conservation sites. We have had good success with breeding from these older ewes, achieving a 160% lambing rate, which is similar to younger ewes lambing for the first time. Ewes in their prime will generally have twins each year.

We sell wool to hand spinners who like the properties of the Hebridean fleece. However, the black or near black wool becomes a dark brown when processed, so dyeing is not an option!

 

Part of the flock after relocation to the Shropshire Hills and (right) some of the ewes with three rams: Brookewood Ram 388 (left), Carrcross Malus (centre) and Carrcross Solidago (right)