Sally Antill: Evolution of the Soft Fell sheep #2

Wovember

In week one of WOVEMBER we met Sally Antill who discussed the unique fleeces of the Soft Fell sheep that she and her husband, Michael, breed and their involvement in a fantastic community ‘sheep to shawl’ event, in Northumberland. Today Sally is here again to discuss the evolution of the breed, one which produces a meat for supermarket buyers and also yields a fleece popular with hand-spinners.

Back in the day, when himself was a whippersnapper learning to farm alongside his dad, this farm – along with most other hill farms in the area – bred Blackies (Hexhamshire Blackface) and produced a crop of North of England Mule ewe lambs, as well as Blackie ewe lambs and their own replacements.

Michael got into breeding in a big way and started to breed his own crossing Blue-faced Leicesters. A crossing BFL needs to produce good North of England Mules, with well-marked…

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