Sally Antill: Evolution of the Soft Fell sheep #2


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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