This hill sheep is widespread in Northern England, it is relatively distinctive with its black head with white nose and rough cream/white fleece. It is a hardy breed well able to cope with exposed conditions. It is most valuable to Flexigraze as a versatile animal able to cope with most of our grazing land. It is the main breed that we sell through our shearling mutton box scheme. We currently sell the spun wool as a garden twine. More usually the wool is used for carpets, and surplus fleeces are sold through the wool marketing board but do not fetch a good price.
We purchase some of the smaller Swaledale whethers (castrated males) from local hill farms in Northumberland. These smaller sheep are not particularly valuable when sold directly in the autumn as most would be destined for the meat trade. As we want to graze these animals size is of less importance to us. We then keep them for conservation grazing for about 2 years.