Cheviot sheep originate and get their name from the
hills which form the border between Scotland and
England, although they thieve anywhere in the UK
and elsewhere in the world.
Cheviot is a handsome sturdy looking animal and
have fine white hair on their faces, legs and
head. The fleece is white and firm with no
coloured wool and is dense and think. Some
of the rams have horns. The ewes make excellent
mothers. Cheviot sheep live at altitudes of over
3,000 feet above sea level, they are a hardy sheep used to
inclement weather. The photographs where taken
in the Cheviot hills at the approach to the
beamish valley and is of a ewe and her daughter,
a lamb of about five months old.
Blue Faced Leicester
Leicester developed over a period
of two hundred years
and became commonly known as the Hexham
Leicester due to it's early
concentration and origins in the North of
Today Blue faced Leicester are found mostly in
Northern England, Scotland and Wales.
A very proud looking creature, distinctive by the
appearance of a
face through white hair
with a fine fleece which looks as though it has
been twirled into tight curls.
Neither rams nor ewes
The Hardwick sheep is an ancient breed of sheep
originating in the
central and western regions of the lake district
in Cumbria. They are an integral part of the
splendid mountainous terrain in this region.
Hardwick sheep are the hardiest of British
sheep, they are well adapted and robust able to
survive the inclement mountainous terrain where
the fells are in places over three thousand
The Hardwick is a familiar sight to visitors, an
fundamental part of this popular scenic place.
Often a visit to the Lake district will be
perhaps the first time you will have seen these
sheep. They are small of stature and at
first glace you might think that the adult is a
lamb, as was the case when we visited the Lake
District for the first time.
The tiny lambs are always born black and the
fleece changes to grey or brown as he or she
Jacob sheep get their name from a book entitled
"Jacobs Flock" written in the early part of the
twentieth centaury by a lady simply referred to
as Mrs Maude. The book, describing her father's
flock of sheep, suggests a resemblance to the
spotted sheep mentioned in the book of Genesis
in the bible which describes the kind of sheep
that Jacob tended.
fact DNA evidence indicates their origins in the
Eastern Mediterranean. This kind of
sheep with its characteristically spotted or
variably coloured fleece, may have as
many as 6 horns.
similar sheep which could well be the Jacob
sheep where found depicted on Egyptian wall
paintings from 1800bc, this breed of sheep may
have therefore been important to middle eastern
Jacob sheep where once
popular in Britain before and during the
middle ages but declined in Victorian times
replaced by more modern breeds. Also like the
Soay they enjoy popularly in North America.
Credit: Photo by flickr
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The Manx Loghtan is a primitive and now a rare
breed which originated from the Isle of man.
The four large formidable looking horns are a
distinctive feature but he is nonetheless a very
timid creature, at least in our experience of
this particular sheep who is one of a flock of
rare sheep cared for at the university of
Durham's Botanic Gardens.
Both sexes have horns.
A strikingly handsome creature he is small in
stature and has a dark drown fleece which looks
paler on the outside after exposure to the sun.
sheep where first developed in Spain,
they are sheep of medium in stature, with
a white face. The rams have horns. Merinos are
sheep which have fine wool, the fleece grows
from 2.5 to 4 inches long each year of growth.
There is a long line of breeding dating back to
over 1200 years of sheep bred for the purpose of
wool and the Merino's is perhaps the finest wool
in the world.
There are three distinctive types
of Marino two of which
referred to as types A and B have been
selectively breed to have loose skin which hangs
in folds. The "C" type or Delaine have smooth
skin free of wrinkles. Marino sheep are found
mostly in Australia where today there are 67 per
A large percent of the worlds domesticated sheep
have some Marino blood.
Merino - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
All modern sheep are the descendents of the
Asiatic Moulflon, which
today is an endangered species surviving
in Asia minor and southern Iran. There are also
small populations of European Moulflon on
the islands of Sardinia and Corsica but these
are thought to be descended from the Asiatic
Moulflon after domestication in Europe as a
result of domesticated sheep being allowed to
large impressive curved horns. There is a
slight variation in colour between the Asian and
European Moulflon; both are brown, however the Asian Moulflon
reddish. There is also a difference in the
formation of the horns.
Photograph by Jessica Dennett, 2006
Mouflon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
breed of sheep the Ouessant sheep, also
occasionally called the Breton Dwarf, is the
smallest breed of sheep in the world and comes
from the island of Ouessant off the western tip
of Brittany (French Bretagne) north west France
where until the twentieth century they existed
exclusively. This tiny island, about
15 square kilometres in size, has been inhabited
by Ouessant sheep
since the 1700ís. They once numbered about 6000
in the mid 1800s, however today there are only
about 3000. It is said that this small breed
where favoured by the women of the island who
mostly tended the flocks while the men were away
Despite their sturdy natures and their ability
to withstand the rigours of their natural
habitat these sheep are incredibly small. The
rams are about 49 centimetres (19 in) tall at
the shoulder, and the ewes about 45 centimetres
brown or black with the occasionally white
sheep, the rams have horns and the ewes are
polled, the ewes give birth to only a single
lamb only very occasionally producing a twin. It
is commonly considered that Ouessant sheep look after
lambing by themselves, however this is a
generalisation and there are of course
exceptions as you will learn by clicking the
link below which will take you to a Telegraph
article about a struggle to save a ewe and her
lamb during birth complications.
Photograph by Carolyn Southern
More photographs by Carolyn:
Website Visitors Photographs: Ouessant sheep and
Although they are a particularly docile creatures
Rough fell Sheep are one of the biggest mountain
sheep in the UK, they are extremely hardy sheep well
suited to live in the inclement mountainous and
hilly moor land and can be found throughout
southern Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire and in
recent years in parts of Devon.
Ewes easily rear their lambs whilst feeding on
the poor upland grasses and heathers. Rough fell
sheep have an excellent constitution and are protected from
the extremes of weather by a thick white fleece.
The rams have horns and both genders are
particularly strikingly handsome creatures. The
lambs, like all lambs are adorably cute.
Soay sheep are one of the oldest breed of sheep
and have lived upon the Island of Soay in
Western Scotland for at least 4,000 years. They
where probably introduced to the island from
Europe, where they were once more common, by Bronze
age settlers. In modern times the Soay is
popular throughout the world particularly in
The Soay sheep is an animal of small statue, the
rams have impressive horns, some of the females
have horns also but smaller. A primitive
sheep it is tougher than modern domesticated
sheep and also unlike modern sheep the Soay
easily shed their own wool.
Soay sheep on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Swaledale sheep get their name from the peaceful
Swaledale valley in the northern Yorkshire
Dales. They are also found in various hill or
mountainous locations throughout the UK, mostly
in Cumbria, County Durahm and of course
The Swaledale sheep is a
robust hardy creature supposedly well adapted to cope with
the exposed high windswept inclement moor land.
Swaledale sheep are of medium size with a
black face with white a stripe over the eyes and
whitish muzzle and white wool, a most familiar
sight throughout the Yorkshire dales. Both Ewes
and rams have horns, although the rams are
larger and curlier. Swaledale ewes are excellent
Also see photographs and videos of Swaledale
2009 Swaledale Lambs
Videos spring Lambs 2009
sturdy muscular sheep with a distinctive
all-black head and legs that are free of wool, they thrive in wet
conditions having immunity to foot diseases.
First recognised as a pure breed in 1810,
suffolk's are now distributed world wide in most
sheep producing countries and are most
popular in the USA.
Originally, called Southdown Norfolks or
just "Black faces" they are the result of
crossing Southdown rams and Norfolk Horn ewes.
The Cotswold breed originated in the Cotswold
Hills of Gloucester, a south midland county of
On the brink of extinction in the early 20th
century, they have now regained their popularity
and are to be
found world wide. The Cotswold is one of the
ancient breeds of England, from sheep that grazed
the Cotswold Hills at the time of Caesar's
conquest of Britain. A longwool sheep the
cotswold sometimes referred to as the cotswold
Lion, is related to Leicester and Lincoln
breeds. In the middle ages their wool was a
major export of England, which not only played a
role in the economy of the nation but also in
the development of the cotswold villages
The name Cotswold is derived from earlier
times when sheep where kept in shelters
called "cotes" in an area called the "wolds"
Their fleece grows in long braids of wavy
curls and just before shearing time they
have a long fringe over their eyes
Newborn Twin Lambs on Flickr - Photo
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largest and most distinctive of British sheep,
the Wensleydale has a bluish coloured skin, long
curley fleece resembling dreadlocks. Their
soft fleece, which, from a pure breed, is entirely
kemp free and produces the finest wool in the
Wensleydale's 's ancestry can be traced to a
specific ram born in 1838 in a hamlet near
Bedale in North Yorkshire. The Wensleydale breed
is nowadays widespread throughout the United
Kingdom, with some small flocks in Holland,
France, and Denmark.
Wensleydale sheep 7 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Thought to have been brought to the UK by the
Romans, the Wiltshire Horn was considered to be the
most popular sheep breed of sheep in the 17th
and 18th centuries. However by the
beginning of the twenty century numbers had
dwindled and this breed was on the verge of
extinction. Fortunately numbers have recovered.
strikingly handsome animal , who have
impressive curling horns, both ewes and rams are
horned but the horns of ewes are smaller.
This breed is one of only a very few who
naturally shed their wool in the spring
revealing a light coat of hair underneath
handsome breed with a good thick fleece which
keeps them warm in the colder northern region of
Frieisland Holland, where it can be very cold wet
naturally tame, friendly and docile sheep which
have no horns. Their numbers have been reduced as
a result of changes in farming practices, they have
now been adopted by the the Dutch rare breeds
mid 1980s British enthusiasts imported
zwartbles into the UK and they can now be found
in England, Scotland and Wales, numbering over
3000 sheep. The picture above was taken in