Herdwick

Herdwick Logo

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Breed Association Website: https://www.facebook.com/HSBANAInc/

Herdwick sheep are the native breed of the central and western Lake District, U.K., and live on the highest of England’s mountains. They are extremely hardy and are managed in the traditional way on the Lake District fells that have been their home for generations.

The word “Herdvyck”, meaning sheep pasture, is recorded in documents going back to the 12th century. Herdwick sheep are the most hardy of all Britain’s breeds of hill sheep, grazing the central and western dales of the Lake District with fells running to over 3000 feet.

Beatrix Potter, of Peter Rabbit stories, raised and showed Herdwick Sheep. She served as the first woman president of the U.K. Breed Association. During her life, she acquired many farms, which upon her death, she bequeathed to the National Trust to preserve the Herdwick Breed.

Herdwick are a multi-coated, primitive, original type dual purpose breed. Born black, the lambs’ faces and legs turn white over their first summer, and the fleece turns a brown. Over the following years, the fleeces fade to a striking blue/grey. Adult ewes are about 100lbs, and rams 165lbs. The fleece is a long wool, natural color quadra-coat. Containing 4 separate fibers, the fiber is coarse, durable and highly insulative. Shepherds in the UK state the Herdwick are the first breed to dry off after a rain. Shedding moisture so well, the wool is ideal for outer-wear, and so durable it is perfect for carpets, rugs, bags, house-wares, knitting, weaving and felting!

As of March, 2021, the process of acquiring rams for genetics collection and import has begun, for the first time since 2009. Fresh genetics are greatly needed for the breeding up program in the U.S.


This breed presented by

Helder~Herdwyck Farm
Erin Bradt
450 Long Road
East Berne, New York 12059
(518) 505-9081

http://www.helderherdwyckfarm.com/index.html

Warm up for the Festival with Winterfest 2023!

Two days of virtual spinning, knitting, and felting classes on January 28 and 29.

Registration opens November 19.

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A preview of our in-person classes for 2023 has been posted at sheepandwool.org/2022-festival/fiber-arts-workshops/. Full class information will be posted once we work out a few more details. Registration will open on February 12. #mdsw #mdsw2023 #celebrating50years #fiberartseminars #yarnlove #dyeing #felting #fiberprep #colortheory #spinning #handspinning #knitting ... See MoreSee Less
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Thank you to our wonderful instructors - Maggie Casey. Jillian Moreno, Esther Rodgers, Kira Dulaney, Alasdair Post-Quinn, and Kristen Walsh - for teaching virtually for our second annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival Winterfest. Thank you, too, Angela Muller, for your fabulous and informative lecture. And a resounding thank you to all the participants (and class assistants) that made Winterfest a success!See you at the live 50th annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on May 6 & 7. The class listings for that should be posted in the next week or so. Registration will open on February 12. ... See MoreSee Less
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Be sure to visit the Maryland Make it with Wool booth in the Main Exhibition Annex at the Festival this year...I hear that in honor of the 50th annual festival, they are planning a display of 50 outfits from past competitions!We are cheering on Jessica - our Maryland Make it with Wool Junior Champion - as she competes in the National Make It With Wool Contest in Fort Worth, Texas! #marylandmakeitwithwool #nationalmakeitwithwool ... See MoreSee Less
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