Greyface Dartmoor sheep history

  • The Greyface Dartmoor is a rare breed of domestic sheep originating around Dartmoor in south west England. Also known as the “Improved Dartmoor”, this is a large and long-woolled breed, known for its distinctive facial markings
  • In the 19th century improvements were carried out using longwool breeds to try to develop a more profitable breed.
  • The Dartmoor Sheep Breeders’ Association, formed in 1909 to try to promote the breed beyond the South West and indeed the breed is widespread throughout the country although mostly in very small flocks.

Uses

The Greyface Dartmoor produces a heavy, versatile fleece well suited for use in carpet and other hard wearing woollen products. There is the potential to create added value products from the fleece. Staple length- 25-30cm. Fleece weight- 7- 9kg. Quality- 36s-40s.

A purebred Greyface Dartmoor lamb can reach 16-20kg within 4 months. The breed remains lean and is suitable for taking onto heavier weights, 25-30kg  at around 8-9 months.

The long, curly, lustre wool can used to make blankets, carpets and cloth.

We are pleased to say that our first five ewes will be arriving at Moorparks sometime in October. The breeder we have purchased them from is putting them with a ram before we collect them. We hope to have our first lambs in March.

We collected our first girls on 12th November 2018, have a look.

And here they are:

Greyface Dartmoor - Annie
This is Annie, Due to lamb approx. 26th Feb.
Annie didn’t produce a lamb this year, hopefully next year she will.
Greyface Dartmoor - BOB
This is BOB, Due to lamb approx. 2nd March.
BOB lambed on 27/2/19 and produced our first ewe lamb. Flossy (Named by regular guests The Firths) is pictured on the right. Flossy will stay with us as a breeding ewe.
Greyface Dartmoor-Curly-Sue
This is Curly-Sue, Due to lamb approx. 24th Feb.
Curley lambed on 25/2/19 so was the first lamb to be born to us at Moorparks. Curley produced a large ram lamb who is called Wurly. Wurly is now a wether and has someone waiting for him when weaned, he will be a pet.
Greyface Dartmoor - Dagny
This is Dagny, Due to lamb approx. 6th March.
Dagny produced a ewe lamb four days early while we were not watching. We thought we had a couple of days to get some sleep after staying up waiting for the previous lambs. Little Gunny was born at 04.05am and will join our breeding ewes.
Greyface Dartmoor - Emma
This is Emma, Due to lamb approx. 27th Feb.
Trevor was born a day early. Trevor is a wether now and will be joining Wurly as a pet in a new home when weaned.

If you are staying at Moorparks Holiday Cottages, you will be able to see these lovely sheep up close together with our Alpacas and chickens. If you’re lucky, you may even spot them on the animal web cams.