The Doulton Flock Story
Our story begins way back in 1997 when I bought a couple of rare breed, British Border Leicester ewe lambs from Lanark Auction Mart. I knew very little about sheep, even less about Border Leicesters at that time. All I knew was that. after a chance encounter with a huge ram, at East of England Show, I was hooked. I loved his amazing head, so proud, with the big roman nose. I loved the way he showed himself off, even while just standing beside his owner, who was sitting on a bench. I loved his dignity.
Two months later I took delivery of the 2 ewe lambs which the ram’s owner bought for me at Lanark. They were so wild, climbing up the walls and flinging themselves around! I called them Minnie and Martha after Coronation Street characters and it didn’t take too long before we became friends. Each of them had wonderful personalities and were so beautiful. They also had wonderful, long stapled, crimped, semi lustrous fleeces, perfect for spinners and for processing into wonderful yarns.
None of my sheep ever go for slaughter. I prefer to say that they are born to grow old, which is what happens here.
We take great pride in our sheep, and ensure that they are all well fed and looked after, even after they have reached ages when their fleeces cannot be used. We have an old age pensioner's barn and fields.
To grow beautiful fibre you must feed good protein feed and we do this from a couple of weeks after the lambs are born until they are shearlings. We also feed the ewes and lambs. Letting sheep eat only grass encourages breaks in the wool. Every year we test our various fields to see what condition they are in, whether they are lacking in any nutrients. We then add the nutrients. We also plough each field every three years to get rid of any worm burden. We produce our own excellent hay and haylage, then we are not buying rubbish in.
We have been in a lot of sheep helath schemes to ensure that they are as healthy as can be. We've now been in the MV scheme for over 20 years, which protects them from respiratory diseases. we vaccinate against pasturella, and many other diseases which can kill.
Most of all we love them dearly and always will.
The years went on and my two lambs turned gradually into 300 sheep. I learned how to show, to appreciate good fleeces and to breed for fleeces.
I started to sell their beautiful crimped fleeces to spinners and eventually got my first batch of handpicked fleeces processed into a beautiful yarn.
We are now on our 4th year of producing our fabulous slaughterfree, cruelty free, rare breed, British, Doulton Border Leicester yarn. All with full provenance.
The Border Leicester changed my life completely. For the better I believe.