Whitefaced Woodlands are some of the largest of our hill sheep, hardy, robust and long lived. Originating from the Pennine Hills around the Woodland Valley in the Peak District, they are well able to tolerate poor grazing and harsh weather. Though the majority of Woodlands are still found in their native Pennines, flocks are now widespread, including in the lowlands. Despite the fact that the Whitefaced Woodland is listed as a rare breed, there are several thousand on the hills in their area of origin.
Rams are particularly impressive, with their big curling horns and are sometimes used to add size and vigour to other breeds. The ewes, which are also horned, are excellent mothers and rear strong, lively lambs. The breed is popular within commercial hill flocks where, as well as being purebred, the ewes may be put to a terminal sire to produce fat lambs which finish quickly and cheaply for the market. If purebred, meat from the tup hoggs is especially delicious. Woodlands have a finer fleece than most hill breeds; this is attributed to the addition of Merino blood in the eighteenth century. Good fleeces are much sought after by handspinners and the wool is particularly good at taking dye.
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