March 2016

Sheep in Winter

30 March, 2016 - 13:00 | Lara Pollard-Jones

Images courtesy of Wool Carpets Naturally

Reflecting on a “bad” winter … what do we mean?  The UK winter which is nearing its end has been miserably wet though not very cold.  This is an unpleasant combination for farmers and for sheep.

When the weather is wet, it’s more difficult to move around the fields, there’s mud in gateways and “poaching” of muddy damaged grass extends many yards into the fields themselves from each gate.  And then if it has been windy, the gutters that feed the rainwater tanks may be damaged, causing leaks and more mud at a time when getting a ladder out to do repairs is unusually difficult.

What's in the box?

14 March, 2016 - 14:24 | Lara Pollard-Jones


For those of us that tupped in October lambing is not only on the horizon, but also approaching at a rate of knots.  Now is the time to make sure that your lambing shed (if you are lucky enough to have one) is set up for your expectant mothers and their new arrivals.  Along with cleaning everything, erecting pens, and worrying about having enough straw/hay/feed it is also important to think about what you have in your lambing box.  This may be the last thought on your mind, especially with the current weather, but having the right equipment on hand can be the difference between life and death for a ewe and lamb.

The Killing Fields

7 March, 2016 - 12:41 | Lara Pollard-Jones

A pedigree flock of Devon & Cornwall Longwools.  Picture courtesy of BWMB.

This has been quite a hard winter for sheep farmers: not only has it been very wet indeed, which is bad for sheep, but also the meat prices have been a bit lower …

As a result, there cannot be many shepherds this year who have not experienced losses of ewes, rams, yearling lambs and newly born lambs.  We have heard sad stories of lambs being born only to drown in the mud and puddles in the field before they can get up or die of pneumonia from getting too chilled.   This is very hard to deal with.

It’s always really sad to lose an animal, whether an old friend or a new one scarcely known yet.



Tamar yarn flows in ... and probably out again ... we hope!

Sue Blacker's picture
2 March, 2016 - 18:26 | Sue Blacker

So why did we do it this way?

We identified a gap in our range, and the market, for a lustre yarn which was not too “shiny” or mohair-like, and which would take dye as stunningly as Gotland and Mohair.  We also wanted a slightly leaner yarn with drape, to complement our bulkier and lofty yarns, while of course seeking the softness we know everyone loves.

Blacker Yarns | +44 (0) 1566 777 635


The Natural Fibre Company | +44 (0) 1566 777 635