April 15, 2022 8.00 am

Rare sheep breed bouncing back in Lincolnshire

‘Wonderful native rare breed’

A rare breed of sheep is said to be bouncing back in Lincolnshire, much to the delight of the owners of a local farm.

Louise Fairburn and her husband Ian have looked after Lincoln longwools at Risby Grange Farm in Market Rasen since moving there in 2004.

Numbers declined drastically from the 1950s onwards as synthetic materials were favoured over wool, but according to BBC Look North the latest reproach suggests this rare breed is bouncing back.

Louise, who has devoted her life to keeping the breed going, told BBC Look North: “I think it’s the efforts of the society that I’m part of and the commitment of the breeders that are part of that society to improve our outlook, be a bit more modern.

“We’ve improved social media lately, we try and have a good online presence and support new members. I think it’s that constant drive.”

There is also an increased demand for clothing that is made from the wool, which is often described as strong but silk like.

Louise added: “That’s definitely increasing, the interest in that sustainability, fast fashion is not the thing of the day at the moment, it’s all sort of a move towards vintage, using renewables, and obviously wool fits really nicely into that category.”

Despite improving numbers there’s still only around 1,000 Lincoln longwools in the UK so work continues to ensure the survival of this rare breed of sheep.