Lleyn wool is of high quality, white fibred and does not carry any natural faults such as red, grey or black fibres. The Lleyn fleece has won the Golden Fleece Supreme Championship at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society show a number of times and has also been placed first at the Australian Wool Fair.
The sheep have derived their name from the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales where a large number of these pure bred sheep were to be found prior to the second world war. The compulsory ploughing of a quarter to a third of all ploughable land on every farm meant that there was less acreage for grazing and the first livestock to feel the pinch were the sheep. When farmers wanted to keep the same number of ewes that they kept prior to introduction of the ploughing quota the only way was to purchase the small Welsh Mountain ewe, which could be stocked at twice the density of the Lleyn. By the late 1950s there were only a small number of purebred breeders left and the breed’s current success owes a great deal to those few stalwarts, having been classed as a rare breed in 1960.
The Lleyn is a medium sized lowland sheep weighing up to 70kg at maturity and producing a fleece of 2-3kg with a staple length of 8-12cm with a Bradford Count of 50 – 54. The lambs are lively at birth with good wool cover enabling them to grow and thrive under exposed conditions.
The Lleyn Sheep Society was established in 1970 and by the 1980s the membership had risen to over 150. The Society aims to continue its policy of maintaining uniformity.
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