Devon & Cornwall Longwool Flock Book Association celebrates 40 years
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Devon and Cornwall Longwool Flock Association which was founded in 1977.
The association holds the studbook for the breed and promotes the breeding and rearing of Devon and Cornwall Longwool sheep, which are popular within the south west region.
The coming together of two dwindling local sheep breeds saw the association’s formation which heralded a brighter future, as association secretary Deborah Custance Baker explains.
“In 1977 the South Devon Flock Book and the Devon Longwool Sheep Breeders Society were rather in bred and again on the verge of extinction. So it was decided by the then committees, of which Melvyn Britton was President of the Longwools, to amalgamate.
“At the time of merging, there were 100 South Devon members and only 50 Devon Longwool members, with the majority of flocks between Hale and Kentisbeare.”
There have been dedicated Devon & Cornwall Longwool classes within the sheep section at the Royal Cornwall Show for many years. It is a popular breed and attracts sufficient entries to stand alone with its own classes.
This year 57 Devon & Cornwall Longwool entries were received, with numbers up the competition in the classes will be particularly keen in this celebratory year.
To celebrate this milestone the association will have a breed promotion stand at this year’s show. They are also producing a publication devoted to the history of the breed and a special birthday party held at the current president’s farm near Cullompton, Devon.
40 years later and there are flocks across England, from Cornwall to Newcastle.
“They are a fantastic breed, stately and friendly with an impressive fleece and a tasty carcase,“ concludes Deborah.
Mole Valley Farmers are again the major sponsor of the sheep section at this year’s show.
For more information about the Royal Cornwall Show (8-10 June) please visit www.royalcornwall.co.uk.
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