Our rams are currently six months old and arrived at our 2,000-acre Oxfordshire Parkland, joining our Estate’s 1,000-strong flock of Scotch mules.
“We are delighted to welcome a new breed of sheep to our Estate, we think they will be a perfect fit here,” said Farm Manager, Charles Gerring.
“The Hampshire Down is a downland breed, as opposed to a highland, so that means they are very well suited to the type of grass that grows here on the Parkland and we hope they will be very content with us.”
The Hampshire Down is a cross between Southdowns and the Old Hampshire breed, the Wiltshire Horn, and the Berkshire Nott which are all horned and white-faced sheep. These breeds were native to the open, untilled and hilly stretch of land known as the Hampshire Downs.
Over the last 15 years, Hampshire Down breeders have carefully recorded and selected for modern performance traits and hardiness so they can remain comfortable in the coldest of winters.
The arrival of the sheep follows on from the recent acquisition of a one-tonne pedigree bull, Castleton Satellite, who joined our Estate back in July.
The reintroduction of the Hampshire Down lambs contributes to our Estate’s Land Strategy plan that looks at innovative ways to move towards more sustainable farming practice.