16 June 2017
We’ve got 180 sheep to shear this month, and our favourite sheep shearer, Clifford, is the best in the business!
Clifford works at Warwickshire College but each year he comes back to Hatton. He’ll be demonstrating his sheep shearing skills and telling fascinating tales about the wool trade in his twice daily workshops.
Make sure you see one of his shows during your family day out at Hatton and you’ll enjoy finding out some eye opening facts to share with your friends.
There are more than 31 million sheep in the UK – that’s an awful lot of woolly hats and jumpers – and the UK has 60 different breeds (more than anywhere else in the world). Our sheep are a popular crossbreed called North of England Mules, who are known for being strong and healthy animals.
You’ll be pleased to know that shearing doesn’t hurt our sheep at all – think of it as their annual trip to the baa-ber! Their thick winter coats need to be carefully cut off as otherwise they’ll get hot and bothered, and a dirty and matted fleece can attract flies and maggots.
So it’s very important for them to have their yearly haircut, even though they may wriggle around a bit when it’s being done! As their fleece grows continuously, they’ll be nice and warm by the time winter comes round again.
And what about the wool?
Well, we send everything we collect to the British Wool Marketing Board, who sell wool on behalf of farmers nationwide.
And before wool can be turned into all sorts of lovely things for us, like snuggly warm clothes and blankets – or even stuffed inside baseballs in America! – it has to go through lots of treatments. After being graded for quality, it’s washed, carded (to get rid of all the tangled bits) and combed, spun into yarn and also dyed to add colour.
Although sheep aren’t the only animals who produce wool – you can also get it from goats, rabbits, llamas and even camels – they’re definitely the most versatile and reliable. We’re very happy to have our friendly flock on the farm.
To learn lots more, come to one of Clifford’s amazing sheep shearing shows with his wonderful woolly workshops! Just one of the many fantastic family friendly activities you can all enjoy when you visit Hatton Adventure World this June.
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