About Crookabeck Herdwick sheep

Cumbria is the home of the attractive and hardy Herdwick Sheep. Herdwick Sheep are great characters with white faces and legs. The most widely known breeder of Herdwicks was Beatrix Potter, the children’s story writer, who left several farms and their flocks of Herdwicks to the National Trust When she died.

The lambs are born black. The adult sheep provide a stunning range of natural fleece colours from black through to silver grey. The wool is 100% natural. Every year a sheep grows a new fleece, making it a renewable fibre source. Herdwicks are slow grown and produce top quality meat with a superior flavour.

Unfortunately, many Herdwicks were culled in 2001 due to Foot and Mouth Disease, particularly young stock. Luckily, Crookabeck Herdwicks survived.

Herdwick sheep for sale

Our flock originates from 2 ex-show sheep bought at Dick Wilson’s dispersal sale. Dick was a well known and respected Herdwick sheep breeder in Patterdale. We buy some of the best rams available each year and bloodlines used descend from Anthony Hartley, Gowie Graves and Adam Wear.

The sheep live in fields around the house, they have never been on the fell. They are quiet, easy to handle, and respect fences. All I need is a bucket or a pocket of nuts to move them around the farm. Being docile my sheep make an ideal starter flock.

During August, September and October I have a few ewes with an unrelated shearling ram for sale. Homebred individual ewes or small groups of ewes are available, also individual shearling rams. The breeding season starts at the end of October, the lambs being born 150 days later in March/April.

Wether lambs are available on the hoof from August.

Please contact us to ask for details of stock available.


Herdwick sheep are slow grown and the young ewes (hogs) should not be bred from during their first year as this would stunt their growth.

After weaning, the females are put back to the fell and wear a piece of cloth, traditionally sacking, which is stitched to their fleece, thereby preventing them from becoming pregnant. Today this practice is carried out on just 2 fell farms.

In the photograph a piece of handwoven, hand dyed Herdwick cloth is shown.