Rare breed sheep and cattle at Godshill Park Farm, IOW.
Here on the farm we breed pedigree Dexter cattle, Boreray sheep and Castlemilk moorit sheep.
Our flocks and herds are small and extensively grazed – their diet consists of forage (grass, hay, silage). Our animals are friendly and easy to handle with the right set up.
We often have breeding stock for sale so please enquire if you are considering purchasing some. Ongoing advice is given to new keepers if needed. We can deliver anywhere in the UK at cost.
Castlemilk Moorit sheep history
Just over a century ago the late Sir Jock Buchanan-Jardine on his Castlemilk Estate in Dumfriesshire created these lovely castlemilk sheep. Using Manx Loghtan, moorit Shetland and wild Mouflon, he developed a breed to beautify his parkland and provide fine, kemp free moorit coloured wool.
On his death in 1970 the majority of the flock were sadly culled but a few were dispersed, including six ewes and a ram which were bought by Joe Henson and taken to the Cotswold Farm Park. All today’s Castlemilk Moorits are descendants of the few founding sheep.
About the Castlemilk Morrit sheep breed
The Moorit is one of the larger primitive (type) sheep breeds. Mature ewes weigh around 40k (85lbs) and rams 55k (120lbs). The head is clean and level between the ears. The ewes have two, uniform, wide spreading horns. These are much heavier and evenly spiralled in the rams, avoiding the cheeks.
The neck should be well set on the shoulders following on to a straight back and well sprung ribs; the tail is naturally short and narrow. Both Castlemilk Moorit sexes should be upstanding on clean fine-boned legs, with naturally small feet. Their whole appearance is graceful and well balanced; they are extremely agile and fleet footed.
Boreray Sheep history
Boreray sheep are closely geographically and socially linked to Soay sheep, however the two breeds are genetically different. Boreray sheep descend from the domestic sheep kept by the St. Kildans. When the inhabitants evacuated Hirta, the main island of St. Kilda, in 1930, all their domestic stock went with them. Any sheep left on the island were culled. Luckily for the breed, a replacement flock of domestic sheep had been kept on the island of Boreray. They were left there after the evacuation and have lived feral on the island ever since. About 50 years’ ago a small group were taken off the island, the descendants of which are now registered with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Boreray sheep are classified as “vulnerable” on the RBST Survival Watch list.
About the Boreray sheep breed
Boreray sheep are a unique breed, being descendants of the now extinct Scottish Tan Face with some infusion of Hebridean Blackface. They are a small, short-tailed breed which naturally sheds its fleece under normal breeding conditions.
Most of these sheep are a creamy white colour with various black, tan or speckled markings on the face and legs and sometimes also on the body and shoulders, although a few dark animals occur.
Native Breed Hogget & Mutton
We take orders in late summer for meat produced on the farm.
Castlemilk Moorit & Boreray meat, reared with love on the Isle of Wight fresh air and grass, is very lean with a fine grained texture. Try some and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a far more tasty product than what you can buy in a supermarket.
Although Castlemilk Moorit & Boreray sheep are rare native breeds, the older animals need to be culled and eaten in order to make way for new lambs in the Spring. By ordering this meat you are helping to ensure the future of this breed – it is important to maintain the diversity of different sheep breeds.
Modern commercial sheep breeds produce rapid weight-gaining lambs that are often fatty and devoid of flavour, but not these sheep. Our lambs spend at least a year to eighteen months slowly maturing in the fields at Godshill Park Farm. They gain weight and muscle mass progressively whilst enjoying a happy life in a natural environment. This produces a high quality and superbly flavoured meat.
The hogget and mutton is available in late summer & Autumn only – it’s a seasonal food to be savoured during the colder months. The sheep are slaughtered and butchered at Snells, a small, family run abattoir in Chard, Somerset. The small group travel comfortably in a purpose-built trailer with familiar field mates so that stress is minimised. Snells do not slaughter using the Halal method – their non-Halal registration number is 8191.
Meat is reasonably priced at £60 for half or £110 for whole – please contact Kathy by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01983 840781 to order. Please bear with us as we only have a limited supply of this rare breed meat and can only fulfill sales direct from the farm subject to availability.
Dexter beef is often available to buy too– please enquire if you’d like some.
Fleece from our flocks is processed by the Natural Fibre Co and we sell a range of knitting and weaving yarns, some of which have been hand dyed. Raw fleeces for crafting or hand spinning are available in summer and we have some finished goods eg blankets and sheepskin rugs, for sale produced by our animals.
Our fleece & products are sold under the name of Wight Grown Wool – please visit our online shop!