British sheeps’ wool - a precious resource ...
Anyone who knows me, or my business, will know I have a great affection and respect for sheep - get to know them as individuals and you will understand that they are very very much Individuals and not at all the simple minded animal that they are painted as being. They keep our countryside as we love it - the rolling hills and mountains quietly manicured by these amazing beasts who then provide is with quality grass fed meat with very low input and their grazing encourages the sequestering of co2 by nurturing the grassland.
And then we have these precious fleeces as an incredible resource ... but, as you are no doubt aware, the price of wool paid to farmers is incredibly low, reflecting the world market for our fleece and this year, with Covid-19 the market has ground to a near halt and the expected price is expected to halve. This has meant that farmers are paying farm more for their sheep to be sheared than they receive for sending the fleece to be sold - and this year things are so bad that even the cost of transporting the fleeces to the Wool Marketing Board. British wool was, historically, coveted throughout the world, the fleece being more valuable than the meat to any farmer. Sheep were bred to produce the best fleece for spinning and weaving into the best cloth. In medieval times fleece from England was being exported to Italy and beyond , and fortunes we made. With the rise of the cotton industry and big sheep stations abroad sheep farming evolved into a more meat based industry. But surely there’s a happy medium where farmers won‘t be driven to compost their fleeces?
The amazing properties of wool - fire resistance, insulation, breathability, a naturally grown by-product of our meat industry whic, at the end of its useful life can be composted - can provide not only fibres for clothing and furnishings, carpets and rugs, but also innovative insulation products, chimney drought excluders, and packaging insulation as well as mattresses and duvets... I’ve used wool insulation for all the renovations I’ve undertaken in the last 20 years and it is a joy to use and really effective. It can be pulled apart and pushed between joists and panels with no dust and horrible itchiness from mass produced modern insulation.
The government is keen to encourage more jobs and energy efficiency through their insulation schemes and the NFU have supported a fantastic petition which calls on the governement to use British wool in any home insulation and publicly financed building projects.
If you feel that our sheep and our farmers deserve support then I’d be so grateful If you, too, could sign the petition below... Diolch yn fawr, Thank you.