First East-Anglian born Devon Closewool lambs arrive in time for Easter
- Credit: Gail Sprake / RBST
The first East Anglian-born lambs of a rare sheep breed have arrived to join a new flock which is only the second to be established outside the animals' West Country homeland.
The Devon Closewool, recorded as a 'minority' breed on the 2015 rare breeds watchlist, has fewer than 40 flocks in its traditional heartland of Devon and Somerset, one in Surrey – and now one at Meens Farm, near Halesworth.
Four ewes were brought on the long journey east earlier this year by Gail Sprake, chairman of trustees for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST), who wanted to give the breed more security by extending its geographic spread.
All four ewes lambed within eight days of each other in mid-March, each with a single offspring – two ewe lambs and two ram lambs.
Mrs Sprake said: 'They lambed easily and are excellent mothers, milky and caring. The first lamb out was a cracking ram lamb, 7.2kg.
'I know I am biased, but I have to say that the lambs are absolutely gorgeous.
The Devon Closewool was the only sheep to show a significant decline on the RBST's 2015 watchlist. It is a strong-bodied white-faced sheep, with no horns, a thick fleece and well-fleshed shoulder, loin and rump.