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“Shear” delight

June 23, 2014
June 23, 2014 - “Shear” delight
-Older

It's sizzling hot here in the Derbyshire Peak District, but our flock of sheep are cool and content as they have been sheared - or you could also say shorn, but not Shaun as in Shaun the Sheep of cartoon fame!

Sheep shearing at Hoe Grange It only takes a few minutes to sheer each sheep

Not only does shearing keep the sheep cool during the hot summer months, but it prevents disease and fly strike where the maggots eat into the flesh of the animal, which as you can imagine is pretty horrible.

Anyone can attempt to shear a sheep, but not everyone can do a good job. Shearing is a specialized skill - speed is of the essence, so the sheep are not stressed or on their backs for too long, but skill is required to remove the fleece in one piece, without nicking or cutting the animals.

wool sack
the fleeces are tightly packed
in large sacks for transportation

The whole fleece is then carefully rolled and tied by its own wool before being placed in a large sack for transportation. Wool is a modified form of hair that grows with a natural waviness or crimp, which is characteristic of the breed of sheep. Fleeces of British sheep can be classified into three main types: carpet wools, down wools and long wools, each with differing end uses.

Wool is an extremely versatile product, is wear resistant, provides good insulative properties as well as being able to absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture without feeling wet. Despite these qualities and the fact that it is completely natural, wool has been widely displaced by the use of cheaper synthetic fibres.

Sheep shearing and wool production has been an important part of the UK's sheep industry over the last six thousand years. The earliest sheep had pigmented coats and naturally moulted allowing farmers to collect the fallen wool, but over time breeds developed with improved wool characteristics, which meant that they had to be sheared.

Interestingly by the Middle Ages wool had become the UK's most important output, being exported throughout Europe creating great wealth - sad to say this is no longer the case and often the price paid for the fleece does not cover the actual cost of shearing.

It would be fantastic if all new buildings used natural sheep wool for insulation instead of man made products. We used sheep wool insulation in our log cabins and they are wonderfully cosy even in the coldest of winters!

Later, as exports of wool declined, production was used domestically in the fast growing cloth industries where technological advance fueled the industrial revolution and the move away from agriculture to an urban, industrial society. Derbyshire which is attributed to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution played a key role - you can find out more by visiting Sir Richard Arkwright's Mills, just down the road at Cromford, now a World Heritage Site.

For ease of handling the sheep are separated from the lambs for shearing so once they are all shorn and let back out into the field the noise is deafening as the ewes and lambs try to find each other again!

Another milestone in the farming year satisfactorily completed.

Felicity

sheep herding
The sheep and lambs get back together in the field

Baa.. It's me, don't you recognize your own mum?
Baa.. It's me, don't you recognize your own mum?

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Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  •   For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more

    EJYork2013
    6/25/2019

      We wanted a complete break and some peace and quiet and this was perfect. The caravan was secluded with beautiful views over the countryside. Everything was spotlessly clean and well... read more

    joanne B
    6/04/2019

      We have just returned from a short stay in one of the pods on site at Hoe Grange Holidays. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The pod has everything you could... read more

    Catboy86
    8/17/2019
  •   Arrived and was shown to our pod, fantastic location and the pod was very good indeed plus we had home made bread and milk and tea and coffee. A... read more

    mickvfr
    7/28/2019

      Myself and my sister travelled to Costa Rica and Panama via Viva Holidays Ltd. The holiday was exceptional and one to be treasured forever. Andrew at Viva Holidays... read more

    Paula C
    7/04/2019

      On arriving at Hoe Grange in a downpour, we doubted if we’d made the right decision to go glamping, but after the warm welcome from David and a quick tour,... read more

    karenmD4738KD
    6/25/2019
  •   Lovely place to holiday near to interesting locations and easy access to the High Peak trail and Carsington Water. Part of a working farm with fresh produce to enjoy during... read more

    Angie B
    8/03/2019

      We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    David H
    10/25/2019

      We had a lovely time staying in one of the incredibly well equipped pods. I bought my pony along and we had some great rides on the high peak trail.... read more

    plopster1
    6/07/2019
  •   Loved every minute of our stay, and so did the family and friends that came to stay. Excellent facilities in our cosy Hipley log cabin. By far the best... read more

    krimpenijssel
    10/25/2019

      We stayed in the Skylark pod last October (2018) and had a lovely time. There was homemade, rustic goods (bread, biscuits etc) when we arrived. Felicity and David who run... read more

    KBarry
    9/15/2019

      It's been three years since we last visited but once we arrived it certainly didn't feel like it!
    We stayed in Hipley again which had had a refurbished wet... read more

    ElizabethA717
    9/21/2019
  •   Stayed last week, from 6th to 13th September in the log cabin called Hipley. This was amazing, it was our first visit but certainly not our last. Gold standard disability... read more

    548julie
    9/14/2019

      Another great holiday at Hoe Grange - such a great place for us all to holiday as a family - this time with a baby, a 3 yr old, a... read more

    Thesamps
    10/04/2019

      We stayed in Rainster cabin for a long weekend 6 th to 9 th September. This was my 5 th visit to the amazing Hoe Grange. I had visited before... read more

    Jan Horsman J
    9/17/2019
  •   What a lovely weekend away! We stayed in the lovely gypsy caravan, which was a wonderful and really unique experience. We took along our two horses, who also had a... read more

    rachelthomas2015
    6/18/2019

      What can I say?
    Absolutely superb!
    We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
    It was our first trip away with my... read more

    Wheelieuser
    6/13/2019

      We've just returned from our second visit to Hoe Grange. The suggested riding routes with stunning scenery were enjoyed by my daughter and I while the menfolk were delighted with... read more

    Jdrichie12
    7/11/2019
  •   We stayed in Pinder cabin and had a lovely stay, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, nice and warm after cold days out. The children loved meeting the animals and... read more

    Tiggywinkle15
    11/05/2019

      We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more

    Big_Al_0000
    7/16/2019

      Recently spent a week in "Pinder" and had a lovely time. The location is stunning - the site is nestled in a beautiful valley on the edge of the Peaks... read more

    Peachey167
    7/16/2019
  •   lovely surroundings real farm country with chickens paying you a visit nice decking area to chill at the end of the day accommodation very good plenty to do nearby... read more

    vincent s
    7/28/2019

      Second visit to the accessible holiday cabins at Hoe Grange. David and Felicity were as helpful and friendly as ever. We had a welcome pack of freshly baked bread, butter,... read more

    Charlotte M
    8/07/2019

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