Campaign to save rare Lincoln Longwool sheep breed

A rare breed of local Lincolnshire sheep is the subject of a nationwide preservation campaign.

The Lincoln Longwool is one of the breeds recognised by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust as part of a five year conservation project.

The local breed were classed as ‘vulnerable’ in the latest RBST watchlist, with just 251 breeding females registered in 2019.

Michael Coney with his award winning Lincoln Longwool at the Lincolnshire Show. Photo: Steve Smailes/The Lincolnite

Louise Fairburn, of Risby Grange Longwools in the Lincolnshire Wolds, said: “The Lincoln Longwool is a highly domesticated breed.

“They have lived alongside humans for hundreds of years and this has resulted in a very tame and docile sheep, which is a pleasure to shepherd.

“Their abundant production of long lustrous wool has contributed greatly to the historic wealth of our nation and they are an important part of our living heritage.”

“It is essential that the unique characteristics of Lincoln wool are preserved for future generations.

“With a current global effort to reduce plastics, wool could again become a crucial commodity, and our veteran Lincoln Longwools are key genetic providers to this valuable natural resource.”

As part of the new conservation programme, RBST aim to increase the diversity within each breed, limiting inbreeding.

To support the charity’s work, visit the RBST website.

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