In June we visited Olly Walker @scraggleyapple of Essebeare Farm, a 1st generation farmer and certified @PastureForLife member who is mob grazing herbal lays and restoring flower rich meadows. Improving biodiversity, capturing CO2, building soil OM and producing top quality meat! pic.twitter.com/orn8Crlzm7
WELFARE OVER PRODUCTIVITY
Through a carefully managed breeding and expansion programme that has been in place since our original flock arrived here in 2013, Orkney Boreray numbers have grown steadily. We have laid plans for new flocks to be spread across the Orkney Isles in the months and years to come, all under the nurturing care of trusted crofters and farmers whose methods align with our own.
Our approach to flock management places welfare firmly over productivity, and breeding is designed to maximise genetic and phenotypic diversity among flocks — i.e. directly related sheep are not bred together. In 2017, a small breeding group from the original Settisgarth flock on the west mainland of Orkney was transferred to Lochend Farm on Shapinsay — the first major proliferation of this expansion project.
The original flock of Orkney Boreray — raised at Settisgarth on the west mainland. A breeding and expansion programme has been operating since 2013 to steadily grow numbers.
The first major expansion of the Orkney Boreray flock — a small breeding group transferred to Lochend Farm on Shapinsay, ready to grow and flourish.
The largest of the new flocks started in 2021. Airy has ten ewes and gimmers to be tupped by ram Grimbister for lambing in 2022, store wethers for mutton and a flock of ewe lambs for future expansion.
GOT SOME QUESTIONS?
Currently, Orkney Boreray mutton is available exclusively through Macbeth's butchers in Forres.
You'll find a selection of expertly woven Orkney Boreray wool items available through Orkney Cloth, with knitting yarn and wool goods also available from Jen-Ewe-Ine.
All Things Heathen are producing a range of bone and horn craft items from their Orkney workshop, and you'll be able to source sheepskin rugs from All Things Heathen and individual Orkney Boreray farms.
Orkney Boreray sheep are only available to crofters, farmers and smallholders within Orkney — but we are happy to work with those new to raising sheep, as well as experienced shepherds. The Orkney Boreray community will always be on hand to give practical advice and support to new and existing crofters. The right approach is absolutely essential, and information on the agricultural methodology for raising Orkney Boreray sheep can be found on the Agroecology page.
For more detailed information or for any specific queries, please Contact Us.
From the sheep, we can use meat, fleece, skins, horn and bone — all of which are of a high quality, with distinct traits and 'terroir'. If you are a restauranteur or chef and want to know more about purchasing OB carcasses, then please contact us for more information. Please note, that we currently operate on an exclusive basis with Macbeth's butchers in Forres.
Artisan craftspeople who are interested in fleece, skins, horn and bone are encouraged to Contact Us.