Jane is someone who is passionate about livestock and the land – not only does she work in a farm related role but she has a huge range of animals on her smallholding, including some very lovely sheep. Her land is tucked into the edge of the Black Isle, not far from Muir of Ord.
Her core flock consists of North Country Cheviots. Cheviots are the main sheep here and they’re not generally thought to have particularly exciting wool (it is often written off as being fit for carpets only) and certainly doesn’t fetch much when sold to British Wool (formerly British Wool Marketing Board). However I have found that Culgowrie’s Cheviot fleeces are really quite beautiful, not kitten-soft but crisp, bouncy and remarkably fine.
Alongside her Cheviots Jane has an eclectic mix of longwool and mixed breed ewes. You can tell from their names how much she loves and enjoys them! The ewes whose names I particularly love are Horse’s Daughter (Bluefaced Leicester-Cotswold-Cheviot cross), Monkeyface (possibly Gotland-Hebridean cross) and Frankenstein (Bluefaced Leicester-Cotswold-Cheviot cross). When I picked up fleeces this year I couldn’t resist buying Stinker and Stinker’s Sister fleeces (daughters of Monkeyface – their three fleeces will be spun into a small batch yarn) and some truly lovely longwool fleeces……….they’re so special that two of them took 1st and 2nd in the Lustre class at the Royal Highland Show this summer.
Next year I imagine I’ll be adding fleeces from Spot and Spit, two hand reared lambs from spring 2019 – I had a lovely snuggle with them when I was collecting up fleeces. Spot is the cutie in the photo!