Rough Fell, Kendal
Yorkshire Fells and dales
Trend of population size
Flock book established
Origin – history
The Rough Fell is
an extremely hardy hill breed. The origins of this breed have been
traced back to the Middle Ages in Northern England, where it can
endure the hardships of adverse conditions in the Lake District and
the Yorkshire Dales.
It has been a recognised breed for over 150 years, part derived from
the Blackheath Sheep.
The Rough Fell is
a long lived sheep and is easy to handle and docile. The breed’s
hardiness and docility contribute to its high genetic
distinctiveness and environmental ability.
It excels in hardiness and exists under adverse conditions. It is
found in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales as a pure-bred,
however draft ewes for cross-breeding are now found in many other
parts of the United Kingdom, particularly upland areas.
It is one of the largest mountain sheep in Britain with a full white
fleece, horned black head and a definite white patch on the nose.
The breed is used for the production of meat and wool. Rough Fell
lamb is proving to be popular with caterers because of its larger
Ewes are excellent mothers with good milking ability. The hardy
constitution enables a ewe to mother and rear her lambs whilst
feeding mainly on the poor upland grasses and heathers found on the
native moorland. On lower ground draft ewes are crossed with the
Teeswater or the Blueface Leicester to produce quality half-bred
females and prime finished lamb. Due to the superior carcass, both
pure-bred and cross-bred lambs are popular at market.
This breed was endangered due to its geographical location in the
2001 Foot and Mouth epidemic.
Rough Fell rams are large, 110 Kg, with the ewes at 65 Kg.
The flock book was established in 1926 and has since maintained a
continuous record of registered rams.. It is maintained
Made in Cumbria has assisted with a promotional video ‘Rough fell
Heritage’, celebrating the life, work and landscape of the Rough
Fell sheep farming community. The breed’s hardiness and docility
contribute to its high genetic distinctiveness and environmental
Cryopreservation of semen and blood, NSP storage, 2584 doses
Heritage genebank 324 doses
The breed society is the Rough Fell Sheep Breeders Association.
ROUGH FELL SHEEP BREEDERS ASSOCIATION,
Little Burnholme, Swinton road, Masham, Ripon
North Yorkshire HG4 4NS