Mountain Sheep or South Welsh Mountain Sheep or Nelson Sheep
Glamorgans and Gwent
Trend of population size
Flock book established
Origin – history
Wales Mountain Sheep is native to the hill areas of South Powys,
Carmarthenshire, Monmouthshire and Glamorgan, and has been reared in
the upland areas of South Wales for generations. It can thrive on
harsh hill pastures and is especially adapted to the coal bearing
soils of the region.
It is believed to be of the same primitive ancestry as the Welsh
Mountain sheep but it has developed into a quite distinct animal in
this region of South Wales.
It is the largest
in size of all the Welsh Mountain Breeds with the rams weighing up
to 85kg and the ewes up to 55kg. It is long lived and easy to
The rams are usually horned with the ewes hornless. They are white
with tan markings on the face and legs and often a distinctive brown
collar. There is little wool on the belly, which reduces the
susceptibility to flystrike. The fleece is dense with an even
mixture of white kempy fibre making it highly weather resistant.
The breed is extremely hardy, having been bred to survive on the
exposed Welsh mountainside.
The hardiness and mothering abilities of the ewes make her an ideal
dam of crossbred ewes, passing on her good milking ability and
strong conformation to her lambs, mainly using the Suffolk, Texel
and Blueface Leicester,
Its cross-bred progeny from sires such as the Suffolk, Texel and
Blueface Leicester are widely distributed for lowland lamb
production, and rams are often crossed with other Welsh Mountain
breeds to improve the conformation and size of more commercial
The breed is a good converter of grass to meat and matures early to
produce a quality lean carcass of excellent flavour.The
flock book was established early in the 1980’s, with both rams and
ewes being recorded.
Breed improvement schemes are from both individual and breed society
initiatives, supported by the Local Authority and Welsh Assembly and
Agriscop. The breed is marketed as Welsh Lamb in a major supermarket
Cryopreservation of semen NSP storage, Innovis, 3.971 doses.
The breed society is the South Wales Mountain Sheep Breeders’
South Wales Mountain Sheep Society
Secretary Mr Glyn Davies, 40 Rhys Road, Blackwood, Caerphilly County
NP12 3QR - Tel 01443839234