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Lonk   EFABIS Data


International Name


Local Name

Lonk or Improved Haslingden


Pennine District of Yorkshire and Lancashire

Breeding females



Trend of population size


Flock book established



Origin history

The Lonk is found in the Pennine districts of Yorkshire and Lancashire. This ancient and native hardy breed has been present on the Yorkshire and Lancashire Pennines for centuries. One Lancashire flock has been traced back to 1740. The breed was once farmed by monks at Whalley and Sawley Abbey.
The name "Lonk" derives from the Lancashire word "lanky", meaning long and thin.

 Breed description

The breed is used for the production of meat and (mainly carpet) wool.
Being a mountain sheep, this breed is extremely hardy and can live on the poorest grazing and survive throughout the year on bleak moors. The ewes are good mother and while a single lamb is preferred on the hill they are frequently crossed with Texel and Suffolk rams for production of long lambs suited to modern tastes. Crossbreds produced with ewes of other upland breeds, such as the Dalesbred, Swaledale, Welsh Mountain and Scottish Blackface, provide bigger lambs and improved wool quality.
The Lonk is one of the largest native hill breeds and is white with both sexes being horned. The head and legs have irregular black patches with black on and around the nose and eyes, the legs are long and basically free of wool. The fleece is trim and even from head to skirting, white and free from kemp. Average mature ewe weighs 45-54kg, rams 75-91kg.
Due to its geographical isolation this breed was endangered during the 2001 FMD outbreak.
The flock book was established in 1907.

Conservation activities


The breed incorporates a sense of community and contributes to the local economy by helping with the maintenance of the landscape and providing tourist attractions at local shows.
Cryopreservation of semen, Heritage Gene Bank 59 doses and National Scrapie plan Semen Archive semen from 1 ram.

ContactThe breed society is the Lonk Sheep Breeders Association.

                Sec. Mrs J Shorrock ,51 Glen View Road, Burnley, Lancs. BB11 2QW.


Action Heritage Sheep AGRI GEN RES 040 receives financial support from the European Commission, Genetic Resources in Agriculture, under European Commission Council Regulation (EC) No 870/2004 AGRI GEN RES 2006 HERITAGE SHEEP