Greyface Dartmoor Sheep

The Greyface Dartmoor sheep, also sometimes known as the Dartmoor or “Improved” Dartmoor, descended from the local breeds which grazed the low ground in and around Dartmoor.

They have immense strength of constitution, developed through withstanding the severe winters and exposed conditions, which exist around the Moor.

Improvements to the breed were carried out during the 19th century using the local Longwools (Notts) and the Leicester.

breed characteristics

They are very good mothers, and as they are more calm than many other breeds of sheep, they are very easy to handle. Watch the short video of last year’s lambs (by clicking here), including a very cheeky ram lamb bumping into his Spring cousins

” . . . the Dartmoor fleece is classified as ‘Lustre Longwool’. They are a medium-sized sheep, hornless, deep bodied, short-legged, with a well-woolled head and legs . . . “

We have a small flock of pedigree, registered ewes – which are in-lamb again so we are looking forward to another batch of lovely lambs in the Spring. As they are very good mothers, we basically let them get on with it. If you want a sheep that you don’t want to be forever chasing around your pasture, then these are the sheep for you. They are just not as ‘stressed’ as many other sheep breeds, and just as likely to walk towards you as run away. We occasionally have stock and lamb for sale; please call us on 01780 720660.

The horned sheep in one of the pictures are of course not Greyface Dartmoors but our friends’ flock of Jacobs, which grazed on the farm before our friends bought their own pasture land. We used to own a few Jacobs ourselves – and whilst their fleece is magnificent, they are definitely more ‘flighty’ than the Dartmoors, so a bit trickier to round up.

Dartmoors are listed on the ‘At Risk’ register of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The Grey Face Dartmoor breeders club is an excellent source of information on the breed.