Nude Ewe wool is spun from the fleeces of Bedfordshire's conservation grazing flocks. Grasslands are a key feature of the English countryside. For centuries these habitats have been maintained by grazing sheep and other livestock. Without these animals our fields would turn to scrub, and we would lose the unique plants and animals that rely on our grassland habitats.
The best sheep for conservation grazing are heritage breeds. These ancient breeds are very hardy and can handle adverse weather conditions. They will eat rough grasses, twigs and bramble that modern breeds won't touch. This keeps the scrub from taking over. Unlike modern breeds however, heritage breeds tend to be small and slow growing, many produce excellent meat and fleece but because they grow slowly are not used commercially. Sadly many of these breeds are now disappearing and some are close to extinction.
Sheep must be sheared every year. This costs farmers money, and the fleeces themselves are worth only pennies. It also costs money to repair fences, maintain shelters and deliver medical treatment. We're working to help conservation graziers recover these costs. To do this we're turning waste fleeces into a commercial product: yarn! Proceeds from the sale of the yarn will be returned to the grazier. In this way we hope to encourage more people to use heritage sheep breeds to graze Bedfordshire's grasslands for nature conservation.
Who are we?
The Nude Ewe is a non-profit Community Interest Company limited by guarantee. It has won awards from the Chilterns Conservation Board, Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Green Organisation. The Nude Ewe has been featured in various publications including The Knitter, Yarn Forward, Positive News and Knitting magazines.
For more information on the Nude Ewe Conservation Wool Project contact Heather Webb on
How we can help?
If you own heritage sheep breeds and graze conservation sites and are interested in selling your wool through our project, we would love to hear from you.
For more information about the project and the wool we sell visit http://www.nude-ewe.co.uk/
To visit our blog go to www.nude-ewe.com/blog/