Home to a flock of 70 Swaledale sheep, Swales is located on the stunning Llyn Peninsula. The farm is home to shepherdess Sarah, carpenter Richard and their son Archie, and is dedicated to promoting Swaledale sheep and everything they have to offer.
Swales grew out of our commitment to this unique breed of sheep. Native to the Yorkshire Dales, the sheep are perfectly adapted for the harsh Welsh weather.
These characterful animals are incredibly inquisitive and make the perfect companions for life on the wilds of the Llyn Peninsula. I first came across Swaledale sheep when I was sitting on the edge of a Swaledale Road, revising for my agricultural exams. Their intelligent eyes, proud posture and characterful personalities – not to mention their stunning surroundings - drew me to them instantly. Swales is a traditional, family-run enterprise and we work hard to care for our flock. We work outside in all weathers, traipsing through mud and battling the Welsh wind to give our sheep the love and care they deserve.
Life at Swales is often chaotic and always interesting. Our no-frills life means we’re often to be found in mucky waterproofs and muddy wellies, plastered from head to toe in mud – or worse. This physical work is one of the biggest appeals of farming life. It keeps us busy and means we’re never bored.
Every year, our flock provide us with a wealth of Swaledale fleece. This fantastic material is one of the most affordable and underappreciated fleeces in the UK. Thick, durable and beautiful, it can be transformed into a huge variety of products and we’re working hard to promote its use in a range of crafts.
To show artists and makers just how versatile this wool is, we make and sell a fantastic range of handcrafted pieces ourselves. From cards and rugs to coffins and stools, you’ll find an excellent choice of unique and beautiful products in our shop.
Our studio is home to a selection of our Swaledale gifts and you can learn more about this fantastic breed by attending one of our talks. From March to December, we’re busy attending agriculture shows, events and craft fairs across the country, giving you plenty of opportunities to come and say hello.
If you really want to get a feel for Swaledale sheep and the wool they produce, join one of our workshops or book a stay in our luxury shepherd hut and experience life on the farm for yourself.
SWALEDALE SHEEP BREEDERS ASSOCIATION
On behalf of the Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association I would like to thank Sarah for all she does to promote Swaledale wool, at a time when concerns about the environment are so topical it is great to see a natural product being promoted in this way, Swaledale wool is a tough, hard wearing and breathable fibre and to have someone like Sarah promoting these attributes so professionally is much appreciated by the Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association. As chairman I would like to wish her every success in the future!
Will Cockbain - Chairman
PHIL AND SANDRA, THE SANDRA PARKER STUDIO, BARNARD CASTLE, COUNTY DURHAM
We met Sarah and Richard a couple of years ago when they came to our gallery in Barnard Castle. We were both struck by Sarah’s enthusiasm for Sandra’s paintings, especially the ones with the iconic Swaledale sheep. Sarah told us of her ambition to try to promote the breed and in particular the wonderful wool of the Swaledale sheep.
Sarah told us of her dream and we were totally impressed with her determination to see this come true. We have since followed Sarah & Richards hard work and their progress producing new merchandise to display at the many rural shows they have attended. We were so pleased when Sarah asked Sandra if she could help with promoting their work and the iconic Swaledale sheep’s head now appears on their merchandise. In these worrying times it is much harder to promote the venture, mainly due to shows being cancelled due to this horrible virus. We are certain this will not stop Sarah and Richard carrying on with even more determination to promote this wonderful breeds wool. We would like to wish them both every encouragement and hope all her hard work comes to fruition.
Kind regards Phil & Sandra