Shepherdess and mum Sarah was born in Tamworth to a non-farming family. After keeping a horse at the age of 12, she was bitten by the farming bug and spent the next few years learning everything there was to learn about life in the country.
While working on local farm cleaning out the pigs, Sarah had to walk two miles there and back. She was paid for her hard work with Farmers Weeklys!
During her six years at Rodbaston, South Staffordshire College specialising in agriculture, Sarah and Richard would spend their holidays out on the Yorkshire Dales. It was during this time that they first met and fell in love with inquisitive Swaledale sheep.
Richard and Sarah married in 1994 and began holidaying in Abersoch, North Wales. In 2009, son Archie arrived and the couple bought four acres of land overlooking Abersoch and Saint Tudwal’s Islands. In 2012, they moved to North Wales for good.
A camping holiday in the Yorkshire Dales rekindled Sarah’s love of Swaledale sheep and in 2015, the couple introduced some in lamb ewes to their land. After selling their first ram in 2017, the couple realised that, although the animals themselves are valuable, their wool is worth almost nothing. In fact, it often costs more to shear a Swaledale than it does to buy their fleece.
Following a conversation with a friend who wanted to create a coffin made of Swaledale wool, the couple set about experimenting with the material. As Richard is a talented carpenter and Sarah comes from a long line of craftspeople including knitters, crocheters and seamstresses, they found the challenge enjoyable and exciting. With a little skill and creativity, it wasn’t long before they made their first Swaledale coffin.
To improve her skills, Sarah joined a local craft group and leaned how to needle felt and work with wool. This gave her an opportunity to learn from other talented artists and get to grips with new and exciting techniques.
Sarah now uses Swaledale wool to make a range of products and the sheep are finally paying their way. Not only are these products a fantastic way to generate an income for the farm, they also showcase just how beautiful and how unique Swaledale wool really is.