This is a big, broad and strongly built sheep without horns and is said to be descended from the sheep brought to Britain by the Romans. It was the basis of the medieval wool trade. The golden lanolin in the creamy wool and the profits made from the fleeces, earned this imposing sheep the title of the ‘Cotswold Lion’.
The creamy white fleece is a heavy, lustrous longwool with wavy curls and ideally, Cotswold sheep should be sheared twice a year to improve fleece quality. The staple length is 7-12 inches making it very easy to spin. These sheep appear to have slightly smiling faces and their eyes are almost obscured when in full fleece by a top-knot and fringe.
Today the Cotswold is considered at risk by the Rare Breed Survival Trust, with less than 1,500 registered breeding ewes. The slow growing nature of this breed means that it so not commercially viable, while the wool, although long, thick and strong, has suffered with falling demands. However, the efforts of rare breed enthusiasts have established the flock and it has a better outlook for the future.
Cotswold wool is lustrous and silky making wonderfully soft, cuddly teddy bears.