Langley Chase Organic Farm Manx Loaghtan Sheep

After my first visit to Scotland several years ago, I realized just how much I like sheep.  At the time I was a vegetarian and didn’t have any interest in eating lamb.  I just wanted to watch how they behave, grazing, moving in groups, standing horizontal to a hillside appearing to have legs on one side of their body shorter than the other side to accommodate a slope. I was also really taken with the  noble farm movement to promote rare breeds and genetic biodiversity as I believe it is imperative to maintain a sound food chain.  I have spent quite a  bit of time on farms mostly for the fiber aspect of sheep raising, talking to spinners and knitters and relishing gorgeous natural, undyed woolen yarns in soft browns and muted beiges.  Dreamy visions of raising sheep filled my head until I witnessed the harsh conditions and the unrelenting work schedule to say nothing of the difficulty in actually making a living at it.  Just read the musings of Kristin Nicholas to get a gist of the real sheep farming life.

I like all breeds of sheep, each with their own unique characteristics and breed strengths, but from a visual standpoint one of my favorites is the rare, primitive Manx Loaghtans.

Langley Chase Organic Farm, an award winning farm in Wiltshire, England seems to really have the right idea about organic breeding and features the breed in their lovely film produced by the incredibly talented photographer and filmmaker Cristian Barnett.  I love his work and all of his films.  Grab a tea and sit down to take a good long look at his work.  It is akin to a visual vacation in rural English life.

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