Whitefaced Woodlands sheep are native to the Pennines on the borders of Derbyshire and Yorkshire. Whitefaced Woodlands originated from the Blackfaced Linton which is a type of mountain sheep. As well as the Blackfaced Linton, the Cheviot and the Merino were also used in the development of the Whitefaced Woodlands.
The Whitefaced Woodlands was bred for the purpose of meat production, but they are also bred for the good production of wool. Their wool is used mainly for hand-kitting yarns and blankets with some of the coarser grades being used for carpets. The Whitefaced Woodland are part of the priority list as part of the Rare Breeds Survival trust (RBST) along with three other breeds. In the 1970s the Whitefaced Woodlands had to be saved from extinction by the RBST and there only remains 900 breeding ewes left in Great Britain.
The Whitefaced Woodlands like many other breeds of sheep are used in purpose of showing. The Whitefaced Woodlands also have breed standard that has to be followed when showing. The Breed standard are the guidelines set in place for each individual breed that is show. The Breed Standard for the Whitefaced Woodlands states that only the face, feet and legs may be washed, not the fleece. Light trimming of the fleece is permissible, so long as it does not detract from the natural appearance of the sheep but backing down is not permitted. Oiling of horns is acceptable and sheep with horns removed may also be shown.
In 2019, The ASU took part in their first sheep shows. We took students along to partake in the Essex Young Farmers Show, Hadleigh show and Tendering Show. The students that we entered in to three shows did amazingly well and came back with smiles on their faces as well as some gorgeous rosettes.