Spotlight on sheep farming at school
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
PUPILS at Cotherstone School got hands-on experience of how to turn a fleece into wool during a visit from sheep farmer Leanne Dawson, as part of an initiative to understand more about the farming industry.
Mrs Dawson, originally from Eggleston, and her husband Chris, look after 200 sheep at their farm in Northumberland.
As well as setting up a farm school she has also been processing fleece into yarn, setting up her own brand of wool, Honest Lamb.
She said: “I spent a long time experimenting what I could do with the fleece as it’s such a great product but it is worth so little at the moment.
“I posted a couple of fleeces to the mill, but they have such a long waiting list it took about 18 months for it to come back.”
Children from key stages 1 and 2 watched videos of sheep being sheared by Mrs Dawson’s husband, before trying their hand at wrapping a fleece ready to be put in a wool sheet.
The hands-on visit also saw youngsters washing portions of the fleeces before learning how to “card” the fibres ready to be spun into yarn, learning about the different tools used throughout the process. She added: “Wool is such an amazing product and it is so good for the environment. It just needs a little investment to move things forward.”
Children also enjoyed visits from members of the National Farmers’ Union and egg farmer William Maughan as part of farming fortnight.