The Greyface Dartmoor is also known as the Dartmoor or “Improved” Dartmoor. Attractive, quiet and easily handled the Dartmoor have their enthusiasts throughout the country and provide a natural focal point whenever they appear.
Descended from the local breeds, which grazed the low ground in and around Dartmoor, they have an immensly strong constitution. Improvements were carried out during the 19 century using the local Longwools (Notts) and the Leicester.
The Association was established in 1909 to standardise, promote and develop the breed, which was well established in three areas, South Hams, Chagford and Tavistock. Today flocks are kept throughout England,Wales and south of Scotland. Breeding stock has been exported.
The Dartmoor fleece is classified as Lustre Long wool. A medium sized sheep (approx. 60kg), hornless, deep bodied, short legged, with well woolled head and legs. The white face should be mottled or spotted with black or grey with matching feet. The short straight legs are well covered with wool. A clip of 7-9kg can be expected with a higher yield (up to 15kg) from mature rams.
Traditionally the long, curly, lustre wool was used for blankets, serge, carpets and cloth. The wool is not coloured. Staple length 25-30cms with a Bradford count of 36-40.
The ewes are good milkers, capable of rearing twins. A lambing of about 140% can be expected with the heavy milking docile ewes rearing them quickly. Some clipping around the udder may be required to ensure easy access for the newly born lambs. Traditionally lambs are shorn before the first of July.