This week we are privileged enough to Meet the Maker of the delightfully wholesome, British brand; The Dartmoor Shepherd. Following and sustaining important British farming traditions, The Dartmoor Shepherd uses 100 percent native, rare-breed British sheep for their sheepskin and wool and care for the flock themselves on their charming farm where they run their business. They are the only commercial producers left to work with Dartmoor Longwool sheepskins and wool which they use to produce utterly stunning homeware and accessories. We are so pleased to meet and get to know this hardworking, ethical and highly creative couple this week.
Hi Flora, thanks for joining us. First question – do you have a favourite product at the moment?
Yes! With energy prices on the rise and all of us wanting to be more eco friendly our sheepskin Hot Water Bottle Covers have completely come into their own. They are all handmade in our farm workshop on Dartmoor and made from 100% British sheepskin. They insulate the hot water so that they release heat gradually throughout the night and they are still warm in the morning! What’s not to love about that?!
Amazing! Can you tell us a bit your bestsellers?
Our bestsellers are our Hot Water Bottle Covers as previously mentioned for obvious reasons and also our stunning longwool sheepskin rugs. Our Dartmoor longwool sheepskins are from our own native flocks which we farm on Dartmoor to organic principles. They are tanned in Britain’s oldest tannery also on Dartmoor. We are now the only commercial producers of Dartmoor Longwool sheepskins left and they are so stunning and luxurious everyone seems to love them.
Why do you think people should people buy from Dartmoor Shepherd?
All our sheepskin products are handmade on our farm in Chagford, Dartmoor. We farm a large flock of native Dartmoor longwools from which many of our products derive. When you buy from The Dartmoor Shepherd you are supporting native, rare breed sheep, British farming and manufacturing. Also sheepskin and wool is completely biodegradable and can be returned to the soil. We farm to organic principles and are very into regenerative farming.
Why and when did this brand begin?
Lewis and I (Flora) started The Dartmoor Shepherd in 2016 after graduating from university. Lewis always wanted to be a farmer but as neither of us come from a farming background this proved a real challenge. We rented land all across Devon and spent most of our time travelling miles between pockets of land checking and tending our flocks. We were then able to secure a long term tenancy in Chagford, Dartmoor where our business is now based. That enabled us to have security on the land and we were able to grow our flocks and diversify into using our sheepskins. We started just selling sheepskin rugs which was successful so we then started to develop a range of interior items and accessories made from the wool and hides from our own flocks.
Now the more personal questions! How are you spending this Christmas?
I am one of 4 children so I will be spending Christmas at my parents house and family home on Dartmoor. My siblings and darling niece will also all be home for Christmas, so we’ll spend time catching up with Mum and Dad and enjoying all being together at the same time, which is a rarity now we are all adults living across the UK. I am so lucky that my parents live very near our rented farm so I will be able to walk and check our sheep, pigs and chickens on Christmas day with my family.
Do you have any Christmas Day Traditions?
We normally go to Church on Christmas Eve for our local carol service. On the day we all help out in the kitchen to make Christmas dinner. Then we usually go on a dog walk to our Dartmoor Shepherd farm to tend to the animals then head back to play lots of board games.
Silly but important question now… what’s the best part of a roast?
In our family we always make bread sauce which is very traditional but isn’t seen much anymore but it’s definitely my favourite part of the roast along with our local turkey from Frenchbeer Farm in Chagford!
Finally, what’s your favourite way to spend a Sunday?
When you farm and run your own business you don’t always get to have a normal Sunday, but we definitely move at a slower pace. Lewis and I enjoy pottering around the farm, sometimes I get the chance to do some gardening and take Moss, our working sheepdog, for a walk on the high moor.
Thank you so much to Flora and Lewis for being our Meet the Maker this week. We cannot wait for you all to meet them at the fair!