Local sheep farmers aim for shear excellence

Giving back: British Wool Board invest in the future
Giving back: British Wool Board invest in the future

WORLD class shearers were helping local farmers hone their skills at Shalstone Manor last week.

Young people and experienced farmers came together for the course run by fully qualified shearers including Alan Derryman and Andrew Barratt, former members of the British Shearing team.

The two day course was funded by the South East England Development Agency, delivered by the British Wool Board (BWB), and hosted voluntarily by Geoffrey Purefoy of Shalston Manor.

BWB regional representative Bob Tofield said wool was once at the core of British economy and is now seeing a resurgence. He added: “Two years ago it cost more to shear a sheep than the value of the wool on its back, but it’s got to come off regardless for welfare. But recently a world shortage of wool and more people wanting environmentally friendly natural fibres, wool prices have gone up 200 per cent.”

Mr Purefoy said shearing is highly skilled and historically an important part of the local economy.