We moved from suburban Surrey to Cornwall in 1999 with the youngest of our three sons. We had always wanted to live in the country and where better than Cornwall. We are a family business run on environmentally and ethically sound principles, looking after our animals, land and the environment. No pesticides or herbicides are used in managing our pastures, weed control being achieved by selective grazing (Angora goats prefer thistles, docks, brambles and stinging nettles).
Not long after moving, we bought our first three Angora Goats. We first saw Angoras at an agricultural show in Sussex and fell in love with them, not realizing that one day; we would have a herd of our own. Four more goats, two white and two coloured, all of which were in kid soon followed. As the herd grew they needed to earn their keep and rather than sell the mohair we decided to get it processed ourselves. Now we have over 50 white and coloured (different shades of black) goats.
To complement the mohair and because they look magnificent we bought some rare white Wensleydale sheep. Wensleydales are one of the largest breeds of sheep and produce the finest lustre long wool in the world.
As we wanted to concentrate mainly on natural coloured wool and mohair we also started a flock of Shetland sheep. Shetlands are one of the smallest primitive breeds of sheep, they produce a very fine fleece with a natural colour range that allows us to achieve different colour variations and patterns in fabrics, minimising the use of dyes.
Finally in 2009 we bought the first of our very rare Black Wensleydales. To the best of our knowledge there are under 250 registered breeding ewes in the UK.
Before the fleece is sent away to be processed it has to be sorted thoroughly, removing any soiled fleece and bits of hay and straw. It was and still is very rewarding, remembering the dirty fleece that is sent off and seeing what is returned, and to think it all comes from our animals.
We now sell throws made from either mohair or wool or a blend of both, woven scarves, knitted scarves and shawls that are described as being as fine and delicate as a spider’s web made from kid mohair and mohair socks, which not only keep your feet warm but seem to last forever. Commissions are undertaken for hand knitted items, or for those who enjoy hand or machine knitting we can supply the yarn. Plus we are continually looking to add new products to our range…
It has been a steep learning curve and a somewhat different lifestyle to the one in Surrey.