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Project information

Purchase a Flock of Whitefaced Woodland Sheep

To purchase a breeding flock of rare breed Whitefaced Woodland sheep, native to the Pennines on the Yorkshire/ Derbyshire border. The Whitefaced Woodland is listed as "Vulnerable" on the RBST Watchlist, meaning there are fewer than 900 registered breeding females remaining

Over one year

Charity information: Rare Breeds Survival Trust

Rare Breeds Survival Trust logo
  • Need


    The Whitefaced Woodland is a beautiful, hardy breed that has evolved to thrive in a harsh upland environment, but pedigree registrations are declining and the unique genetics of the breed are under threat. Breeders are working hard to promote Whitefaced Woodlands to commercial farmers and smallholders and RBST wishes to purchase sheep with diverse genetics which can be used to help maintain the special qualities of this breed.


    RBST will work to encourage people to register stock by setting up a genetically diverse breeding flock; whose progeny could be used nationally to improve the genetic health of the breed.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Purchase a flock of Whitefaced Woodland sheep


    » Raise funds to enable us to purchase a flock of Whitefaced Woodland sheep
    » Identify a host farm that is suitable in terms of knowledge, experience and facilities to take the flock on as a long term project
    » Work with the Whitefaced Woodland Society and genetic data to identify suitable animals to purchase

    What success will look like

    Success will be the full purchase of a flock of Whitefaced Woodland sheep including a ram (male) and at least 4 females.

    Aim 2

    Implement the flock's breeding programme to promote genetic diversity


    » Choose rams carefully to ensure a spread of genetics, make animals available to other flocks

    What success will look like

    Registered offspring from the flock building flock numbers, and being used on other flocks to spread genetic material.

  • Impact


    Increased awareness and publicity for the useful qualities of this rare breed. Improved genetic diversity within the breed.
    This will be demonstrated by press coverage in the mainstream and farming press, increased pedigree registrations and by a future genetic analysis.


    Poor availability of Whitefaced Woodland breeding stock: RBST would liaise with the Whitefaced Woodland Society and with a number of breeders in order to purchase the most suitable animals.


    Updates on this project will be posted on our website and Facebook detailing any successes and changes made to project plans. We will also produce posters highlighting progress on the project to display at agricultural shows around the country on our Support Group stands.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £2,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £850 Purchase of Sheep Purchase of a breeding flock of Whitefaced Woodland Sheep
      £1,000 Transport and Staff time This will cover the cost of sourcing and transporting the sheep
      £150 Publicity Posters and staff time producing updates
  • Background


    At present we do not have a set location for the flock of Whitefaced Woodland sheep. They will be placed on a suitable host farm which will retain any offspring born, but the original animals remain the property of RBST. The hosts will work closely with us to ensure that the conservation objectives of the flock are achieved.


    This project will benefit farmers and smallholders looking for hill sheep highly suitable for sustainable farming, able to thrive in inhospitable conditions and manage upland habitats. The consumer will benefit from the production of healthy and sustainable meat and wool. The UK farming industry will benefit from a higher level of genetic diversity within farming livestock, which has the potential to be beneficial in the face of disease epidemics and changes to the farming industry.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom’s rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. Since our formation in 1973 no breed of livestock has gone extinct, despite the loss of 26 species between 1900 and 1973. We monitor populations of native breeds and produce an annual "Watchlist", raising awareness of breeds at risk.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sarah Spriggs

    Will be responsible for achieving funding targets and organising promotional material.

    Claire Barber

    Claire is RBST's Conservation Officer. She will be working to identify the right animals to purchase and implementing the breeding programme.

    Ryan Perry

    Ryan is RBST's Conservation Assistant. He will be working with Claire to identify suitable animals and implement the breeding programme.

Whitefaced Woodland ram

Whitefaced Woodland ram