BREED CHARACTERISTICS

The breed characteristics are as follows:

White head and face. Face of ewe free of wool.

Ears short and thick with occasional black spots on the them. Nose black, face broad and bold. Male sheep may be horned.
Neck strong and massive by shoulder and of medium length.
Breast deep and prominent. Body of medium length, deep and broad.
Good broad tail.
Ability to withstand either very wet or hard winters, without detriment to subsequent lambing season or to wool.


Wool                                                                                                                                                                        Average weight of wool 12-16 lbs from Ewes.  10-16 lbs from Hoggs. Under suitable conditions much heavier fleeces are possible and shears of up to 21 lbs have been recorded by Breeders. White of good staple with a fairly strong curl. The wool should be moderately greasy.

Ewes are excellent for crossing, are first class milkers and good mothers.

History

Whiteface Dartmoor sheep are one of Britain’s ancient breeds. Although the majority are now settled on Dartmoor ( They are sometimes Known as the Widecombe Whitefaces), it is thought that the breed would originally have been spread over the Westcountry. As more land became enclosed they were driven back to Dartmoor where the breed is now firmly rooted. They  are extremely hardy and are mainly kept on poorer pastures at 500- 2000ft. above sea level, grazing the moor in the summer months as required.

Whitefaces are renowned for their excellent mothering instinct and ease of lambing.

Crossed with Suffolk, they produce an excellent butchers lamb, or crossed with Teeswater or Bluefaced Leicester they make a mule that is vigorous and retains the hardiness,  mothering instincts and ability to raise multiple lambs.

Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep are on Natural England's ’Native breed at risk’ register and therefore are eligible  for Higher Level Stewardship ‘bolt on’ payments