Sir - Everyone must surely agree with Prince Charles about the superlative qualities of wool and wish him every success in his Campaign for Wool (Magazine, September 3).
The annual Open Day as held by kind permission of Richard an Caroline Owen at Trefri, Bodorgan, Anglesey on 20th June. We held the Annual General Meeting at Iolo Owen's farm prior to the Open Day.
This will probably be my last letter as your secretary. I have had a lot of head scratching and a lot of pleasure writing them over the past 12 years. I have certainly learnet to appreciate the work of those who churn articles out to various publications on a regular basis.
We are the most rapidly increasing breed in the UK – and that’s official in the recent E.B.L.E.X report on the state of British sheep breeds based on a survey of over 10,000 sheep farmers and published roughly every 10 years. The ‘Easy Care’ have risen from 13,000 in 2003 when the society was formed to 119,000 in 2013 and increase of over 80% annually. I’m sure if all the grading up numbers were shown it would be significantly more – Congratulations!
The summer season is now in full swing. We had a successful presence at the Royal Welsh spring show and the NSA events at Scotsheep and South sheep. We are indebted to our members Andrew Elliott and Jo Hewitt who brought sheep to events. The main NSA events is at Malvern on July 30th we hope to see you there. I has become a most interesting one day show and an excellent venue at the three counties showground. I feel that these NSA events have grown too big to be accommodated on a farm and that show grounds are more suitable but I’m sure others will disagree.
If I was down hearted this time last year, and I was, then this year has restored my faith in nature. Lambing has been a doddle with a very good crop of healthy lambs prancing about. Every year I intend to count how many dead ones I pick up but never do, however, it is very minimal with only once a day shepherding.
Recently reported in Hello magazine:
Prince Charles – a Vision of the Future: “When I heard the ultimate horror of all, that they’d created a new sheep called Easy Care, which you don’t have to shear, I thought, ‘Enough!’”.
This comes on top of your “campaign for wool” film featured on You-tube in which you said, “The ultimate insanity is a new breed of sheep that doesn’t need shearing called, can you believe it, Easy Care”.
While wishing you every success in your “campaign for wool”, I am writing to ask you to reconsider your views on Easy Care sheep because I believe you have been misinformed. As you are aware, the unprofitability of wool is causing farmers to reduce their flock size or to go out of sheep rearing altogether. To keep sheep breeding profitable, over the last fifty years I have developed the Easy Care breed.
No doubt you have read enough about comparing this Autumn weather with 2012. My suckler herd is still living well on grass alone and the silage has not been touched, nearly two months later than last year. The ewe flock are at least 10 kilos heavier and all are looking good – but there’s time yet.