Formby Grazing

Sheep

Our sheep are back from Lancashire Wildlife Trust to graze the grass here at Formby. The sheep stay from May to September and play a necessary part in the conservation of the unique Formby landscape.

Our sheep are back from Lancashire Wildlife Trust to graze the grass here at Formby.  The sheep keep the grass short allowing the wild flowers and herbs to seed and grow.  Without grazing we would not have the beautiful yellow Birds – Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus, the violet Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia), the low scrambling Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum), the sweet smelling Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and many more.
You don’t have to look too hard at the sheep to see that one of them has four horns. He’s called Spike and it is natural for Hebridean sheep to have four horns. Originally, they all had four, but over the many years the breed has been around, the four horned gene has been bred out them. This is for a number of reasons, which can include weakness in the horns and the obvious difficulties that come with shepherds trying to handle a many horned animal. Occasionally, a four horned sheep will appear, so you could say young Spike is a bit of a throwback to his ancient ancestors.
You will notice one of the sheep is white.  This is Arnie a friendly old Herdwick/Hebridean. A gentle giant. 

" They’ll come running when I rattle the bucket. Formby is a great place for them and they do add to the landscape but we are always concerned that dog owners act responsibly and stop any chasing or worrying at once."
- Robert Mathews