Which English area is ‘top of the flocks?’

More than 15 million sheep graze the English countryside and as Love Lamb Week begins, data has revealed the top UK destinations for sheep production.

Topping the poll is the south-west of the country, where more than 3.1 million sheep graze call its rugged coastlines and rolling hills home. The figure makes up for more than 21% of the country’s flocks.

Where are our sheep?

Second place goes to the other end of the country to the North West and Merseyside, with more than three million sheep.

Within the region, almost 50% of sheep are based in East Cumbria among its stunning mountains and moorlands.

While the area is home to the most sheep, the average household in the North of England buys only 3.9kg of lamb a year, 9% less than the British average of 4.3kg.

Third and fourth place was an extremely close call with the West Midlands narrowly taking third place. This area is home to almost 2.2 million sheep.

Yorkshire and the Humber area is home to more than 2.1 million, a number which awarded them fourth place in the rankings.

Within North Yorkshire, more than 1.7 million sheep are managed – 82% of those in the wider Yorks and Humber area, with the counties of Shropshire and Herefordshire home to the most sheep in the Midlands.

Promoting UK lamb

Based in the South-West of England, sheep farmer Rollo Deutsh commented on the sustainability of the UK sheep market.

“Every lamb I produce here in Gloucestershire is reared as naturally as possible off grass in a rural environment. They are Cotswold born and bred, forage fed and they even get to drink fresh spring water too,” he said.

Deutch produces his sheep for market in August and September, and only have to travel four miles down the road for processing.

The English sheep farmer encourages shoppers to support a “very sustainable and local” enterprise by buying local lamb.

Based up in the North-West of England, Agriculture Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Challenge Sheep member Pete Webster farms on Matson Ground Estate in Windermere. He runs upland beef and sheep enterprises.

Being the first in his generation to farm sheep, he is determined to build a sustainable business to pass on to the next generation of Cumbrian sheep farmers.

Love Lamb Week

The industry-wide initiative involves the AHDB, the National Sheep Association (NSA), the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Red Tractor, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) to name but a few.

The campaign aims to promote lamb consumption across the UK.

In order to drive the promotional campaign, lamb lovers are asked to share posts of delicious lamb dishes and sheep in stunning locations using the tags #LoveLamb and #LoveLambWeek.